Secretary Clinton’s Russian reset button goofski didn’t exactly go unnoticed. But it has, apparently, gone entirely unexamined.
No questions have been asked about it during the daily DOS press briefing; and the Department hasn’t made —and won’t be making— any explanation.
Can you imagine if this mistake had been made by a Republican SOS in the service of a Republican POTUS? Can you? I mean, really, can you?
The Washington Times was apparently the only journalistic operation with an inquiring mind in this regard:
Although the networks aired small segments on the debacle Friday, no media ever sought an explanation, or, more importantly, what steps the State Department was taking to make sure it didn’t happen again. Even after the secretary returned, not one reporter has asked about the episode during the department’s daily briefings.
“This is another clear example of the double standard that exists,” said Roger Aronoff, a media analyst for Accuracy in Media. “If this had happened in the Bush administration, to President Bush in particular or even to Condi Rice, it would have gotten a whole lot more publicity and ridicule by the mainstream media.”
Then again, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice would likely have caught the mistake – she’s fluent in Russian.
Rich Noyes, research director for the Media Research Center, has an easy explanation for the quick disappearance of the fiasco. “It was a weekend story, and so it didn’t get huge coverage,” he said, but he added that the mixup doesn’t jibe with the positive coverage of Mrs. Clinton’s trip, which “has been all about how she’s going to give us a fresh start.”
The U.S. media have all but ignored the gaffe, but the Russian media have had a field day with it. The newspaper Kommersant ran a picture of the red button alongside the words: “Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton pushed the wrong button.” A correspondent for Russian NTV television called it a “symbolic mistake.”
Mrs. Clinton certainly isn’t the first U.S. official to blunder when trying to say something in a foreign language.
In Warsaw, President Carter’s translator, trying to relay to Poles that the president “understood their anxiety,” stated that the president desired them sexually.
Still, Irene Frishman, managing director of Language Solutions International in New Hampshire, found Mrs. Clinton’s error hard to understand.
“So Hillary Clinton went to Russia using garbage translators?” the native of Russia said. “Ha. This is not a difficulty in the translation, but rather the person who did the translation was simply not qualified for the job. Tell her we will help next time.”