BOSTON (CBS) – There wasn’t much humor to be found in yesterday’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing featuring former FBI Director James Comey.
But one moment was so absurd I had to laugh out loud, maybe to keep from crying.
At one point Comey described a conversation with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who he says asked him not to refer publicly to the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s misuse of her computer as an “investigation.”
What should he call it? A “matter,” she suggested.
Comey has a good poker face, but even he had to fight back a smirk, it looked like to me.
He told the committee he agreed, knowing that no one in the media would call it a “matter,” and that proved to be true. They all called it what it was; an “investigation.”
But this kind of stuff goes on all the time, because if you control the language used to describe things, you can control the branding and the public perception of what’s going on.
Consider the oxymoronic official name for Obamacare, the “Affordable Care Act,” which it has turned out not to be for many customers.
Perhaps mindful of the backlash against that subterfuge, the Republicans named their recent dud of an Obamacare replacement the “American Health Care Act,” which also deserves scorn given how many millions of Americans will lose their health care if it is enacted.
Why do politicians think they can get away with this stuff?
Because they think we’re stupid, and enough of us are to fuel the farce.
But let’s not use that controversial word.
Let’s just say some of us are “counter-intelligent.”
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