Kinsley gaffe

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Named after American journalist Michael Kinsley (b. 1951), who drew attention to the phenomenon.



Kinsley gaffe (plural Kinsley gaffes)

  1. (US politics) A mistake whereby a politician inadvertently says something truthful which they had not meant to reveal.
    • 2013 October 9, Max Fisher, The Washington Post[1]:
      They said it had been only a trial run, posted in error, showing hypothetical results from one small electoral district. You might call this a sort of Kinsley gaffe on a national scale.
    • 2018, David A. Graham, “Trump Can Never Go Too Far for Republicans”, in The Atlantic:
      Give Thune credit for candor, or at least for a Kinsley gaffe: Intentionally or not, he made clear that the game was getting the best available walk-back and moving on.