Obituary: Ron Ziegler ; Richard Nixon's Loyal Press Secretary
Cornwell, Rupert, The Independent (London, England)
RON ZIEGLER'S great contributions to America were to his country's political vocabulary. As Richard Nixon's press spokesman, it fell early on to him to describe the Watergate break-in as "a third-rate burglary". He is also credited with coining the term "inoperative" for later statements on the scandal that subsequently proved wrong.
In fact, transcripts show he never used the word. After one administration volte-face on Watergate, he declared, "This is the operative statement." A reporter asked if all earlier statements on the subject were therefore "inoperative". To which Ziegler replied in his laconic fashion, "Yes." A political catchphrase had been born, to be heard …
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Publication information: Article title: Obituary: Ron Ziegler ; Richard Nixon's Loyal Press Secretary. Contributors: Cornwell, Rupert - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: February 12, 2003. Page number: 20. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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