washingtonpost.com  > Columns > Art Buchwald

TV, a Two-Way Medium

By Art Buchwald
Tuesday, February 15, 2005; Page C02

"It is a known fact . . ."

"Common sense prevails . . ."

"The consensus is . . ."

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"We can't say that until we have all the facts."

"Numbers don't necessarily mean what they say they mean."

"You have to agree with me whether you want to or not."

"The polls can be wrong."

"With all due respect . . ."

This is known as "TV Speak." You hear it on television all the time. The greatest practitioner is Don Rumsfeld, who uses not only the words but also his hands when he says them.

I love TV Speak because I can talk back to my television set.

When Rumsfeld says, "We can't judge that until all the facts are in," I yell back, "What facts, Rummy, and why aren't they all in?!"

If he says, "Common sense prevails," I want to know, whose common sense? The president's? The Pentagon's? The administration's? Ahmed Chalabi's?

When Rumsfeld says, when questioned by Sen. Edward Kennedy, "With all due respect," I blurt out, "You don't have any due respect for Senator Kennedy or any respect at all!"

The one you hear all the time is, "We may not have found any weapons of mass destruction, but it was worth it. We did capture Saddam Hussein."


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