W on the People of the Subcontinent

On Monday, W. spoke to reporters about the crisis in South Asia. Here’s what he said:

I don’t believe the situation is defused yet, but I do believe there is a way to do so, and we are working hard to convince both the Indians and the Pakis there’s a way to deal with their problems without going to war.

Not all the news reports mentioned his use of the word “Pakis”. The Reuters report has “Pakistanis”; the BBC dropped the offending clause altogether; and the later report in Newsday conceded that the President had used a “slang term” which it described, in unexplained, unsourced quotation marks, as “definitely a derogatory term for Pakistanis”. W.’s spokesperson later denied he meant to be disrespectful; and on the strength of a statement from a spokesperson at the Pakistani embassy that “he did not consider what Bush said to be an insult”, the people at Opinion Journal decided that
“the whole ‘controversy’ in other words, seems to have been an invention of the White House press corps”. Some useful discussion is over at monkeyfish.com.

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