A family-friendly translation of Scaramucci-speak
It is one of those news weeks when you can't say what the news is without sliding below the standards of a family newspaper.
New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci expressed himself to journalist Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker in a lengthy rant unfit for print. This is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they created the position of communications director. Or, er, well, you see what I am getting at.
The last time this happened everyone decided that maybe the word could sneak into the lexicon and hang out with kids disguised as a pink hat, and I would like to get out in front of this one saying NO HATS, PLEASE. I do not want a fun whimsical hat depicting whatever Stephen K. Bannon was supposed to be doing.
But just because he cannot hold himself to these standards does not mean that we should abandon them ourselves. The family newspaper is right, and Anthony Scaramucci is wrong. I have taken the liberty of editing his remarks for broadcast into more appropriate language.
Good day, sir. I am looking forward to seeing you at tomorrow's press briefing, which will obviously be televised. I am calling to answer the question that you had about the administration. I would never call a journalist demanding the identity of a source. I would certainly never say you had to reveal a source as a test of patriotism. This is not a banana republic, although we do have an old navy.
"Is it an assistant to the President? OK, I'm going to fire every one of them, and then you haven't protected anybody, so the entire place will be fired over the next two weeks." (Dignified silence.)
"Reince is a [verbing] paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac. 'Oh, Bill Shine is coming in. Let me leak the [bleeping] thing and see if I can [impede] these people the way I [impeded] Scaramucci for six months.' "
Reince and I have had our differences. I sometimes feel that he seeks to interpose barriers between me and the things that I desire. "I've called the FBI and the Department of Justice."
I am not under the erroneous impression that my public disclosure form, a public document with the word public RIGHT THERE IN THE NAME, has been leaked(?!) by the White House chief of staff (!?!?). I certainly know that this is not a felony. "The swamp will not defeat him." I would never refer to myself in the third person.
"They're trying to resist me, but it's not going to work. I've done nothing wrong on my financial disclosures, so they're going to have to go [verb] themselves."
Indeed, they do thwart me in all manner of way, and hurt me full sore, but yet shall they not prevail, and any men who think ill of my disclosures must seek to know themselves more intimately.
"I'm not Steve Bannon, I'm not trying to [verb] my own [noun]. "I'm not trying to build my own brand off the [bleeping] strength of the President. I'm here to serve the country."
I lack Steve Bannon's flexibility and self-regard.
"He didn't get the hint that I was reporting directly to the President. And I said to the President here are the four or five things that he will do to me."
I have definitely not assembled an alarming chart to prove to the president that Reince Priebus is sabotaging my life, and I certainly have not gone into the president's presence and shouted: "THE BIRD! THE YELLOW BIRD! DO YOU NOT SEE HOW REINCE PRIEBUS AFFLICTS ME? AND WILL YE STAND BY?" I don't have a creepy and nonsensical list of ways to prove that Reince Priebus is conspiring against me, because I am not a maniac and the White House is not some sort of Tudor nightmare full of backstabbing and torches where everyone has also had a lot of stimulants.
"What I want to do is I want to [bleeping] kill all the leakers and I want to get the President's agenda on track so we can succeed for the American people."
I wish we had somewhat more message control. I believe in the president!
"OK, the Mooch showed up a week ago. This is going to get cleaned up very shortly, OK? Because I nailed these guys. I've got digital fingerprints on everything they've done through the FBI and the [bleeping] Department of Justice."
Again, I would never refer to myself in the third person. I am the White House communications director, not a man on a bus with a big bag of old newspapers ranting to himself about leaks and digital fingerprints.
"Well, the felony, they're gonna get prosecuted, probably, for the felony. The lie detector starts-" None of this.
"Well, he doesn't know the extent of all that, he knows about some of that, but he'll know about the rest of it first thing tomorrow morning when I see him."
I am definitely not going to see the president tomorrow. Are you kidding? For someone like me to have direct access to the president of the United States would be terrifying.
"Yeah, let me go, though, because I've gotta start tweeting some [noun] to make this guy crazy." (A dignified silence.) It would be one thing if it were just the words that were unprintable.
Alexandra Petri Washington Post