Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: President Bush misspoke at a right-to-life rally and repeatedly said 'feces' instead of 'fetus.'
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]
Origins: This item is nothing more than a fabrication which plays on President Bush's reputation for making verbal miscues
We don't know if the coincidence was intentional, but this fictional anecdote echoes a similar tale told about a different president. In this case the president was Ronald Reagan, and his involvement with the gaffe was as a listener rather than as the speaker:
Perhaps the best of Reagan's one-liners came after he attended his last ceremonial dinner, with the Knights of Malta in New York City onHow much truth there is to this anecdote is difficult to determine, as multiple versions differ regarding the details of who made the embarrassing remark, how the blunder was worded, and how President Reagan supposedly responded to it:
En route back to Washington on Air Force One, Reagan twinkingly joined his aides in the main cabin. "Well," he said, "that's the first time I've flown to New York in formal attire to be told I was a piece of shit."1
Shortly before the president left office, Peter Grace, who chaired the Grace Commission to recommend efficiency in government, introduced Reagan at a banquet of anti-abortion advocates. It took a man like Reagan, Grace explained, to point out the simple truth that "all living people started life as feces." When some listeners gasped, Grace repeated himself forcefully: "Yes, even you started out as feces. And now dinner is served."2Last updated: 13 August 2007
[H]ow about this news report: "FECES RIGHTS. Appearing with Ronald Reagan at a New York anti-abortion gathering, Neil Bacon, chairman of
Toward the end of his second term, Reagan attended a pro-life dinner at which businessman Peter Grace, who headed the Grace Commission on government waste, mistakenly spoke of the urgent need for laws that protect the life of "feces." The audience gasped, but Grace didn't catch on. "I was once a feces," he said. "You were feces." And so on. After the dinner Reagan was apologetically approached by the organizers of the dinner, who asked him whether he was embarrassed. "Oh no," he said. "But I'm afraid the feces really hit the fan tonight."4
Appearing with Ronald Reagan at an anti-abortion event in New York, Peter Grace reminded his audience, "Everyone who's for abortion was at one time themselves a feces."5
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