Great listen: World in Words #114 on political language & Tucson

I've lost count how many times a story featured on the World in Words language podcast has shown up on my site, but it continues to be a thoughtfully produced weekly pod that clues me in to stories from the news that I might otherwise have missed. (It's produced by PRI and WGBH Boston, the people who produce The World, and hosted by Patrick Cox.) This week's podcast was on a story that is impossible to have missed, the shooting in Tucson, and political language surrounding it before and after the tragedy. But once again I learned a bit more, heard more debate on it, as the pod brought together some of the most interesting perspectives and soundbites that I've heard to date.

The whole controversy surrounding the use of the term "blood libel" in popular politics today--and especially since Sarah Palin's use of it in the aftermath of the shooting is discussed particularly well. Also stellar is the commentary on President Obama's remarks at the memorial service for the six victims of the Tucson shooting, and its comparison to President Clinton's similar position after the Oklahoma City bombing, and how their two approaches were distinctly different in their tone--Obama's lacking any politicized jabs at all.

Some of the most interesting stuff, the stuff I mentioned above, starts around 9:00, if you want to skip the first part (which is also interesting, on political language in a few European countries and how it differs!) and get to the best bits. Definitely worth a listen if you've got a few minutes. Patrick Cox pulled out some of the best discussion I've heard yet on the subject.

I land somewhat in the camp of supporting Palin's use of the term "blood libel," in that I see where she was trying to go with it. And some of the anti-Semetic backlash has been unnecessary. Even so, her entire video has some bizarre elements, which also confuse me. Making it, in my mind, all the more fascinating, given that I can see where the lines of contention fall between each side, and I understand both.

Anyway, listen.

[audio:|titles=World in Words Podcast #114]