Thursday, July 31, 2008

Fake quotes and bad jokes

Watch Rachel Maddow slap down Pat Buchanan on MSNBC's Race For The White House. Apparently, MSNBC has cut this segment out of the version of the show available online. Naturally, Left Blogistan is going nuts over this heavy-handed censorship and calls are out to deluge the brass at MSNBC with mail. The kossacs are running with this. A typical example is this from a diarist called Jonibgud.

Jonibgud follows his/her call with this:
A network executive, seeking to explain MSNBC's apparent kidnapping of its own footage, spoke of his company's public-interest obligations.

“Viewers are incredibly engaged this election season, with a real appetite for political news,” said Phil Griffin, Senior Vice President, NBC News and Executive in Charge of MSNBC. "But sometimes, for viewers' own good -- and to maintain our good standing in the Village -- we have to self-censor. Some truths are just too painful, and we have a responsibility to protect the public as well as inform them."

It's an outrageous admission. Raw Story repeats the quote. I didn't think it sounded genuine, so I Googled it and found that the first part comes from a press release announcing Race For The White House last March. The second--and damning--part only appears in Kos and Raw Story, though in a few minutes I expect it will be all over Left Blogistan.

I suspect Jonibgud meant the quote as a joke but failed to make that clear. In any case, it's a fake quote and will be sure to bite the kossacs and anyone who uses it on the ass. DO NOT use the quote until it has been confirmed, as it possibly libels Phil Griffin.

Update: The comments on the Jonibgud post are outraged at the Phil Griffin quote and ready for action. Over twenty quotes in, someone named Parallax857 points out that the quote is joke. A few more angry comments ensue and then the rest of the gang catch on. Too late, I'm afraid. Democratic Underground has picked it up; it took till comment number 29 for someone to catch on and inform the enraged readers. It's been ten hours since Raw Story posted it and they haven't caught on yet. Phil Griffin is probably baffled by the angry e-mail he's getting today.

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