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A political gaffe is an error made by a politician that is reported to the public. When made by a politician who is campaigning for office or party leadership, they can affect standings in polls. While in office the opposition can refer to them in governmental debates over policy. Gaffes can be defined and segregated into different types, according to their various shapes and forms. Such classification has consequence as they differ as to their significance. Gaffes can be overplayed by the media as side stories to more important issues at the time. David Wong postulates that the mere presence of the word "gaffe" in a headline is an indicator that the article is neither worth reading nor contributes to intelligent political discussion. (via Freebase)