Why is the news announcement in "Harrison Bergeron" at first unclear and hard to understand?

The news announcement in "Harrison Bergeron" is hard to understand because the announcer has a serious speech impediment. Eventually, he has to give the bulletin to a ballerina to read.

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It is initially unclear what the news announcer is saying because he has a serious speech impediment, like all announcers in this dystopian society. Since it is impossible for him to make himself understood, the announcer finally gives up and hands the announcement to a ballerina to read.

This episode demonstrates that the society which Vonnegut describes has failed even in its misguided goal of ensuring equality of outcome. The announcer is not only no more polished and articulate than an average person would be in delivering the news: he is so far below average that he cannot even be understood and has to ask someone who is not a newsreader to do his job for him.

Vonnegut regards an obsession with equality as a rush to the lowest common denominator. Since it is difficult and time consuming to improve one's own or anyone else's performance in any field, equality means that everyone becomes as bad as possible at everything. The ballerina is only able to read the news because she is not a newsreader, which means that no one has been focusing specifically on impairing her ability to read the news. The government has focused on making her as bad as possible at dancing, since this is what she does every day. This is a society in which people are only coincidentally able to do things they do not usually do, and only then because the government is unable to handicap everyone equally in every field.

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