Quote: “I don’t buy the ‘fog of war’ defense. It was a fog of bureaucracy.” Former FEMA director Michael Brown, speaking to the Associated Press.
Figure of Speech: antistasis (an-TIS-ta-sis), the figure that changes a word’s meaning.
The White House says its incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina resulted from limited and confusing information—“the fog of war,” they call it. “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees,” President Bush said four days after Hurricane Katrina.
But videotape leaked to the AP shows Bush himself was well warned—by Brown among others. Brown fires off an antistasis (“anti-position”), which repeats a word in order to change its meaning. The antistasis lets you use an opponent’s own term to redefine the issue.
Brown is making a good start on the post-hurricane restoration of…Brown.
Snappy Answer: “And now, apparently, we’re in the fog of spin.”