Archive for the 'spinspeak linguistics' Category

The ol’ “Cry Fire in a Crowded Theater” Spin, or Down Periscope at NEWSWEEK

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005

We upholders of professopnal, objective journalism (no spindocs on our staff) did it because we were told by anonymous “knowledgeable” reliable sources that there was a fire.

Well, it was only one source. But we checked it out with two others.

Well, one said a peripheral part of the story was wrong, but didn’t “dispute” the rest; the third “corroborative” source had no comment.

Well, since the Fire Department insists it can’t find any fire and our main source now says: hey, maybe the fire was in another building maybe; there seems to be a lot of brouhaha.

So, in view of this “understandable” situation, we regret that we got “any part of our fire warning wrong.” And we “extend our sympathies to victims” of the stampede from the theater which we frankly were amazed to see occur.

And now, in view of the testy attitude of Fire Department officials, we retract what we did. So, let’s put it behind us, OK?

Note: It is worth mentioning that some people in the media (not us because we apologized and retracted) think that what we did was really in the tradition of great investigative journalism and that even though the facts were phony they are probably true.

Ever Onward in the Science of Spinspeak

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004


Two more technical categories for scholars in the linguistic science of spinspeak:

disingenuous = nicespeak terminology for calculated lie or strongly misleading statement.Employed apparently to his great satisfaction by Sen. John McCain (R-NM) in describing Movie Producer Michael Moore’s attacks on the Bush Administration and the Second Iraq War. McCain, without naming him, called Moore “a disingenuous film maker who would have us believe that Saddam’s Iraq was an oasis of peace when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons…”

taqiyya = the art of dissimulation grounded in the Islamic strategic concept that one never owes the truth to unbelievers.

Prof. Fouad Ajami of Johns Hopkins writes in the Wall Street Journal that taqijja has been used “to perfection” by Islamists to take advantage the pluralism of the West while thwarting Muslim assimilation. Ajami is author of Dream Palace of the Arabs.