Part 2—ABC News “quotes” Mitt: On July 25, Mitt Romney sat down with Brian Williams, the NBC News TV star.
Brian wanted to know about the upcoming Olympics. Candidate Romney literally “had a horse in the race,” the famous newsman quipped.
Slightly cleaning the punctuation-laden NBC transcript, this was the first of two Q-and-As on the pointless topic:
WILLIAMS (7/25/12): It seems to me this completes your Olympic experience. You get to run the games and now you actually have a horse in the race. (Laughing) What's that gonna be like?That may not seem like an insulting response—but we liberals increasingly love to hate. As we continue adopting the culture of the pseudo-conservative world, we continue advancing our skills at this broken-souled activity.
ROMNEY: Well, it’s a big exciting experience for my wife and, and for the person that she's worked with, the trainer of the horse, who’s riding the horse. And obviously, it's fun to be part of the Olympics in any way you can be part of them.
Within days, we liberals were enraged at the way Romney had been beating his wife during his session with Williams. Not beating her literally, of course: We were upset with the way he insulted his wife about her Olympic pursuits.
Good grief. Even the sensible Kevin Drum was incensed at Romney’s “really contemptible behavior.” A few days later, Digby checked in. Declaring that Romney’s conduct had been “low even for him,” she linked to the National Memo, where Henry Decker had semi-emoted about this very bad conduct.
Eventually, the liberal world’s biggest fraud rose to speak. (Last Friday's program convinced us that she has attained that high rank.) Last Thursday night, Rachel Maddow presented three—count em—three examples in which Romney has been beating his wife. To recall these examples, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/6/12.
This satisfied the Rule of Three, thus driving our fury higher.
In fairness, Romney wasn’t exactly beating his wife in Maddow’s three examples. He had just been insulting his wife, our fiery leader let us know, as she showcased her vast disapproval and her own high character.
Was it Romney’s lying which had us upset? Or was it the way he’d been beating his wife? Our moral arbiters couldn’t decide, as they declaimed about a worthless tale which began with a misquotation.
Oops. As best one can tell, this big pile of brainless crap got its start at OTUS, a silly sub-site of ABC News which isn’t quite built around straight news reporting. At OTUS, Amber Porter (real name) had penned this piece, which looked like a news report, about Romney’s extremely rude conduct.
Before long, Decker was linking to Porter’s report and Digby was linking to Decker. But here’s where the liberal world’s sense of outrage began:
PORTER (7/26/12): Romney Puts Horse-Sized Distance Between Himself and DressageWe have cut-and-pasted directly from Porter’s report. The punctuation—and lack of same—is entirely hers.
Much is made during the Olympics of the robust support systems needed to send an Olympian into competition. The parents, families and employers who rally around their athlete to get them to the games. The village it takes to make Olympic dreams come true.
But for Mitt Romney, whose wife Ann’s horse Rafalca will compete in the Olympic event of dressage, he makes it clear it’s really not his thing.
In an interview with NBC News Wednesday night, Romney spoke of the experience of being in the Olympics with the disengaged tone and shrug of a husband who doesn’t quite get his wife’s hobby.
“It’s a big, exciting experience for my wife. I have to tell you, this is Ann’s sport,” he said. “I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it, I will not be watching the event. I hope her horse does well. But just the honor of being here and representing our country and seeing the other Olympians is ... something which I’m sure the people that are associated with this are looking forward to.”
But it was just recently that Mitt Romney was one of “the people that are associated” with team Rafalca. During the Dressage World Cup in April, Rafalca performed to music personally chosen by the Republican presidential candidate.
In a piece which looked like a news report, Porter performed quite a bit of mind-reading. She was able to describe Romney’s “tone.” She had spotted a “shrug.”
She had also misquoted the hopeful.
We’re sorry, but Porter’s “quotation” of Romney just isn’t a real quotation. At one point, she executed a large deletion of Romney’s remarks—a large deletion she failed to mark. (Under the circumstances, the deletion would have been inappropriate even if marked.) For unknown reasons, she did insert a mark of deletion a bit later on—at a point where nothing had been deleted!
So it goes when ABC News tries to engage in “reporting.”
Just for the record, this type of pseudo-quotation has plagued the country for decades. During the various pseudo-scandals of the 1990s, Hillary Clinton’s statements were sometimes doctored in this way, by the likes of Lisa Myers—doctored in ways which made the resulting “quotations” drive a preferred story-line.
Today, it’s pitiful players like Porter who doctor, chop and re-arrange, apparently without even knowing how to mark a deletion. It’s our fiery liberals who get upset and run with the ramped-up results.
In truth, Porter’s quotation wasn’t a quote; her puzzling use of ellipses was an especially pitiful manifestation. Tomorrow, we’ll look at the two answers Romney did give—and we’ll see how the culture of the pseudo-conservative and mainstream press worlds continues to creep into liberal circles, dumbing us all the way to the ground and frustrating chances for progress.
Tomorrow: Doctor Porter fixes things up
Friday: Maddow extends the scam