Counterculture Con HQ

June 17, 2010

CNN: Obama speech too Smart for Stupid Electorate

The Lib Media has a narrative, and here’s how it works:  when Bush’s polls tanked, that was proof he was dumb, incompetent, out of touch, etc.  His unpopularity in the polls reflected positively on the American people who were depicted as rising above their simple-minded and innately boorish inner “Sarah Palin”.  Their anger at Republicans is always to the American people’s credit.  Fast forward to the present.  When Obama’s polls tank, the narrative suddenly changes, and this very same American public is now depicted as greedy, angry, etc., you get the picture.  A variation of this theme is the American public are stupid:

Language guru: Obama speech too ‘professorial’ for his target audience

(CNN)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.”

“A little less professorial, less academic and more ordinary,” Payack recommended. “That’s the type of phraseology that makes you (appear) aloof and out of touch.”

The monitor’s chief word analyst found these three sentences insensitive: “Already, this oil spill is the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, it is not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days. The millions of gallons of oil that have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico are more like an epidemic, one that we will be fighting for months and even years.”

“You shouldn’t be saying that in Katrina land,” said Payack, referring to the 2005 hurricane that devastated the Gulf Coast. “New Orleans lost a third of its population; it’s still recovering.”

But he praised Obama’s phrase “oil began spewing” as active and graphic.

At a micro level, the average word in the speech contained 4.5 letters, a bit longer than is typical for the former constitutional law professor, Payack said.  Obama’s nearly 10th-grade-level rating was the highest of any of his major speeches and well above the Grade 7.4 of his 2008 “Yes, we can” victory speech, which many consider his best effort, Payack said.

“The scores indicate that this was not Obama at his best, especially when attempting to make an emotional connection to the American people,” he added.


The people of which this study presumes to speak aren’t the people who set aside an hour of their lives to listen to Presidents bloviate at length from the Oval Office about national concerns.  Sorry, they aren’t.  These Americans tend to be engaged citizens who are informed and care about the world around them.  But to elitists of the media, if President Obama’s speech was poorly received by his audience, it’s not because he gave a political speech about a problem the American people quite accurately perceive is a technical one.  No, it couldn’t possibly be that.  Rather, it’s because they’re stupid!  They don’t know English, and must be appealed to emotionally.

The truth is, when the American people sat down in front of their TVs that night, they wanted to hear the President talk about solving the oil spill, not a speech about Obama’s green agenda for the second half of his term.  Never let a serious crisis go to waste!  The American people just want the damn hole plugged, and the beaches and Gulf coast livelihoods protected, not speeches about energy taxes and windmills.  That’s it!  That’s all they wanted that night.  When instead of technical solutions to the problem at hand, they got infantilizing “green” speeches more suited to a presidential CAMPAIGN than to a national crisis, they rightly perceived the government was powerless in the face of this disaster, and was basically just WINGING it.  That is why his speech bombed, and that, as far as I’m concerned, reflects extremely well on the American people.

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