Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Will the real Laura Bush please stand up?

Jerry Stratton, October 12, 2005

This is just a quick note showing one more example of why we cannot trust the mainstream media to quote people correctly. Headlines that quote people are too often sensationalized to the point that they are completely wrong; short quotes inside of articles are too often controversial only because some context has been removed.

I don’t have time to write much on this one, but fortunately this time around others are coming to the plate.

The issues are two-fold. First, Laura Bush did not call anyone sexist as some of the headlines are screaming. Matt Lauer did, and Laura Bush said merely that it was “possible”. She did not “suggest critics of Miers may be sexist”. Matt Lauer did that. She did not “suggest sexism may underlie the opposition.” As far as I can tell, nobody suggested that. She did not “see sexism in Miers’s critics”. Again, that was Matt Lauer.

But a more controversial issue is that the quote which places like Reuters are using to back this up probably has the interviewer’s statement removed, making Laura Bush’s “It’s possible” become “I think it’s possible”. She very likely did not say that or mean that.

In response to Red vs. Blue working out well in Houston: Our antagonistic attitude in politics has become so ingrained that we naturally assume the worst even when people are doing their best to help.