Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Both the WSJ & LA Times Misquote Governor Palin from the India Today Conclave; UPDATED

Accuracy doesn’t seem to be the media’s strong suite these days. It makes you wonder if these "journalists" are incompetent, lazy, or worse; pushing an agenda. We can only speculate the reasons, but the fact is undeniable.

Take for instance, the reporting by both the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times from Governor Palin’s speech and Q&A session at the India Today Conclave today. Both of them state that the governor said the following while giving an answer to a question:

“Free people that make up a free country don’t wage war on another country.”

That is a direct misquote. What Governor Palin actually said:

“Free people that make up a free country don’t wage war on another free country.”

Watch the clip of Governor Palin, from the event to see for yourself (at the 22:50 mark).

These reporters omitted a small, yet very important word from her sentence. The word "free." By doing so, they change the entire context of the point she was making. The governor’s true remark was 100% accurate and history proves that to be the case. Are these press agents purposely trying to make Governor Palin look uninformed by misreporting her statement? Or are they just pathetic performers at their jobs?

Either way, let’s just be happy that these "journalists" didn’t decide to become brain surgeons.

(H/T: Ian)

Update by Doug: Governor Palin’s astute remark is a variation on the brilliant economist Frederic Bastiat’s famous truism:

"When goods cannot cross borders, armies will."

In other words, free and open societies have no reason to engage in war with each other and rarely do, but when that freedom is denied by tyrannical governments, war usually ensues.  As Stacy noted, history has borne this out, and Bastiat’s point was as true in the first half of the 19th century as Governor Palin’s variation of it is today.  The reporters to whom Stacy refers are either not bright enough to understand this, or are purposefully distorting what Governor Palin said.  Par for the course for the mainstream media in the Age of Obama.

Update by Stacy:  The Wall Street Journal has corrected their story, which now reads:

“Free people that make up a free country don’t wage war on another free country.”

Corrections & Amplifications: An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to Ms. Palin as having said, “Free people that make up a free country don’t wage war on another country.”

The LA Times also corrected their version however, they didn’t post anything that said they made the correction.

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