Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Day of Miracles 

Zemblan patriot J.M. reports that today, Wednesday, April 20, 2005, owing to her poor command of Russian, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice twice blurted out the truth:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tried out her rusty Russian in a Moscow radio interview Wednesday, only to get caught out by a question on whether she might run for president.

"Da (Yes)," Rice answered in Russian, before realizing her misunderstanding and hastily adding "Nyet" (No) -- seven times.

Rice's interview on Ekho Moskvy radio turned into a linguistic ordeal when the Soviet expert and former provost of Stanford university fielded a schoolgirl listener's question on how she achieved her career success.

"It's too complicated to answer!" Rice, in Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin, started out in English. "It is an opportunity for me to come back to Russia, a place I love very much. I love the culture and the language" . . . .

Apparently meaning to say that she would like to do her next interview in the language of her host, she chose a verb that sounded more like "to earn money" than the Russian for "to do."
We are, as it says below, the soul of generosity, and so we do not wish to criticize Ms. Rice too harshly for these trivial bloopers, since Russian culture is plainly not her area of experti-- oh, wait; it is? Oh, dear.

Fortunately, the program was on a six-second time delay, and so the studio technicians were able to spare Ms. Rice (and the U.S.) the embarrassment of broadcasting her closing remarks, which left the host, a married man, quite speechless. Apparently what she'd meant to say was "Thank you so much for having me."

UPDATE (via our esteemed colleague Maya of Suburban Guerrilla): Here's Rice in her more familiar truth-suppressing mode:
On Monday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told her senior staff she was disappointed about the stream of allegations [about John Bolton] and said she did not want any information coming out of the department that could adversely affect the nomination, said officials speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Think Progress profitably juxtaposes the WaPo clip above with this excerpt from U.S. Code Title 18, § 1505:
Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede…the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress–-

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

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