Thursday, June 17, 2010

Asnine Speech Analysis of the Day

CNN tries to figure out the disconnect between President Obama's most recent speech on the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the public's reaction.

Their conclusion?

It's our fault that we didn't comprehend the speech.
President Obama's speech on the gulf oil disaster may have gone over the heads of many in his audience, according to an analysis of the 18-minute talk released Wednesday.

Tuesday night's speech from the Oval Office of the White House was written to a 9.8 grade level, said Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor. The Austin, Texas-based company analyzes and catalogues trends in word usage and word choice and their impact on culture.

Though the president used slightly less than four sentences per paragraph, his 19.8 words per sentence "added some difficulty for his target audience," Payack said.

He singled out this sentence from Obama as unfortunate: "That is why just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation's best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge -- a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation's secretary of energy."

That's why Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and a whole litany of media types panned the speech?

Matthews did post-graduate work in Economics. Olbermann graduated from Cornell. So the speech was over their heads?

Those are some of the Administration's biggest media supporters, and they panned the speech because it contained nothing really new and nothing we hadn't already heard in the last 57 days. I'm not a fan of either Olbermann or Matthews, but this speech was panned across the board by people of all kinds of educational backgrounds - including those who attended Ivy League universities.

Maybe it wasn't so much how he said it but what he said - or didn't say?

You know - maybe it was the content of the speech that upset so many people.

This isn't about the audience's inability to understand the President. It is that the President's speech was lacking on the specifics and general policies that will help get the oil spill under control and make sure that BP does everything within its power to stop the flow of oil into the Gulf.

The speech was ineffective because the President wasn't offering anything that we haven't already heard from the Administration through its multiple sources.

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