Yesterday during the Code Talker Gold Medal Ceremony, a closed caption screen situated in full view of the entire audience displayed the word “Alcoholic” during the medal presentations to each tribe in attendance.
The press spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, Michael Steel says the incident was a serious mistake made by the close-caption company working for the Capitol.
In an email from Steel who apologized for taking a while to respond because they had to figure out the issue, explained accordingly:
“Closed captioning services for all major congressional events are provided by a private company that has no affiliation with the House or Senate. Unfortunately, the individual transcribing today’s event apparently mis-heard the word “Choctaw.” The transcription company was given a list of the tribes before the ceremony, so this should not have happened, and we will make a full inquiry,” wrote Steel.
“Obviously, the Speaker deeply regrets this offensive error by the transcribing service.”
Yesterday at 11 am, Native American Code Talkers from 33 tribes were honored at our nation’s capitol in Washington D.C. and were awarded Congressional Gold Medals.
Senatorial and Congressional notables were present at the awards ceremony to include House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Tom Cole, (R-OK), Ron Kind (D-WI), Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV).
Also in attendance were family members and tribal leaders representing the Native Code Talkers as well as 96-year-old Edmond Harjo.
The event was live-streamed on www.Speaker.Gov/Live and is now on YouTube (The gaffe appears at the 39:40 mark).
ICTMN has tried to contact the individual in charge of the close-captioning services, but has of yet to receive a response.