After Jon Kyl, this is not intended to be a factual statement


Henry Kissinger accompanies Sen. Jon Kyl to the weekly Republican policy luncheon on Capitol Hill. (Melina Mara — /The Washington Post)

Jon Stewart lit into him, with correspondent Wyatt Cenac noting, “he doesn’t want Planned Parenthood to get money and the true facts don’t favor him, but the lie facts stack up very strongly in Kyl’s favor.”

Stephen Colbert launched the Twitter hashtag #Notintendedtobeafactualstatement, producing such gems as “Jon Kyl once ate a badger he hit with his car. #notintendedtobeafactualstatement.” (There are more, and they’re great!)

But I wish Jon Kyl had gone a step farther. If you’re not intending to make a factual statement, why even say something with numbers in it? Go big, or go home, say I! If you don’t even vaguely sort of possibly intend to make a factual statement, the sky is the limit. You could just start reciting the Book of Job. You could say something colorful, like, “Planned Parenthood is responsible for what happened to the unicorns” or just look into the eyes of Congress and murmur, “I love you.”

Still, it’s at least nice that they admitted it. Usually people complain that they don’t know what “is” means or can’t tell the difference between old people and meals. That’s sort of alarming, but, in their defense, they work long hours and there are certain people out there who are completely indistinguishable from gregarious celery.

But America, are we okay with this as an excuse? Because if so, I’m going to start writing a lot more pieces about how Michele Bachmann sneaks around at night tampering with the water supply to succor her Charizard progeny, or that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is actually inside all the airport hand dryers, which explains why they do such a poor job of hand-drying.

Just say the word.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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