Wordplay, apparently! Well, the phrase is a racial epithet that Native Americans find offensive, and Representative Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), who co-chairs the Congressional Native American Caucus, has demanded an apology from Steele.
Well, the good news is that Fox News is doing its part to alleviate the controversy. What, exactly, are they doing? I’m glad I posed this question on your behalf! Via Sarabeth at 1115.org, Fox is helping Steele out by altering the transcript of the segment:
HANNITY: But there’s — but there’s a battle, and you know this is going on, because you’re the chairman. I’m sure you deal with this a lot more than I do. There are those that are saying that, for the Republican Party to be successful, they’ve got to, quote, moderate — be more moderate.
STEELE: No, no!
HANNITY: You hear that.
STEELE: That’s what has gotten us into trouble, when we walked away from principle. Our platform is one of the best political documents that’s been written in the last 25 years, honest engine on that.
Exactly! Surely we should ask of our lyin’ ears if Steele didn’t actually say “honest engine.” Except: WTF is an “honest engine”? Well, as luck would have it, some Urban Dictionary user hooked on all the wrong phonics gives “honest engine” the exact same definition as “honest Injun.” Or, maybe, Steele was referring to Sacramento, California’s Honest Engine auto repair company, employing the hip-hop tradition known as the “shout out.”
Or, maybe, Michael Steele literally is a machine into which gas is poured, that produces toxic exhaust.