President Obama’s recent geography gaffe seemingly flew under the media’s radar. And in one instance, there was an attempt to paper it over.
During his recent appearance with Jay Leno, the president was talking about the need for bipartisan cooperation in making certain US harbors deeper.
He said that “The Panama is being widened so that these big supertankers can come in. Now that will be finished in 2015. If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don’t do that, those ships are going to go someplace else. And we’ll lose jobs.”
When his remarks were reported by the Associated Press, the news agency included the words “(and in)”.
AP subsequently issued the following apology for embellishing upon what the president actually said. “Charleston, Savannah, and Jacksonville are not Gulf ports. It wasn’t known if the president was suggesting they were. The AP should not have added the phrase in an effort to clarify his statement.”
No other media outlet seemed to pick up on the Obama geography miscue. It was for the most part ignored.
The president and other high-profile politicians are constantly under a microscope. And anybody from the president on down can inadvertently put their foot in their mouth, especially those who do a lot of public speaking. However imagine just for a second if this Gulf geography gaffe was made by President George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, or another GOP notable.
Last week, MSNBC committed a geography goof of its own when it put up a graphic of the president’s upcoming New York State bus tour that was all wrong in terms of the location of four major cities.
During the same Leno interview, the president said “The odds of dying in a terrorist attack are a lot lower than they are of dying in a car accident, unfortunately.”
George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley zoned in on the the word “unfortunately.” Wrote Turley: “It was clearly a slip of the tongue but for civil libertarians it was a signature moment since our burgeoning security state seems to be working desperately to keep fear alive. For many who have criticized the rise of the security state, it sounded like an authoritarian Freudian slip.” During the same interview, Obama also insisted that “we don’t have a domestic spying program.”