Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Well-put in Anchorage

". . . all because an editor at Insight magazine arbitrarily decided to put quotes around it in a 2003 article."

That's a good summary of the origin of the latest false Lincoln quote controversy, written by the "Alaska Ear" columnist for the Anchorage Daily News. The Ear was commenting on Alaska Congressman Don Young's use of the inaccurate quote on the House floor last week.

No deception there. No "fabricated"or "made up" or "fake" quote like some are saying in the blogosphere. Just an editing error and this author's failure to make a timely correction back in 2003. That's carelessness, not fraud. No excuse for it, to be sure. But there was no intent to mislead. For the unadulterated quote, see the post below.


Blogger chancuff said...

From your actual Insight Magazine article entitled "When Does Politics Become Treason?" published on December 23, 2003, before you doodled with it:

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged" -- that's what President Abraham Lincoln said during the War Between the States.

You not only dropped the quotation marks, but changed the punctuation, too? What an amusing exercise in legerdemain. Did you think you were the only one with an original copy of your article?

With the fuss you made regarding copy editors putting quotes where they did not belong, one could reasonably have the expectation that you would have noticed more than the word change from "Civil War" to "War Between the States", but the addition of "--that's what President Abraham Lincoln said..."

There's no misinterpretation of your original. You simply got caught exercising the poetic license of stuffing your rot into the mouth of our country's finest president.

An undergrad could have sputtered more sensible excuses.

Perhaps The Annenberg Foundation is entitled to expect more from "Annenberg Professors".

Cliff Hancuff
Reston, Virginia

3:20 AM  
Blogger theundergrad said...

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3:02 PM  
Blogger theundergrad said...

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3:04 PM  
Blogger theundergrad said...

Mr. Hancuff,

Although this issue has not come up on this blog for several months now, I thought, since you took an obsession to this issue, I should respond to your comments.

You quote Dr. Waller’s quotation,

'"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged" -- that's what President Abraham Lincoln said during the War Between the States,' as the authentic quote in Dr. Waller's Insight article.

However, if you take a look at factcheck.org (you were the one who alerted them of this error as you so arrogantly state on the Washington Post website:
"As the person who originally discovered that J. Michael Waller invented this Lincoln "quote" and brought my discovery to Brooks Jackson, Executive Director of factcheck.org, I'm in a unique position to poke fun at Waller on his blogs..."

Posted by: Cliff Hancuff | February 20, 2007 04:44 AM,"

so I'm surprised a FReeper like yourself could not accurately quote from the website YOU ALERTED), Jackson quotes Waller's article as such:

"Origin of a
Specious Quote


"Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs, and should be arrested, exiled or hanged," that's what President Abraham Lincoln said during the War Between the States.

-J. Michael Waller, "Democrats Usher in An Age of Treason." Insight magazine, 23 Dec. 2003."

hmm...interesting. There is NO hyphen, as you claim there is - Are you saying factcheck.org has it wrong? Because I have a copy of the December 23, 2003 issue right in front of me, and I would have to attest that factcheck.org accurately quoted Dr. Waller, which is ironic, since you have been berating Dr. Waller on misquoting his piece for months.

This could prove Mr. Stanley's (editor of Insight Mag) assessment that Waller could have italicized his quote, inferring it as a paraphrase of his opinion of Lincoln politics and beliefs.

Stanley then states that Insight editors "might have changed it to a direct quote by mistake, following an Insight policy of not opening a story with italicized quotes." – therefore, an editorial error, not journalistic.

Also, if you did your research, you would have known Dr. Waller pointed out the "Civil War" v. "War Between the States" mistake in his response to factcheck.org, stating that "[he] filed [the] story with the lead sentence ending in the words "Civil War," which [his] southern editor switched to "War Between the States." And realistically, who gives a crap.

Before you start berating Waller for being an unworthy Annenberg Professor and scholar, in general (which I highly doubt you have the credentials for, as I could not find single scholarly piece you have written on the internet), do your research. This was obviously an editorial mistake. However, since you spend all your time attempting to insult people online (and I know you do, as I tried to research you to see if you even had somewhat of a reputation to possibly be in anywhere near of a position to insult Dr. Waller (which know one does so it really wouldn't matter anyway), the first 10 Google pages were your insulting and irrelevant messages on blog sites. I stopped checking after the 10th because I simply got bored) you wouldn't have the sense to see the truth.

It seems that I am now in the "unique position to poke fun" at you.

By the way, the fact that you were in "the unique position to poke fun at Waller" (as you stated so clearly on the Washington Post website) might be, perhaps, because you are, in fact, *gasp* wrong

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