More armchair activism or "Saving another one from the memory hole"
Well, I can't stop myself when I read stuff like this story
at Winds of Change...Ok if you haven't been keeping up, Mark Halperin runs a good deal of ABC news, and recently issued a memo to his employees stating that they should, for the good of truth, not feel obligated to hold Kerry and Bush "equally accountable" because Bush clearly distorts the truth much more than Kerry, and besides Kerry doesn't distort to win the election. I'm not kidding, he really said that
. The day before ABC's Charlie Gibson moderated the second presidential debate.
So the story explained at Winds of Change goes on, and then ABC issues a correction (as updated at Winds of Change). The egregious misquoting of Arnold Schwarzenegger is said to be an "inadvertent" error. Ok, their error made Arnold's words go from meaning "John Kerry weaseled on several issues and sometimes Bush did too" in the last debate to "John Kerry tells the truth, but Bush doesn't". Here are the two quotes before and after:
Before correction, as posted by ABC
SCHWARZENEGGER SAYS BOTH BUSH AND KERRY EVASIVE IN DEBATES: "Both of them did not answer some of the questions, which I think is upsetting to me. I think it is much better to be straightforward with the people.... You know like Kerry did. Bush did the same thing in some instances, not really get into it and answer it."
Actual quote after correcting for "inadvertent" bias
"Both of them did not answer some of the questions, which I think is upsetting to me," Schwarzenegger told KGO radio in San Francisco. "I think it is much better to be straightforward with the people."
"I mean if you get a question about Iran and about the nuclear power and what you are going to do in the future with this nuclear power, and you don't even answer that question, I think it's a mistake, You know like Kerry did," he continued. "Bush did the same thing in some instances, not really get into it and answer it."
Fiiiiiiine, this kind of misunderstanding happened on "Three's Company" all the tiiiiiime! But I think since they're a "leading news network" they owe us a little more. So I wrote an email to 'em. And since they won't be reading it most likely, I satisfy myself by posting it here. And it was hard not to make it angry...so hard. But I feel a little better now:
To whomever it may concern:
posted by M@ at 2:15 PM
I would like to respectfully request that you further explain the need for your correction on the quote by Arnold Schwarzenegger that I'm sure you've begun recieving e-mails about. I believe this should be done in the same forum that the error originally occurred, ie your website.
I am prepared to listen to your explanation with a critical but fair ear the events that led to your "inadvertent" substantive misuse of ellipses, but I have to tell you I am a tad bit suspicious whether or not the word "inadvertent" is also perhaps misused. However, I feel I have the strength and integrity to influence those around me, and I would like more information from you to be able to make a fair assessment of the facts. I'm sure you're aware that this did not happen in a vaccuum. To that end, I'll admit that I'm a fairly partisan Republican, but other than as a voter in no way associated with the Bush Campaign. I'll even sign my own name at the bottom of this letter. My intent is not to throw bombs, but to document this in a do-it-yourself fashion for the admittedly small number of people who trust me and who come to my website every day.
If you have a plausible story of how this occurred without your intent to almost completely obscure the meaning of Mr. Schwarzennegger's words then a more robust accounting of the error seems to be in order in this case. The strict standards I trust that you believe in for honest and truth demand it, in my opinion. I believe credibility is earned, and by implication so is disrespect. The short correction you posted in response frankly left me scratching my head, because I assume you value your credibility, and I felt it begged several questions that might occur to any average mind.
M@ (email had my real name here)