Linguist, lexicographer, writer, editor, broadcaster

By the way, Uday’s underwear, check it out

The oddest thing just now. I’m half-watching, half-listening to the France 2 18h hour-long news broadcast. They’re following American soldiers as they explore some of the buildings in Baghdad they now control. In the basement of Baghdad’s city hall, there are a large number of vintage automobiles, including a Cadillac and a Rolls Royce. A French news reporter is narrating throughout, translating what the American soldiers are saying when it’s relevant, but mostly just showing interesting video. Then, right at the end of the segment, with only male American soldiers on screen, you can clearly hear an American woman’s voice say, “By the way, Uday’s underwear, check it out.” In trying to figure out what she was talking about—was it feed borrowed from an American channel, and the voice that of an American newscaster, or was it a female American soldier on the scene but out of the picture, or a translator?—I discovered what passes for satire in Coffeyville. By the way, it took me almost 20 minutes to uncover the direct link for the France 2 video feed, since it pops up in an annoying browser window rather than being passed off to the RealVideo client application, as it should be.

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Grant Barrett