Win One For the Gaffer

I don’t understand this phenomenon in which supporters of someone (hereinafter referred to as the “gaffer”) who has made an obvious, verifiably incorrect statement (henceforth, the “gaffe”) come to the aid of the gaffer by contending that the statement wasn’t a gaffe at all, but that it was, in fact, correct.

We’ve all seen supporters of Sarah Palin attempt to alter the Paul Revere Wikipedia page to match her telling of the story of Revere’s ride that answered the ultimate “gotcha question”: “What have you seen so far today and what are you going to take away from your visit?” (When you’re dumb, everything is a gotcha question.  When you’re defensive, everything is a gotcha question. When you’re paranoid, everything and everyone is looking for a gotcha.  Gotcha get over it.)

I’m now seeing that this happens more often than I thought.  Similar to Palin’s Paul Revere Revision, supporters of Texas Governor Rick Perry did more than leap to his defense when he claimed in February of this year that Juarez (Mexico) was “the most dangerous city in America”–a statement his office almost immediately clarified and corrected.  Despite the correction, supporters commenced making fools of themselves.

Pharphax says:  By the way, “America” can refer to North, Central and South America, not just the United States, in that case, he would be correct.

Myassisdraggin says: Gov Perry is correct. Juarez is the most dangerous city in America.  America is a continent – not a country. Canada, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Panama, etc are ALL in America!

JPN3355:  Juarez is in North America,so it is the most dangerous city in America. He did not say it was the most dangerous city in the United States of America.

Cubanstamps:  From the Western tip of Alaska, including Canada, Mexico, all the Caribbean islands (including my native Cuba) and right down to Argentina/Chile’s Tierra del Fuego (and the small islands off the tip of the continent down there), it is all AMERICA.

EPT:  United States of America is not the only country in America. Just in North America alone there are 23 countries along with dozens of territories. So for the Govenor to say “most dangerous city in America” does not mean the USA only. We should not be so conceited and think he is referring to us.

Really folks?  You want to defend this, even after the governor walked away from the error?  I wonder what these proud Texans would say if I told them that Vancouver was the best city in America?

I know that a life lived in front of a live microphone is bound to produce misstatements and factual inaccuracies.  There are just too many words flowing for that not to be the case.  The smart ones laugh it off or explain what they meant, like Gov. Perry did and like Michelle Bachmann did when she mistook Lexington, NH for Lexington, MA back in March.  In the pre-internet era, it was typically only the spokesperson that was stuck with the duty of trying to persuade listerners of the gaffers actual intentions.  Think Lanny Davis trying to help us parse President Clinton’s every syllable.  It’s embarrassing for the media flak, but it’s their job.  But now that we’re in the Age of The Comment Section and everyone has a keyboard and a point of view and the time to express it, we’re stuck with people defending the indefensible.  I don’t understand it.

Are they simply blinded by loyalty, or defensive or is there more to it?  I’m dumbfounded by this.

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