Monday, October 23, 2006

Misspoke In the Wheel

Hitherto obscure US State department official Alberto Fernandez has hit the news by describing his country's policies and behaviour in Iraq as 'stupid and arrogant.' That he did so on Al-Jazeera, the media outlet so often the target of the US military's homespun brand of 'media management' has seriously pissed his bosses off. They first tried to claim that he had been deliberately misquoted by the devious Arabs - the interview was conducted in Arabic, which Fernandez speaks fluently - but Arabic speakers at the BBC stated otherwise. Now a clearly chastened Fernandez has retracted his remarks, admitting that he 'misspoke', a deliciously strange word that could have been drawn from the lexicon of the Red Tsar himself. Close observers of the leader of his country would point out that Mr Bush has been prone to 'misspeak' on a few occasions. Considering that the average State department employee would probably be residing a few rungs up the intellectual ladder from Dubya, perhaps Fernandez's comments are more than a careless slip of the tongue? In any case now he has, shall we say, 'de-spoken'.