Cafe 227

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Definition of Irony and the Media's Incompetence


1. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.

2. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.

3. A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect.

Why am I recounting this here? In case the President of the United States reads this humble blog. See, earlier today President Bush made the following utterance:

"See the irony is what [the United Nations] need[s] to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it's over."

Of course, the popular media jumped all over this. "OMG, the President cussed!", they exclaimed in unison.

But why is this surprising or even undesirable? I'm sure Winston Churchill cussed; no one crucified him over it. Nay, the real story to me is our President's woefully improper usage of the word "irony." Unless I'm taking his statement out of context (and if I am, someone please correct me), I simply don't see what's ironic about the scenario the President describes. I mean, it's nothing like rain falling on one's wedding day. (Wait a minute, that's not ironic either. Doesn't anyone know how to use this word properly?)

(Actually, the real real story here, as Ezra Klein over at the Prospect points out, is the popular media completely ignoring anything of substance in the exchange - i.e., Bush's belief that it's "within the Syrian government's power to calm the conflict" - and instead exclusively focusing on a four-letter word that, as far as four-letter words go, isn't really all that bad.)


  • Well put, Johnny. The substance of what was said has been totally lost. Further, no one has addressed that President Bush is a "smacker." Didn't anyone see him going to town on that salad? I mean, Tony Blair was probably like, "Listen, I talked to Kofi and we're going to need a peacekeeping foooorce... yeah... why don't you answer when you're finished chewing."

    By Blogger Chico's Bail Bonds, at 9:03 AM  

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