Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Beware the ellipses

The BBC today dowdifies a quote from Donald Rumsfeld.

Qouth Rumsfeld:
You just can't hear day after day after day after day things like that that
often aren't true, with a lack of balance, and not come away thinking, gee, that
must not be a very good country.
And after coming through the BBC quotation grinder:
You just can’t…not come away thinking, gee, that [the US] must not be a very
good country.
To be totally fair, the mangled quote appears in a quote box on the side of the article, and the body of the article does contain the full, proper quote. But the quote box is highlighted and in bold, and is the first thing the eye is drawn to apart from perhaps the headline and the photo of Rumsfeld. And in it the BBC has altered what is an implicit criticism of the media into an unqualified and derogatory observation about the US itself.

Mark that as another par on the BBC scorecard.


Blogger CuriousHamster said...

The BBC don't seem to have that quote up any more.
To be fair, it's not difficult to make Rumsfeld sound like he's speaking nonsense though. From the same interview:
Frost (paraphrasing): "Is the situation in Iraq getting better?"
Rumsfeld (not paraphrasing): "Well, eh, statistically no, but clearly it has been getting better as we have gone along."
(I'm not quoting out of context or any such trickery. The interview shuld be online for a wee while yet if you want to check.)
If they BBC were as biased as some people think, that's the sort of quote they'd repeat endlessly. Sadly, it's up to public spirited individuals such as myself to spread these gems of wisdom instead.

10:03 PM  

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