BuzzFeed’s John Templon yesterday published a piece on elusive phrases offered by White House press secretaries after analyzing 5,000 briefings dating back to the 1993 Clinton White House.
President Clinton’s press secretaries George Stephanopoulos, Dee Dee Myers, Jake Siewert, and Joe Lockhart led their counterparts from the Obama and Bush administrations in their use of “weasel phrases,” as described by BuzzFeed as “I can’t comment on,” “I’m not aware [of/that/etc.],” and “I don’t know.”
Per every 1,000 words, Stephanopoulos and Myers uttered 12.5 and 11.0 “weasel phrases,” respectively, compared to Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer at 3.4
Click through to BuzzFeed for a list of trends as well as each press secretary’s favorite – evasive – phrases.