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Sound bite

Posted by ESC on July 08, 2003

In Reply to: Sound-bite posted by ESC on July 08, 2003

: : : Hi,

: : : Could anyone tell me what the following sentence means?

: : : A senior politician is only ever a sound-bite away from destruction.

: : : Thanks a lot.

: : Back in 1948 a Mr. Strom Thurmond ran a very hate-filled, racist and segregationist campaign for the US Presidency.
: : A few months ago a Mr. Trent Lott, a powerful Senate Majority Leader, publicly praised Mr. Thurmond's 1948 campaign as being a milestone in societal improvements and advancements.
: : This "sound-bite" of Mr. Lott created such atonishment that he was forced to resign and his long career was surely destroyed.

: TV news only uses seconds of a speech, interview, etc. So they select "sound bites," a quotable quote. The "wrong" sound bite can ruin a career.

From Merriam-Webster online:

Main Entry: sound bite
Function: noun
Date: 1972
: a brief recorded statement (as by a public figure) broadcast especially on a television news program; also : a brief catchy comment suitable for use as a sound bite