The Nation: It's Inoperative: They Misspoke Themselves

THE Nixon Administration has developed a new language—a kind of Nix-speak. Government officials are entitled to make flat statements one day, and the next day reverse field with the simple phrase, "I misspoke myself." White House Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler enlarged the vocabulary last week, declaring that all of Nixon's previous statements on Watergate were "inoperative." Not incorrect, not misinformed, not untrue—simply inoperative, like batteries gone dead. Euphemisms notwithstanding, the Nixon Administration's verbal record on Watergate is enough to turn ardent believers into skeptics. Some examples of "inoperative" statements from Administration officials...

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