Senator Fakes an Accent

He mimed an accent.

D’Amato thinks he’s so cute.

Whose English is best?


The trouble for U.S. Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, R-NY, started with radio shock jock Don Imus.  It was during an argument about whether or not the Whitewater hearings, which involved  investigations into the real estate investments of then-President Bill and his wife, Hillary Clinton, should be delayed until after the Simpson trial was over. During the argument D’Amato feigned an exaggerated Japanese accent and referred to the Simpson trial judge as “little Judge Ito.” Not only was it disrespectful of another public official and demeaning in every respect, it was a totally inaccurate representation. Lance Ito is American, born in America in the state of California.

After a couple of days of criticism, D’Amato issued a weak tea apology before he apologized more sincerely. Here’s how I described it in Anatomy of a Trial:

“Although he spoke to a early empty [Senate] chamber, it still made the news.

“‘In barely audible tones, a chastened and visibly nervous Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato delivered a rare apology on the Senate floor today, calling his heavily accented remarks about the Japanese-American judge in the O.J. Simpson case “totally wrong and inappropriate,”‘ The New York Times reported.”


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