Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Who reads?!? (Or Listens)

"Who reads?" is a laugh line from Light Up the Sky, a play about a Broadway play just as it is about to open.

It is also a line which is applicable to the current brouhaha concerning Senator Craig. There seems to be a certain amount of surprise that Senator Craig's spokesman has said the Senator's September 30th resignation from the Senate is not yet certain. A cursory glance at the Senator's statement on September 1, though, makes it clear that no one should be surprised.

Here's part of the CNN report of the statement made by Senator Craig last Saturday: "Therefore it is with sadness and deep regret that I announce that it is my intent to resign from the Senate, effective September 30th."

Notice the word "intent."

Here's the opening clause from the CNN website: Sen. Larry Craig said Saturday he will resign...

Here's a headline from an MSNBC website: Craig resigns over airport bathroom sex sting.

Here's a phrase from a Los Angeles Times story: In announcing his resignation, Craig, 62, said...

Here's the "head" from the New York Times: Senator Quits as Republicans Try to Regroup.

Even FoxNews missed the obvious: Sen. Larry Craig — whose guilty plea related to an airport bathroom incident ended in his resignation this past weekend.

Intent left the Senator a lot of wiggle room, and the Senator seems to be wiggling.

The question of the moment, however, is why didn't any of the media catch the conditional nuance of the original statement?

"It is my intent" is not the same as "I will."

Words matter. Just ask the spinmeisters in Washington, D.C., or on Madison Avenue.

Be careful.

Who reads?

Gentle Reader(s), you and I must.


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