President Obama’s oil spill speech Tuesday night was a disappointment to most and was positively trashed by the Olbermann-Matthews cheerleading section at MSNBC. Ostensibly in crisis mode after the speech’s poor reception, CNN sought an alternative narrative from Paul J.J. Payack, president of Global Language Monitor, who explained that Obama missed the mark on account of his “professorial” tenor and linguistic constructions too sophisticated for his audience to understand.
The president’s use of 19.8 words per paragraph, Payack explained, “added some difficulty for his target audience.” Payack singled out one such difficult sentence:
“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.”
While I flip through my dictionary to sort that one out, I’m beginning to wonder why CNN didn’t make use of Paul Payack’s talent back when George W. Bush was talking about “misunderestimation” and “working hard to put food on your family.”