Okay, some follow-up on the âseesâ versus âseeksâ matter in the presidentâs speech before the Australian parliament last month, which is noted below.
Iâve done a little digging and hereâs what Iâve found out --- some of it helpful to the White House, some not.
According to a trusted source, the prepared remarks the White House handed out at the time did indeed include the word âseek.â
But when the president delivered the speech he pretty clearly said âseeâ, thus changing the meaning of the statement and creating a small international hubbub. (Listen to the audio feed here.)
The White House released the transcript of the presidentâs speech saying âsee.â The official record of the Australian parliament records it as âsee.â Perhaps most revealing, when asked about it by members of the press, administration officials traveling with the president in Asia defended the âseeâ statement and made no mention of the presidentâs having meant something different from what he said.
At some point people at the White House realized that the president had just committed a gaffe. He said âseeâ but they had told him to say âseekâ. And the folks at the White House seem to have reasoned, âhey, why are we defending this line when itâs not what he was supposed to have said in the first place?â So they just changed the transcript to say what the president was supposed to have said rather than what he did say.
Now, is this a federal case or the end of the world? Of course not. But this White House does have a bit of a record of massaging transcripts. And at the end of the day thereâs something to be said for the transcripts actually saying what the president said rather than what he was supposed to say.
Call me old-fashioned ...