The Washington Post

State Department: Rosemary Woods redux?

Tape recorder

For example, at an informal gaggle Thursday with reporters, State Department briefing spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was peppered with questions about embassy closings as a result of recent demonstrations in Muslim countries protesting that YouTube video mocking the prophet Muhammad.

“[W]e’re making decisions on mission posture on a daily basis,” Nuland said.

“Embassy Tunis, Tripoli, Sanaa were again closed today,” she said. “Cairo was open. Consulate General Alexandria closed, Beirut open, Casablanca also open, Khartoum closed.”

She added, somewhat casually: “I feel like I’m doing the schools.”

After a few other questions about closings, a reporter asked, “I’m sorry, did you say you felt like you were doing the schools?”

“No, no, no, no, no. I – please,” she responded.

Curiously, when we got the official transcript a short time later, her “schools” observation was gone. “(inaudible),” the transcript says.

And then, even more oddly, the reporter’s later question reads: “I’m sorry. (inaudible)”

They must have been having audio difficulties. Clear as a bell on our recording.

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.


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