Tuesday, January 24, 2006
We love to collect new ways to say "no comment," a phrase you'll never hear cross our lips when we're serving as the spokes-folk. Yesterday, it was Britain Prime Minister Tony Blair's turn. Answering questions about a case in which British diplomats are accused of spying on Russia, he said, "I'm afraid you are going to get the old stock in trade: 'We never comment on security matters,' except when we want to, obviously." The New York Times carries the quote in today's account. He's right -- exceptions are always made -- and the self-deprecating reference helps forestall protests from reporters by acknowledging a reality. And he still accomplished his goal: saying no comment without saying no comment.