Lapsus Linguae

(a slip of the tongue, a mistake in uttering a word, an imprudent word inadvertently spoken; as expressed by public personalities in this series of articles)

Carter, Jimmy
Former President Jimmy Carter backed off from calling the Bush administration's foreign policy the "worst in history," describing his comments as "careless or misinterpreted."

Carter's comments, in an interview on Friday, May 18, 2007, with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette included the following:

"I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history."

"The overt reversal of America's basic values as expressed by previous administrations, including those of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon and others, has been the most disturbing to me."

"We now have endorsed the concept of pre-emptive war where we go to war with another nation militarily, even though our own security is not directly threatened, if we want to change the regime there or if we fear that some time in the future our security might be endangered," he said. "But that's been a radical departure from all previous administration policies."

—By Chrish in News Hounds, May 21, 2007.

It's the second major mea culpa this year from the Georgia Democrat, who in January apologized for what he called a "stupid" passage in his most recent book that many interpreted as a de facto endorsement of Palestinian violence against Israelis.

On May 22, 2007, Mr. Carter told NBC's "Today" program that he meant only to compare the Bush administration to that of former President Nixon's, as the latter has been both praised and panned by historians.

"No, that's not what I wanted to say. I wasn't comparing this administration with other administrations back through history but just with President Nixon."

Mr. Carter added that his comments were not meant as a personal insult to President Bush, stressing that he "certainly was not talking personally about any president."

Carter's lapsus linguae came in an interview published over the weekend in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "I think as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history."

—Based on information from
"Carter backpedals on Bush slap" by Eric Pfeiffer,
The Washington Times, May 22, 2007.
Gibson, Mel
Mel Gibson went on a rampage when he was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, hurling religious epithets.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's department had the initial report doctored to keep the real story from being revealed.

According to original report, Gibson became agitated after he was stopped on the Pacific Coast Highway and when he was told that he was to be detained for drunk driving Friday morning in Malibu; the actor began swearing uncontrollably.

Gibson repeatedly said, "My life is f****d." Law enforcement sources say the deputy, worried that Gibson might become violent, told the actor that he was supposed to cuff him but would not, as long as Gibson cooperated.

As the two stood next to the hood of the patrol car, the deputy asked Gibson to get inside. Deputy Mee then walked over to the passenger door and opened it.

The report says Gibson then said, "I'm not going to get in your car," and bolted to his car. The deputy quickly subdued Gibson, cuffed him and put him inside the patrol car.

Deputy Mee audiotaped the entire exchange between himself and Gibson, from the time of the traffic stop to the time Gibson was put in the patrol car, and the tape fully corroborated the written report.

Once inside the car, a source directly connected with the case says Gibson began banging himself against the seat. The report says Gibson told the deputy, "You mother f****r. I'm going to f*** you."

The report also says "Gibson almost continually [sic] threatened me saying he 'owns Malibu' and will spend all of his money to 'get even' with me."

The report says Gibson then launched into a barrage of anti-Semitic statements: "F*****g Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Gibson then asked the deputy, "Are you a Jew?"

The deputy became alarmed as Gibson's tirade escalated, and called ahead for a sergeant to meet them when they arrived at the station. When they arrived, a sergeant began videotaping Gibson, who noticed the camera and then said, "What the f*** do you think you're doing?"

A law enforcement source says Gibson then noticed another female sergeant and yelled, "What do you think you're looking at, sugar tits?"

Gibson took two blood alcohol tests, which were videotaped, and continued saying how "f****d" he was and how he was going to "f***" Deputy Mee.

Gibson was put in a cell with handcuffs on. He said he needed to urinate, and after a few minutes tried manipulating his hands to unzip his pants. Sources say Deputy Mee thought Gibson was going to urinate on the floor of the booking cell and asked someone to take Gibson to the bathroom.

After leaving the bathroom, Gibson then demanded to make a phone call. He was taken to a pay phone and, when he didn't get a dial tone, Gibson threw the receiver against the phone.

Deputy Mee then warned Gibson that if he damaged the phone he could be charged with felony vandalism. Gibson was then asked, and refused, to sign the necessary paperwork and was thrown in a detox cell.

Deputy Mee then wrote an eight-page report detailing Gibson's rampage and comments. Sources say the sergeant on duty felt it was too "inflammatory." A lieutenant and captain then got involved and calls were made to Sheriff's headquarters.

Sources say Mee was told Gibson's comments would incite a lot of "Jewish hatred," that the situation in Israel was "way too inflammatory." It was mentioned several times that Gibson, who wrote, directed, and produced 2004's "The Passion of the Christ," had incited "anti-Jewish sentiment" and "For a drunk driving arrest, is this really worth all that?"

Deputy Mee was then ordered to write another report, leaving out the incendiary comments and conduct. Sources say Deputy Mee was told the sanitized report would eventually end up in the media and that he could write a supplemental report that contained the redacted information; a report that would be locked in the watch commander's safe.

—Based on information from
"TMZ.COM", Friday, July 28, 2006.
Imus, Don
On the April 4, 2007, edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, host Don Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team, which is comprised of eight African-American and two white players, as "nappy-headed hos".

Immediately after that, the show's executive producer, Bernard McGuirk, called the team "hard-core hos."

Later, former Imus sports announcer Sid Rosenberg, who was filling in for sportscaster Chris Carlin, said: "The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the [National Basketball Association's] Toronto Raptors."

Imus' McGuirk on "young colored fellah" Obama "pretty much deckin' the old bag from New York"

On the March 16, 2007, edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, executive producer Bernard McGuirk, performing as his character "Cardinal Egan," said that "the whole nation is talking about" reports of a "young colored fellah pretty much deckin' the old bag from New York and takin' away some of her money."

McGuirk continued: "I'm speaking, of course, about [Sens.] Barack Obama [D-IL] and Hillary Clinton [D-NY]."

—Based on information from
"Media Matters for America", Monday, April 9, 2007.
Kerry, John
John Kerry botched a Bush punch line so badly, that it may qualify as the political gaffe of the year.

Speaking to college students in Pasadena, California, Kerry said, "You know, education -- if you make the most of it -- you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Here's the joke as it was supposed to be delivered: "I can't overstress the importance of a great education. Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush."

—Information from,
"Political Humor; John Kerry's Botched Joke",
by Daniel Kurtzman; Thursday, November 2, 2006.
Richards, Michael
Michael Richards exploded in anger as he performed at a famous L.A. comedy club last Friday, November 17, 2006; hurling racial epithets that left the crowd gasping.

Richards, who played the wacky Cosmo Kramer on the hit TV show "Seinfeld", appeared onstage at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood. Kyle Doss, an African-American, said he and some friends were in the cheap seats and he was playfully heckling Richards when suddenly, the comedian lost it.

Richards began his attack, screaming at one of the men, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f***ing fork up your ass."

Richards continued, "You can talk, you can talk, you're brave now motherf**ker. Throw his ass out. He's a nigger! He's a nigger! He's a nigger! A nigger, look, there's a nigger!"

The crowd was visibly and audibly confused and upset. Richards responded by saying, "They're going to arrest me for calling a black man a nigger."

One of the men who was the object of Richard's tirade was outraged, shouting back "That's un-f***ing called for, ain't necessary."

After the three-minute tirade, it appeared that the majority of the audience members got up and left in disgust.

—Based on information from
"TMZ.COM", Monday, November 20, 2006.

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