Peggy Noonan had an article yesterday in the WSJ yesterday where she opines on why government talks in indecipherable language. The explanation is fairly simple.
You can’t “sound bite” a complicated paragraph of “indecipherable language” which frustrates “journalists” into printing the whole statement. If you say “go to the doctor” like normal people, all of a sudden you have pundits and reps from the Chiropractic Association, the LPR association, the nursing folks, the OD people, etc… they are not DOCTORS per se, but “health professionals” practicing at “health care facilities” which may or may not be a doctor’s office or a hospital.
The politicians are not doing this to us; we are doing this to ourselves. We have become a nation of sectors and factions. Doctors are now health care professionals lest we offend ODs, LPNs, RNs, Midwives, Chiropractors, holistic healers, blah, blah, blah… When did teachers become “educators?” just on and on…
If Kathleen Sebelius would have said “go to the doctor” you then hand the reporter the ammunition to blast you with, “so, what do you have against chiropractors?” and the argument then become damage control with the Chiropractors Association rather than movement forward on any meaningful health care program.
Because today’s journalists are lazy, ill-informed and stupid. Because they are always scanning the on-going conversation for the sound bite that will make them another Woodward and Bernstein. Because they are looking for the “gotcha” moment that will put them on the front page or the top five minutes.
Government (and business) talks in indecipherable language because reporting has become about advancing the career of a journalist rather than protecting the citizens from the ambitions of government. Because government people have figured out that keep keep you from talking and writing, they need to keep you thinking.
And they know you won’t.