Worst Disaster

Claim:   Television news screen shot captures President Bush with an inadvertently humorous caption.

Status:   True.

Examples:   [Collected on the Internet, 2005]

Is this real or faked? It seems almost too good to be true: President Bush

Origins:   Captions accompanying television news broadcasts have to convey information about often complex topics in relatively few words, a situation which can sometimes produce inadvertently humorous ambiguity.

The screen shot displayed above, presumably captured from a Sky News (Ireland) broadcast, uses a text caption in conjunction with a video clip of President Bush to convey that the President had declared Hurricane Katrina to be "one of the worst disasters to hit the U.S." Without the video context however, the caption could be read as labeling President Bush "one of the worst disasters ever to hit the U.S.," especially given the lack of quotation marks to offset the phrase and indicate it was a paraphrase of his words rather than the news agency's descriptor.

Last updated:   8 September 2005