Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Wait, isn't it Orwellian to re-define "Orwellian"?

Mmm, irony deep-fried in hypocrisy, with a chutzpah dipping sauce! And Terry Gross just ate it up. What follows is a verbatim quotation from her Fresh Air interview with Republican pollster Frank Luntz, aired tonight. Luntz is the guy Republican politicians seek out to disguise the stench of bad policy with verbal perfume (e.g. saying “energy exploration" instead of "drilling" when talking about ANWR). Within the first five minutes of the interview, almost as if he were trying to pre-empt charges of Newspeak, he said:

“The average American assumes that being Orwellian is a negative, that being Orwellian means that you mislead. If you read ‘On Language,’ to be Orwellian is to speak with absolute clarity, to be succinct, to explain what the event is, to talk about what triggers something happening, and to do so without any kind of pejorative whatsoever.”

Re-defining “Orwellian”—wow. Is that diabolically brilliant? Or just one last pitiful grenade lobbed at the reality-based community from those cynical trenches?

1 comment:

christian_left said...

How did she keep a straight face when he said that? I can't imagine. Oh well, thanks TPD for putting something up on our blog, after such a long interval since our last posting!