We've got news for you.

Register on BusinessLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

In 1966, as the US escalated its involvement in the Vietnam War, beleaguered president Lyndon Johnson and his administration denied the surge. Congressman (and later president) Gerald Ford coined the phrase “credibility gap” — the discrepancy between what a politician claims to be the case and the facts of the matter. Columnist Walter Lippmann suggested this was simply parsing words: “In order to avoid the embarrassment of calling a spade a spade, newspapermen have agreed to talk about a credibility gap. This is a polite euphemism for deception.”

The rancorous and foulmouthed behaviour of the US president, Donald Trump, and an adversarial media, have long relegated such euphemisms to the trash bin. Still, credibility gap is a useful lens to view the state of the nation speech delivered last week by our own head of state. It seemed incredible at two levels from the outset: first, that Cyril Ramaphosa commendably kept his cool in the face of the race-spewing rage and resentments...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.