Skip to comments.Don't quote me, but they're all losers (mangled quotes of the year)
Posted on 07/27/2003 4:38:17 AM PDT by Liz
Maybe we should give an award for mangled quotes of the year. Misquotations are becoming a regular feature of journalism and politics, partly out of carelessness, but mostly because anything-goes partisanship so deeply afflicts our discourse.
So here are the nominees for the first award:
The Associated Press, for butchering a line from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent in the Texas sodomy decision. The AP quoted Scalia saying he has "nothing against homosexuals." This misquote was endlessly recycled in the news, usually to mock Scalia for a gay version of "some of my best friends are Jews." What Scalia actually wrote was: "I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means." He wasn't offering his feelings about gays. He was talking about the rights of all groups to organize and lobby.
Maureen Dowd, for quoting President Bush in her May 14 New York Times column saying, "That group of terrorists who attacked our country is slowly but surely being decimated ... They're not a problem any more." Here's the full Bush quote, without the misleading ellipsis: "Al Qaeda is on the run. That group of terrorists who attacked our country is slowly, but surely, being decimated. Right now, about half of all the top Al Qaeda operatives are either jailed or dead. In either case, they're not a problem any more."
The BBC, probably the most relentlessly anti-American organization in Britain, for recently altering a transcript of one of its own stories, thus misquoting itself. The story dealt with Park Jong-lin, a 70-year-old veteran of the Korean War who "served in the North Korean Army fighting against the imperialist American aggressors and their South Korean accomplices." In the altered version, quote marks now surround "imperialist American aggressors" and the BBC's reference to "accomplices" was changed to "allies." The BBC, by the way, falsely reported the Jessica Lynch rescue as a made-for-TV special faked with U.S. soldiers firing blanks for the cameras.
The Democrats, for a TV ad in Madison, Wis., misquoting President Bush's uranium reference in his state of the union message. The Republicans have offered so many conflicting versions of Bush's now famous 16 words that you would think the Democrats wouldn't have bothered to remove the first six words crediting (or blaming) British intelligence for the uranium-from-Africa report. But they did. The ad has Bush saying flatly, "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
The French, for changing a remark made Monday by President Jacques Chirac. In Malaysia to meet with Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamed, Chirac called for multilateralism in world affairs, then added: "We can no longer accept the law of the strongest, the law of the jungle." When a reporter called the Elysee Palace to ask about the reference, he found that the quote showed up on their transcript as, "We can no longer accept the evolution of men, the world, we can no longer accept the simple law of the strongest." Oh, so Chirac wasn't attacking America or the war in Iraq. He was just sharing his abstract opinion on faulty evolutionary theories and social Darwinism.
So who deserves the award? One vote here for the AP. It can't be that the reporter somehow failed to notice the second half of Scalia's sentence. At Slate, Dalia Lithwick wrote that this was "a case of the media getting a quote completely wrong and disseminating it so that it becomes universally believed."
Give the award to the AP. It's a statuette of Nathan Hale, with his famous quote, "I regret that I have but one life."
Wait and see if it turns up as:
"I regret that I have one Butt in life"
"Pat Robertson Explains His Position on Liberia and President Charles Taylor
July 16, 2003
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA -- As you may know, Liberia was founded by the United States as a homeland for freed African slaves. The word Liberia is a derivation of the Latin for "free" or "freedom," and the capital, Monrovia, was named after President James Monroe.
Liberia had as its first president a Baptist minister from Norfolk, Virginia. It modeled its constitution after the United States and attempted to follow us in establishing its government. Liberia considers itself a "little brother" of the United States, and has always looked to the United States as its founder, friend, ally, and protector.
In the early 1980s, there was a military coup in Liberia led by Master Sergeant Doe. The Liberian President Tolbert was hacked to pieces by machetes. Then all of the top members of his government were taken from the capital city and butchered. Doe began a reign of terror in Liberia, which resulted in civil war. Among those who fought Doe was Charles Taylor whose militia ultimately defeated Doe. Subsequently, Taylor was elected president of Liberia in what I understand to be a free election.
Shortly thereafter, a rebellion broke out in neighboring Sierra Leone. Charles Taylor backed the rebels, whose teenage soldiers were guilty of extreme brutality. Since Sierra Leone was a former British colony, first the United Nations and then the British sent troops in to establish order and put down the rebellion. From all I can gather, they were successful.
Because of Taylors role in assisting the rebels of Sierra Leone, the State Department of Bill Clinton urged the United Nations to place economic sanctions on Liberia. The government of Charles Taylor denied any further involvement with the rebels in Sierra Leone, but to no avail. As a result of the pressure brought on by the United States through the United Nations, Liberia was squeezed unbearably and the people suffered.
With Taylor weakened, a group of rebels, who were principally Muslim, began a civil war using neighboring Guinea as a staging area. The United States gave $3 million to help the army of Guinea, and I have on good authority that at least two containers of arms were sent by the United States to the port of Monrovia in Liberia to be used by the rebels against Taylor.
Guinea is a Muslim country ruled by a capricious and ruthless dictator. If the Taylor government falls, the Muslim rebels are hoping to overrun Liberia, which is a predominantly Christian nation. If they do so, it is feared that a vicious civil war will result, leaving the nation bleeding and in chaos.
My question to the United States State Department is very simple, "If you are successful in taking down the government of Charles Taylor, what plan do you have to establish stability in Liberia, the rule of law, free elections, and representative government? What appropriation has been made by the United States Congress to back up the actions that you have taken to bring down the freely elected government of a sovereign and friendly nation?"
These questions and my concern in no way indicated that I was supporting Charles Taylor. I merely asked the State Department how much African blood would have to be spilled before they were satisfied.
The Christian nations of Africa are right now under assault by Muslims funded either by Saudi Arabia or Libya. This fact is well known to the CIA. Regrettably, the State Department seems to be indifferent to this emerging tragedy.
I regret that my sentiments in support of the suffering Liberian people were misinterpreted by The Washington Post as unqualified support for Charles Taylor, a man who I have never met, and about whose actions a decade ago I have no firsthand knowledge."
The group opposing Taylor may not be any better- but Taylor is a thug who should be removed from power.
"Gem May Fund Terrorism
Investigators Believe Tanzanite Is Currency for Al Qaeda Terror Network"
I have never worked a f***ing day in my life.
Oooops! That's an actual quote.
Patty keeps busy after he's had his meds.
Yup. Like when W mention "Niger" in the "16 word sentence" in the State of the Union address. What a bunch of crap!