Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 5, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

QUOTING REP. NETHERCUTT....After reading Josh Marshall for over a year, I've finally found something to disagree with him about. I was beginning to get worried there for a while.

Here's the deal. A couple of weeks ago the Seattle Post-Intelligencer quoted Rep. George Nethercutt as saying this about our overall success in rebuilding Iraq:

It is a better and more important story than losing a couple of soldiers every day.

The PI has excoriated him several times for this sentiment, which they have every right to do. But here's the full quote:

It is a better and more important story than losing a couple of soldiers every day, which heaven forbid is awful.

Look, we can all decide for ourselves whether those extra five words change the meaning of his statement. But it's not as if the PI had to cut the quote short because of space considerations, and if they're going to blast the guy they should blast him based on his entire sentence.

Frankly, I can't think of any reason to snip that quote except that the PI's reporters and editors felt like making a point and were afraid it seemed kind of weak if you saw the final five words. After all, they were clearly trying to paint him as being unfeeling about the deaths of soldiers.

And that's fine. They should attack away on the substance of what he said, if that's how they feel. But they should also provide his full quote when they do it. That's Journalism 101.

Kevin Drum 9:22 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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