Friday, October 03, 2008
Cokie Roberts and some conservative blogs have siezed upon Joe Biden's use of the word "Bosniak" last night to describe the Muslim population of Bosnia as an example of a gaffe on his part. It is not. When the wars in Yugoslavia broke out, the American news agencies looked through 19th century travel literature to find possible names for all these people that they had never heard of. They tried out Bosniak, Bosniac, Bosniard, and every possible construction this side of Bosnistani before settling on Bosnian for their official stylebooks. Meanwhile, the State Department and CIA settled on Bosniak for their official publications. Since Biden, as a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, probably gets more of his information about the region from government publication than from the commercial news media, it makes sense that he would use Bosniak. The point goes to Biden and Cokie has to stay after school and write "I am as dumb as a wingnut blogger" 500 times.