Is ‘Purposefully Crisp’ the new metaphor for No Comment?

As always, I spend my morning cup of coffee with the NY Times, my favorite blogs, and links that others offer up like the latest on line issue of Newsweek.  My end of the day reads include the WSJ and Market Watch and anything new that has popped up on The Economist.  I read the NYT’s coverage of the Obama presser with more than passing  interest.  They lured me over with this description:  “answers were purposefully crisp — and, at times, laced with humor”.   I had to read through the first dog conversation and the Nancy Reagan gaffe and apology before getting to the supposed purpose of the entire event:  What Will an Obama Administration do with the current economic situation?  Let me just highlight a few more of those ‘purposefully crisp’ answers which appears to be the Times new metaphor for no comment.

  • No NEW specifics, stagecraft

Mr. Obama, who stood a few feet in front of an array of economic advisers as well as Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Representative Rahm Emanuel, the new White House chief of staff, offered no new specifics about what he intended to do to curb the economic crisis. But the stagecraft of the news conference, held after a closed-door meeting of Mr. Obama’s economic advisers, was intended to show that he was hard at work in search of solutions.

  • Little Guidance, Saying only, narrow window of room to adjust
Mr. Obama offered little guidance on how he wanted the Treasury Department to carry out the $700 billion government plan to stabilize the financial markets, saying only that he would review any decisions made by the Bush administration.He suggested that he intended to move ahead with his campaign pledge to take away tax cuts for upper-income Americans, but seemed to leave a narrow window of room to adjust his proposal.
  • imprecise campaign pledges have caused some confusion

Mr. Obama’s imprecise campaign pledges have caused some confusion about when he would repeal the Bush tax cuts on Americans making more than $250,000 a year.

  • left unclear

He left unclear whether a tax bill signed into law next year would make the repeal effective retroactively for all of 2009 as well as 2010.

  • did not claify

Mr. Obama did not clarify his intentions Friday.

One thing was clear.  President Elect Obama just loves those Possum Seals.

The session carried the trappings of an official event, with eight American flags lined against blue drapes, and a freshly made seal on the lectern: “The Office of the President Elect.”

The Office of the President Elect is still considering Larry Summers.  Let me highlight from that article.

CHICAGO — Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, a member of the new economic advisory board that met with President-elect Barack Obama here on Friday, is also a leading candidate to be the next Treasury chief.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers’s policies and his tenure as Harvard president have surfaced as issues.

Reaching back farther, other Web sites have resurrected a 1991 memorandum that Mr. Summers signed as an economist at the World Bank that suggested parts of Africa could be repositories for toxic waste.

Mr. Summers, 53, left the meeting on Friday with Mr. Obama without answering a question about the controversies, and Obama advisers declined to discuss them.

That prospect has critics of Mr. Summers, particularly on the Democratic Party’s left, reviving old controversies in hopes of dooming his chances. In the days since Mr. Obama was elected, liberal bloggers have sought to ignite an online opposition by recalling the rocky five years Mr. Summers spent as president of Harvard, where he angered many women and blacks before resigning in 2006.

If any of your Obot friends are suggesting you start celebrating with them, just remind them that there appears to still be a huge bus fleet around the country with a large entourage under the bus.  If Prop 8, continual misogyny, FISA reversals, the Easter lecture to black men, or being told you need a committee to decide if you’re just having one of those third term abortions because you’re “blue” didn’t put you there, perhaps the latest set of okie dokes just did.  Be sure to check for tire tracks on your back.  That’s a purposefully crisp sign.  Oh, and I’ve decided to let Former First Lady Nancy Reagan pick out our under the bus China.

3 Comments on “Is ‘Purposefully Crisp’ the new metaphor for No Comment?”

  1. warrior princess says:

    The real problem here is that most people who voted for BO still don’t know they’ve been had, and they probably never will.

  2. dakinikat says:

    well, i think when they find out that he can’t wave a magic wand and make next year’s economy go away, there are going to be a few folks unhappy in Mudville…

    sooner or later they’ll notice he can’t walk on water without a teleprompter and a bunch of wires manipulated by others

  3. Steven Mather says:


    I appreciate your vigilence and due diligence.

    I am reminded of the scene in the Foundation series where the locals record every word and action of a diplomat who visits for three days. After the diplomat leaves, the locals run an analysis. They discover that the diplomat skillfully balanced each and every positive and negative comment he made so that it was impossible to determine what positions, if any, he favored.

    I worry when the news reports a “form” that effectively lies about an event’s (lack of) “substance.” Given that the event was mere stagecraft, how far is reporting “purposefully crisp” statements about nothing, from reporting that the chocolate ration is being increased to 10 grams from 12 grams?

    I appreciate that my comment is strong, but one need only recall the news media cheerleading that lead America into Iraq, to see that some strength is warranted. For example, three years after they reported that the weapons inspectors pulled out of Iraq, they lied and said that the inspectors had been kicked out. No retractions or apologies were forthcoming for this deception. The point to take is that the substance of the matter was deemed irrelevant (the inspectors left of their own accord), if it went against the form, which was the theme that Iraq had something to hide.