That tiny missing word

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It's a bitch. Remember Neil Armstrong? Back in 1969, while stepping off the lunar lander, he was (supposedly) supposed to say:

That's one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.

Unfortunately, countless hours of endless analysis finally revealed that he (probably) did in fact accidentally leave out one tiny little word, and famously ended up saying something that sounded vaguely "chauvenistic" while at the same time being sort of self-contradictory.

That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.

As Armstrong himself has reportedly admitted, "Damn, I really did it. I blew the first words on the moon, didn't I?" But honestly, folks, it wasn't all that important. No harm, no foul, no gross insult. John Kerry's faux pas of yesterday, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish. In his latest cover story, Kerry's trying to say he was talking about the President. He's calling it a "botched joke." No sale.

You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq.

Nope, sorry. The sentence is clear, and it's not even self-contradictory, though of course it's totally offensive and completely wrong. But maybe extensive microanalysis of the video- or audiotape of Kerry's speech at Pasadena City College will ultimately reveal that what he actually said was

You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get us stuck in Iraq.

Maybe the Democrat spinmeisters should try that one on for size. It's as believable as anything else they've come up with so far. Static. Hey, maybe they'll even come up with a faux copy of the speech with that tiny little word in place.

Happy Halloween!

Update (Nov. 1): OMG! Anne Lieberman has the scoop. Listen. I made this missing word thing up, honest. And now Kerry's "spokeswoman" is actually trying to claim it was in the script? Maybe Amy Brundage reads my blog.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn B. published on October 31, 2006 6:29 PM.

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