comScore Talking Points Memo Unfairly Scare-Quotes Jeb Bush’s Use of the Word ‘Retarded’

Talking Points Memo Unfairly Scare-Quotes Jeb Bush’s Use of the Word ‘Retarded’

The word “retard” has two meanings: first, the insult meant to disparage mentally handicapped individuals, and second, “to make slow; delay the development or progress of (an action, process, etc.); hinder or impede.”

Jeb Bush used the word in a video recorded by American Bridge, with the obvious intent of using its second definition, in talking about immigration. He said, “We should not have a multicultural society. When you create pockets of isolation, and in some cases, the assimilation process has been retarded, it’s wrong. It limits people’s aspirations.”

Now, given the context plus the fact that someone like Bush wouldn’t just go ahead and say something randomly insulting like that, it’s pretty clear what he meant.

But Talking Points Memo still scare-quoted it up as if Bush meant it in the offensive context:

Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 5.31.20 PM

The reaction from some conservatives on Twitter was justifiably along the lines of WTF:

The New Republic‘s Jeet Heer started posting tweets defending the framing, but a few tweets into it he got some pushback from decidedly non-conservative people and by the end apologized:

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac