President Obama’s 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft
My husband insisted last night that we watch BHO’s 60 Minutes interview with Steve Kroft — and then promptly fell asleep because, as he later said, “that was really dull.” My husband was right. I managed to stay awake, but it was an effort. This was my takeaway from the great orator’s talk:
We, uh, I, uh, me, uh, my, uh, our guys,uh, the guys, uh, sending guys, uh, that guy, uh, no guys, uh, my guys, uh, we have “denigrated” the Taliban.
It was that last that woke me up. Denigrating someone is a verbal accomplishment: “to speak damagingly of; criticize in a derogatory manner; sully; defame: to denigrate someone’s character.” For example, I’ve done my fair share of denigrating Barack Obama, although I’d swear there’s nothing defamatory about that, since truth is always a defense.
Certainly, we as a nation have spent the last decade saying nasty things about the Taliban (and al Qaeda), but is that what Obama really meant to say? Perhaps he misspoke. Perhaps he meant to say “decimate.” However, he’s misspoken so often out of manifest ignorance (“corpse-men,” “Austrian language,” etc.), giving him the benefit of the doubt may be too generous.
Aside from a lot of “me” and “I” statements, along with that constant “uh” interjection (which is unbelievably irritating, even when it falls from the mouth of a great orator), there were a few things conspicuously absent from Obama’s talk: any other people. It didn’t surprise me that he completely ignored George Bush and the contributions from his administration. What did surprise me was that he also ignored everyone else. To hear Barack Hussein Obama tell the story, the whole affair unfolded thanks to Barack Hussein Obama, and a whole bunch of anonymous “guys” and “team” members.
Admittedly, some of the “guys” had to be anonymous, such as the SEALs. However, once having worked ones way through his tangle of pronouns and generic verbs, it was clear that occasionally, when Obama used “we,” he was talking about his advisers, rather than his royal self. Likewise, some of those “guys” to whom he referred were White House people too. Couldn’t he have been polite enough to name some names, kind of like an Academy Award speech? The only time he named names was when he identified those to whom he issued orders. What a little, petty man.
Also, is it just me, or was there something strange about the way in which he only referred to the Special Ops forces involved as “guys.” Could he have said “our troops,” “our forces,” “our military,” or just about anything else that might raise them above “guys”? This is especially true because he kept referring to bin Laden himself as “this guy” and “that guy.”
It’s pretty clear that Obama’s world isn’t peopled with individuals. It’s peopled with anonymous faces and bodies who perform tasks for him, including “that guy,” who was good enough to die at Obama’s command, so that a garden-variety political assassination (and that’s what, fundamentally, this was), could be elevated to the Second Coming.
I don’t have a transcript of Obama’s talk to Croft but, if I did, I’d love to do a ranked word count. I know the thousands of “uhs” won’t show up, but I’d be fascinated to see how many times the words “guy,” “I,” “my” and “we” appeared.
One more thing: Do you think, as I do, that it would have been infinitely more appropriate for Obama, the brilliant thinker and orator, to have made himself available for a free-wheeling press-conference, rather than to limit himself to straight-line, tightly controlled interview with the worshipful Steve Croft?
Cross-posted at Bookworm Room