Robert gained top military clearance because he was involved with Persian missiles and in charge of three "nucular" warheads (this pronunciation no doubt a tip of the hat to George W. Bush, this Blagojevich being a Republican).Howard impresses here with witty commentary about "nucular." But what about those Persian missiles? What involvement did this U.S. military guy have with Iranian weaponry? Why didn't a journalist like Howard find this odd? Why didn't her editors at The New Republic?
Here's my guess about what happened. In Chicago, 39th Street is also (and primarily) known as Pershing Road. The Chicago pronunciation of the street's name is "Perzhing." Whether that's the pronunciation of Gen. "Black Jack" Pershing's name, or of Pershing missiles, I don't know. But my guess is that Ettinger applied the Chicago pronunciation of the street name to the missiles, and Howard didn't notice. Maybe she didn't know about Pershing Road or its pronunciation, maybe she didn't know about Pershing missiles. Whatever.
The point for readers of this editorial blog is that if we see something that seems very odd, such as a U.S. military person who works with Persian missiles, we need to query it. Another lesson, for all of us, is that if you're going to make fun of someone's pronunciations, you should try to look nonignorant when you're doing it. The best bet might be to not make fun of other people's pronunciations.