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California recall debate

Language Removal of the California Recall Race {format} {format} 2:37 Larry Massett

What’s left after the words are gone?

Broadcast: Oct 1 2003 on NPR All Things ConsideredSeries: Language Removal Subjects: Politics, Spoken Word

Interview: Douglas Flieshut reveals the California gubernatorial candidates without something very important: their voice

October 1, 2003 from All Things Considered

MICHELE NORRIS, host: Earlier this year, we introduced you to Douglas Flieshut, one of the founders of Language Removal Services. Using sophisticated and patented digital technology that's impossible to explain, they remove elements of recorded speech.

Mr. DOUGLAS FLIESHUT (Language Removal Services): What we try to do is help our clients communicate as effectively as possible. To strip away what is unnecessary in language, what is unclear and misleading. In other words, the words.

NORRIS: In a selfless act of civic responsibility, the Language Removal folks have turned their attention to the candidates in next Tuesday's recall vote.

Mr. FLIESHUT: Now the California recall project began on a kind of a hunch that although the candidates appeared not to be saying anything, that perhaps underneath the political doublespeak there was a real, vibrant core to each of the candidates. What we've done is to stage, if you will, the first language-free political debate.

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Mr. FLIESHUT: Of course, most people are interested in Arnold--the Terminator. And what's perhaps most interesting is that at times he stutters and it sounds almost like a machine gun.

(Soundbite of edited speech pattern)

Mr. FLIESHUT: Arianna Huffington is perhaps one of the most interesting cases in my experience with language removal.

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Mr. FLIESHUT: She does not stammer or hesitate ever. There are no `uhmms,' there's only the inexorable progress of her breath.

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Mr. FLIESHUT: And Lieutenant Governor Bustamante...

(Soundbite of edited speech pattern)

Mr. FLIESHUT: ...and all the other candidates are available through our Web site. We hope that it is helpful to the voters in making what is a very difficult and in some ways hasty choice.

NORRIS: Douglas Flieshut, one of the founders of Language Removal Services.

As you know, Arianna Huffington took the whole thing further yesterday and removed herself from the race to throw her support to Governor Gray Davis. So here's Governor Davis without his words.

(Soundbite of edited speech pattern)

NORRIS: Gray Davis, minus the words, thanks to Language Removal Services.

(Soundbite of music)

ROBERT SIEGEL (host): This is NPR, National Public Radio.