I’m putting my money on CNN by TKO in the fourth round. I know CNN has gotten a lot weaker over the years, but the English language has sustained many beatings and I don’t think CNN will let up until it’s dead.
That said, I think CNN used the word it meant to use, and if you wanted to, you could say they were being unusually honest. Events like these are usually not occasions for soaring rhetoric. Usually they feature recitations of the honoree’s accomplishments and a little bit of “Webster’s dictionary defines _____ as…” Here’s a transcript of Obama’s remarks from the ceremony. I’m not saying it’s horrible, but if you wanted to say that some of it is trite I don’t think anybody would start a fistfight over it.