New York Times Cleans up Franken Quote

August 12th, 2005 10:16 AM
A couple of years ago, there was a bit of a media firestorm, at least on the web, when New York Times' columnist Maureen Dowd was caught removing a portion of a comment that the President made. The omission rendered a clear and straightforward statement as a delusional and misleading one. Eventually the Times was forced to "correct" the quote. Well, the New York times is "Dowdifying" quotes again, leaving out crucial information with no indication that they're doing so. Only now, instead of merely doing it in a Maureen Dowd opinion piece, which is bad enough, they're doing it in an actual news story. (Big tip of the hat to Michelle Malkin, who's been all over this story.) As anyone who's been paying attention on the internet knows, the liberal Air America radio network has been operating, in part, on a "loan" of $875,000 from a Bronx Boys and Girls Club. Anyone reading the New York Times did not know it until today, and still doesn't know much. In any event, Franken spoke about the story on the air yesterday, and the Times quoted him. Sort of. From the Times story:
"I don't know why he did it," Mr. Franken said, according to a transcript of the broadcast made by the Department of Investigation. "I don't know where the money went. I don't know if it was used for operations. I think he was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul."
Actual quote:
"I don't know why they did it and I don't know where the money went. I don't know if it was used for, uh, operations, which I imagine it was. I think he was robbing Peter to pay Paul."
(Brainster's blog has an .mp3 of Franken's comments, if anyone wants to hear them.) There are two differences there. 1) The Times reported "borrowing from" where Franken actually said "robbing." 2) The Times omitted entirely the comment that "I imagine it was [used for operations]." Each of the changes softens the meaning of the quote. And the changes allow them to make one more slam at the right side of the blogosphere.
Nonetheless, word of the investigations ignited a firestorm of criticism on the Internet, especially among conservative-leaning blogs that have essentially accused the network of robbing from the poor to pay its bills.
As the actual quote shows, it isn't merely "conservative-leaning blogs" accusing the network of robbing from the poor - it's also liberal Air America radio hosts...