Thursday, September 29, 2011

The American Spectator : The Obama Code

"When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were instinctively, to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink." -- George Orwell, "Politics and the English language"

Last weekend, President Obama gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus. It would have passed largely unnoticed into the giant, gaseous cloud of accumulated Obama speeches that hangs somewhere above Washington had it not been for an Associated Press reporter dutifully doing his job.

Reporter Mark Smith quoted the President this way:

"Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes," he said, his voice rising as applause and cheers mounted. "Shake it off. Stop complainin'. Stop grumblin'. Stop cryin'. We are going to press on. We have work to do."

Though that is precisely what the president said, it differed from the official White House transcript, which included the three missing g's. Smith, sensing something important not in the president's words, but in the way he delivered them, thought it important not to change them. For that simple application of journalistic integrity, he was called a racist.

On Chris Hayes' MSNBC show, author and, unbelievably, professor of journalism Karen Hunter said the AP story was "inherently racist." She explained, "I teach a journalism class, and I tell my students to fix people's grammar, because you don't want them to sound ignorant. For them to do that, it's code, and I don't like it."

At this point it might be worth noting that in 2009 Hunter said, also on MSNBC, that people who show disrespect to the president are racist. For a professor, she certainly has issues with logic. Hunter, it would seem, is an expert at silencing dissent by alleging racism.

Why, though, would accurately quoting the president be racist? Because, Hunter believes, not cleaning up the president's grammar makes him "sound ignorant." Yet did the president himself not utter the words that way -- on purpose?

Anyone who has watched Obama speeches -- which would be anyone who has flipped on an American television set at any random time in the past three years -- knows that Obama does not always drop his g's. He made a conscious decision to do so when speaking before the Congressional Black Caucus. Whatever for?

The American Spectator : The Obama Code