Saturday, July 28, 2007

New Heart Device Installed in Cheney

WASHINGTON, July 28 — Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a long history of heart disease, had minor surgery Saturday to replace the implanted cardiac device that can monitor and correct his heart rhythm, the White House said.

Years ago, Time magazine developed a series of expressions their writers were to use to get certain messages across to the reader while limiting the chance of legal action against the magazine. For example, Time never said that a politician was drunk in public, which can be very harmful to a person's career and can't be proved by a reporter without a verified blood alcohol report made at the scene. In Timespeak, drunk public officials were "dazed and confused" as they rambled in their speech. If they were a crying drunk they were "tired and emotional". A person's illicit lover (whether homosexual or extramarital or both) was their "great and good friend".

The idea continues to this day. When Rudy Giuliani was found having an affair with a member of his mayoral staff, the Village Voice tiptoed around the issue by saying that the woman "had served under him in a variety of positions over the years".

Therefore I love the Times' use in this headline of the verb "installed". I believe that like "dazed and confused' and "served under him", the phrase means more than it says: it's as if they're trying to tell us that like Darth Vader, Cheney is now more machine than man.

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