As I`ve often remarked, the word “controversial” has undergone a striking metamorphosis over my lifetime. From reading the Los Angeles Times in, say, 1967-1974, I recall that the word “controversial” was then a mark of approval: it was headline shorthand for new, exciting, forward-thinking, and, most of all, sexy.
Today, “controversial” usually means disreputable, derisible, and demonizable. (This may have something to do with the winners of 1967-1974 being more or less still in charge of our culture in 2014.)
So, it will be interesting to see how Obama`s nomination of Stanley Fischer, until recently head central banker for the Israeli government, to be Vice Chairman of the U.S. government`s Federal Reserve Board will be treated in the American mainstream press.
Will Obama`s nomination of an Israeli dual-citizen be described as “controversial?”
Or, will any skepticism of the nomination be shunted aside as “controversial?”
Or, will the whole thing simply be treated as not being controversial at all, that everybody knows that high-ranking foreign government officials routinely become high-ranking U.S. government officials (even if it`s hard to think of too many examples), so this is just a dog-bites-man business-as-usual story and no reason at all to distract the public`s attention from the Really Big National News, the important issues you must think about, such as lane-closures in New Jersey?
From Google News about 30 hours after word that the President would nominate Fischer went on the news:
“Chris Christie” controversial: “About 70,900 results (0.24 seconds)”
“Stanley Fischer” controversial: “19 results (0.22 seconds)”