Thursday, April 14, 2005

AP Produces Inanity

This Newsday headline caught my eye since I had written at length about hyperbole and its connection to describing Delay.

Unfortunately this article has nothing to do with hyperbole, in fact "hyperbole" is just a lazy, catch-all term that the AP is using here to refer to several different types of speech, none of them hyperbolic. Observe:

"Tom DeLay did nothing wrong," Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan., told reporters after the weekly GOP caucus meeting. "There's no evidence of any breaking of the House rules. What this is, is a political smear campaign made by an organization, a political party that is devoid of ideas."

This, boys and girls, is called a "talking point." It's not hyperbole. It's the approved line on a given issue handed down to apparatchiks by party leaders. Sometimes it's hard to recognize these, though less so when the fact that Delay is telling Republicans to say exactly this has been widely reported for the past two days.

Now the Democrats get a turn:

"Republicans are engaging in abuse of power and the American people are paying the price," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California. Added Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., "The Republicans in the House of Representatives are running the most closed and bitterly partisan House in the history of our country."

Again, this is a talking point. Whether or not it is "hyperbole" is a matter of judgment. Are the Republicans runing the most closed and bitterly partisan House in the history of the country? I personally doubt it; 109 congresses is a lot. But the specific things the GOP is being called out for are things they are actually doing. They did change the ethics rules to protect Delay. They are considering curtailing the filibuster. These charges are not hyperbole.

Down through the article we find really no hyperbole anywhere. Sloppy.

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