Thursday, June 24, 2004

what is a rant?

intransitive verb: To speak or write in a angry or violent manner; rave.
transitive verb: To utter or express with violence or extravagance: a dictator who ranted his vitriol onto a captive audience.
Woke up this morning to KIRO News (CBS, I think) reporting that, although this time Gore didn't raise his voice, he was again attacking the Bush Administration.

This was obviously written by a reporter who neither read nor saw Gore's last speech.

Yesterday on NPR I heard a clip of the Clinton interview, and I believe it was the part where he was supposed to have lost his temper. On radio, although he definitely carries some emotion in his voice, it certainly doesn't detract from the point of his comments, which are presented as a well-reasoned argument.

If anyone wants to see someone really ranting, call up some of the video from Rumsfeld press conferences in March/April 2003. Remember when he claimed that all the news coverage of the post invasion looting was the same boy running away with a vase?

From an official transcript (April 11, 2004):
Rumsfeld: Let me say one other thing. The images you are seeing on television you are seeing over, and over, and over, and it's the same picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase, and you see it 20 times, and you think, "My goodness, were there that many vases?" (Laughter.) "Is it possible that there were that many vases in the whole country?"

Q: Do you think that the words "anarchy" and "lawlessness" are ill-chosen --

Rumsfeld: Absolutely. I picked up a newspaper today and I couldn't believe it. I read eight headlines that talked about chaos, violence, unrest. And it just was Henny Penny -- "The sky is falling." I've never seen anything like it! And here is a country that's being liberated, here are people who are going from being repressed and held under the thumb of a vicious dictator, and they're free. And all this newspaper could do, with eight or 10 headlines, they showed a man bleeding, a civilian, who they claimed we had shot -- one thing after another. It's just unbelievable how people can take that away from what is happening in that country!

Do I think those words are unrepresentative? Yes.
Rumsfeld: Well, let's just take a city. Take the port city, Umm Qasr -- what the plan was. Well, the British went in, they built a pipeline bringing water in from Kuwait; they cleared the mine of ports (sic); they brought ships in with food; they've been providing security. In fact, they've done such a lousy job, that the city has gone from 15,000 to 40,000. Now think of that. Why would people vote with their feet and go into this place that's so bad? The reason they're going in is because they're food, there's water, there's medicine and there's jobs. That's why. The British have done a fantastic job. They've done an excellent job.

And, does that mean you couldn't go in there and take a television camera or get a still photographer and take a picture of something that was imperfect, untidy? I could do that in any city in America. Think what's happened in our cities when we've had riots, and problems, and looting. Stuff happens! But in terms of what's going on in that country, it is a fundamental misunderstanding to see those images over, and over, and over again of some boy walking out with a vase and say, "Oh, my goodness, you didn't have a plan." That's nonsense. They know what they're doing, and they're doing a terrific job. Andm it's untidy, and freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things, and that's what's going to happen here.