Monday, December 13, 2010

Political spokesmen and medieval superstitions

In previous posts, I have shown that politicians are (and corporate spokesmen sometimes are) poor role models for writers. You may have wondered, “What about political spokesmen? They would seem to combine the worst of two worlds.”

You are correct. Here are two (admittedly extreme) statements made by political spokesmen. These two men apparently believe in medieval superstitions.


A public school superintendent explained why he forced a student to remove a U.S. flag from his bicycle:

“Our Hispanic, you know, kids will, you know, bring their Mexican flags and they’ll display it, and then of course the kids would do the American flag situation, and it does cause kind of a racial tension which we don’t really want.” (Boldface added.)

Apparently he believes that pieces of cloth can cause (his word) people to think hostile thoughts.


An article in Salon News explained how some big-city police departments swap used guns (old police guns and guns confiscated from criminals) for new guns. Licensed firearms dealers later resell the used guns to law-abiding shooters.

The article noted that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) refuses to swap confiscated guns, preferring to destroy them instead. An LAPD spokesman said:

“It’s unfortunate because some of them are beautiful guns. But if a gun’s been used to kill someone, they don’t want it out there where it could kill someone else.” (Boldface added.)

Apparently he believes that when someone uses a gun to kill someone, the gun somehow learns how to kill, and can later kill without human help.

The Takeaway: Generally speaking, do not imitate political spokesmen; their statements are usually inaccurate and sometimes delusional. NOTE: If your job requires you to speak with the press, prepare for each interview as follows: Write down the probable questions and your answers. Edit your answers. Ask someone else to edit and fact-check your answers. Memorize your answers. Rehearse them until they sound unrehearsed.

See disclaimer.

No comments:

Post a Comment