Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Don't quote me, but they're all losers (mangled quotes of the year)
NY DAILY NEWS ^ | July 27, 2003 | JOHN LEO

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."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ap; assininepress; deceit; johnleo; mediabias; misquotes; quotes

1 posted on 07/27/2003 4:38:17 AM PDT by Liz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Liz
"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"

2 posted on 07/27/2003 4:48:56 AM PDT by ThreePuttinDude (66% of Iraqs trash has been taken out, A Great Day)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ThreePuttinDude
What? The media is biased? Lordy!
3 posted on 07/27/2003 4:53:14 AM PDT by JusPasenThru (We're through being cool (you can say that again, Dad))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: JusPasenThru
Yep, and it's a darn surprise to me
.....
4 posted on 07/27/2003 4:59:17 AM PDT by ThreePuttinDude (66% of Iraqs trash has been taken out, A Great Day)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Liz
Here's an example of my own embarrassing gullibility. Because of what I heard or read through the media, I automatically believed Pat Robertson was a diamond mine greedy, Christian pal of Liberia dictator, Charles Taylor. Here's the truth of it:

________________________________________________________

"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 Taylor’s 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."

5 posted on 07/27/2003 5:08:07 AM PDT by YaYa123
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Liz
So many contenders, so few awards ...
6 posted on 07/27/2003 5:09:33 AM PDT by Marauder ("I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just." - Thomas Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: BartMan1
ping
7 posted on 07/27/2003 5:37:38 AM PDT by IncPen (The liberal's reward is self disgust.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Liz
I'd love to see someone dig up all the non-facts that the libs 'invented' out of thin air this year!
8 posted on 07/27/2003 5:59:24 AM PDT by Ed_in_NJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: YaYa123
He gets right the part about Doe being a brutal thug. He gets wrong most of the other aspects of Taylor's rise. The fact that Taylor is backed by Jesse Jackson, Ramsey Clark, and Jimmy Carter should be setting off Robertson's (and everyone else's) warning bells. He also has some suspected ties to terrorism.

The group opposing Taylor may not be any better- but Taylor is a thug who should be removed from power.

9 posted on 07/27/2003 6:13:35 AM PDT by William McKinley (Play Presidential Survivor at my blog- http://williammckinley.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
I wasn't familiar with the Osama/diamond connection, only knew about tanzanite.

"Gem May Fund Terrorism
Investigators Believe Tanzanite Is Currency for Al Qaeda Terror Network"

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/WorldNewsTonight/tanzanite011214.html

10 posted on 07/27/2003 6:28:15 AM PDT by YaYa123 (@Rudyard Kipling had GWB in mind when he wrote the poem "If".com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Liz
Actually, there's a great book in this somewhere.

bump. Exposing dishonest media is part of FR's mission statement.
11 posted on 07/27/2003 6:33:47 AM PDT by George W. Bush
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: YaYa123
That's a new one for me- thanks!
12 posted on 07/27/2003 6:36:42 AM PDT by William McKinley (Play Presidential Survivor at my blog- http://williammckinley.blogspot.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: George W. Bush
Better hope Jayson Blair doesn't write the book on the topic.
13 posted on 07/27/2003 6:42:17 AM PDT by Liz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
Here is another:

http://www.gemstone.org/gem-by-gem/english/tanzanite.html
14 posted on 07/27/2003 6:43:45 AM PDT by VMI70 (...but two Wrights made an airplane)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
If so, certainly not by Muslims!
15 posted on 07/27/2003 6:48:13 AM PDT by elephantlips
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Liz

I have never worked a f***ing day in my life.

Oooops! That's an actual quote.

16 posted on 07/27/2003 6:57:29 AM PDT by csvset
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: William McKinley
Then what? The problem in these countries is that it takes a brutal thug to rule them.
17 posted on 07/27/2003 6:59:59 AM PDT by stop_fascism
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: csvset

Patty keeps busy after he's had his meds.

18 posted on 07/27/2003 7:03:23 AM PDT by Liz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Liz
The Dims have to have some kind of tool to go along with their agenda. Lying happens to be the main one.
19 posted on 07/27/2003 7:03:48 AM PDT by freekitty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: freekitty
None of ‘em are worth a hill of beans.
20 posted on 07/27/2003 7:08:30 AM PDT by Liz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Ed_in_NJ
I'd love to see someone dig up all the non-facts that the libs 'invented' out of thin air this year!

Yup. Like when W mention "Niger" in the "16 word sentence" in the State of the Union address. What a bunch of crap!

21 posted on 07/27/2003 7:27:29 AM PDT by Cobra64 (Kill the evil-doers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: JusPasenThru
What? The media is biased? Lordy! --I'm shocked I tells ya shocked! ..and deeply saddened also.
22 posted on 07/27/2003 8:27:13 AM PDT by Free_at_last_-2001 (is clinton in jail yet?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Liz
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."

Perfect!

23 posted on 07/27/2003 11:35:47 AM PDT by RJL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson