WORDnote: Today is World AIDS Day.
“On Oct. 15, 1982, at a White House press briefing, reporter Lester Kinsolving asked press secretary Larry Speakes about a horrifying new disease called AIDS that was ravaging the gay community.
“‘What’s AIDS?‘ Speakes asked.
“‘It’s known as the ‘gay plague,’” Kinsolving replied.
“‘I don’t have it,’ Speakes replied. ‘Do you?’ The room erupted in laughter again.
“Speakes continued to parry Kinsolving’s questions with quips, joking that Kinsolving himself might be gay simply because he knew about the disease. The press secretary eventually acknowledged that nobody in the White House, including Reagan, knew anything about the epidemic.”
—Mark Joseph Stern, “Listen to Reagan’s Press Secretary Laugh About Gay People Dying of AIDS,” Slate, Dec. 1, 2015
• Editorial Comment: Happy World AIDS Day.
PeezPix by Ted Pease
Woodley Island Marina
Get TODAY'S WORD ON JOURNALISM in your email every weekday morning during WORD season. This is a free “service” sent to the 2,000,000 or so misguided subscribers around the planet. If you have recovered from whatever led you to subscribe and don’t want it anymore, send “unsubscribe” to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you want to afflict someone else, send me the email address and watch the fun begin. (Disclaimer: I just quote ’em, I don’t necessarily endorse ’em. But all contain at least a kernel of insight. Don’t shoot the messenger.) #tedsword
Ted Pease, Professor of Interesting Stuff, Trinidad, California. (Be)Friend The WORD
“Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” —Tom Stoppard