How many times every year does someone in the public eye say something totally offensive, indefensible, or incomprehensible? With the help up Twitter, more often than their well paid publicists would like, but everything is excused when they simply explain that they “misspoke.”
According to Dictionary.com the definition of misspeak is the following:
1. to speak, utter, or pronounce incorrectly.2. to speak inaccurately, inappropriately, or too hastily.
The only problem when public figures say they’ve “misspoken” is that they’ve said exactly what they think or feel. Nothing is particularly incorrect or inaccurate. What they’ve said may very well be inappropriate and said in haste, but the actual statement fully represents what they believe to either be true or feel is right.
So when Missouri Congressman Todd Akin made a fool of himself in an interview–by mentioning “legitimate rape” and making it quite evident that he never had a sex education or biology class–he didn’t “misspeak.” He accurately expressed his belief that there is a type of rape that cannot result in a pregnancy. Maybe he “misspoke” when he used the term ‘legitimate rape” instead of “forcible rape,” but the overall idea wasn’t incorrect or inaccurate.
The “I misspoke” excuse is really so tired and public figures aren’t fooling anyone. Everyone still thinks they’re offensive, bigoted, insensitive, ignorant, incomprehensible, or more simply put a douche, but now they think they’re a spineless douche.
So if celebrities or politicians say something completely repugnant to most of society, they should just stand by what they said and retreat into obscurity, but not lie and say they “misspoke.”