Surprise! Media covers Lincoln gaffe

posted at 10:30 am on September 10, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

In yesterday’s OOTD, I noted that the President went off script to deliver a lecture on the origins of the Republican Party, only like so many lectures delivered by Barack Obama, it consisted of misinformation.  Don’t worry, though — the media is actually covering this gaffe.  For instance, Tom Maguire finds Time Magazine having to correct the record on Lincoln:

He gives a good speech, but he’s loose with the facts. He called Abraham Lincoln the “founder” of the Republican Party. Nope. Lincoln was not the founder of the party; he wasn’t even the first Republican nominee (John Fremont was, in 1856). Lincoln was, of course, the first Republican to be elected president.

Great work by Time, huh?  Only this piece wasn’t written this week.  It was written in September 2008, and fact-checked Mike Huckabee, not Barack Obama.  And guess who wrote this historical correction?  Time Magazine’s Jay Carney … who now works at Barack Obama’s press secretary.  They don’t talk to each other much in this White House, do they?

By the way, Time still hasn’t noted Obama’s error in the same way they did with non-candidate Huckabee in September 2008.

But that’s OK, because we have a competitive media environment with a plethora of outlets to do this kind of work.  Tom, Timothy Birdnow, and Glenn Reynolds report that PBS spotted Obama’s gaffe in the transcript.  They’re about to do the work that Time neglected, right?  Right?  Er …

The New York Times transcript has the following quote:

“We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union.  Founder of the Republican Party.  But in the middle of a civil war, he was also a leader who looked to the future — a Republican President who mobilized government to build the Transcontinental Railroad — (applause) — launch the National Academy of Sciences, set up the first land grant colleges.  (Applause.)  And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.”

But how does it appear in the PBS transcript?

“We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union.  But in the middle of a Civil War, he was also a leader who looked to the future – a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad; launch the National Academy of Sciences; and set up the first land grant colleges.  And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.”

So PBS has purposely altered a transcript containing a major gaffe by the President.

Note well that PBS specifically calls this a “transcript,” not the prepared text.  A “transcript” is the verbatim rendering of what actually was said … or it should be, anyway.

Yeah, the media is covering, all right.  They’re covering for Obama.  I guess we have to give one cheer to the New York Times for not corrupting a verbatim transcript — and the fact that we have to give them credit for that at all says something about the media in the Age of Obama, and that something isn’t pleasant or flattering.

Update: Sometime around 11:30 ET this morning, PBS’s “transcript” mysteriously got updated to include the gaffe, as Ed Driscoll notes.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Obama is…… eeh, what’s the point?

whiskeytango on September 10, 2011 at 2:34 PM

The media just BLEEDS competence, excellence, honesty and apple pie!

BLEEDS it, I say.

Jewels on September 10, 2011 at 2:47 PM

P-BS just posted a non-apology on their Facebook page. Absolutely no explanation as to how this bias happened in the first place.

Del Dolemonte on September 10, 2011 at 2:55 PM

puhleeze…

and they cry there is no bias

cmsinaz on September 10, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Pleasing

Barry

Soetoro

hillbillyjim on September 10, 2011 at 3:16 PM

So, just change all of the history books and Obama will be right. Problem solved./

BDavis on September 10, 2011 at 3:18 PM

BDavis on September 10, 2011 at 3:18 PM

shhhhh
they just might do that…

cmsinaz on September 10, 2011 at 3:32 PM

I actually thought Lincoln was one of the founders of the Republican party, not sure where I got this misinformation. Well it’s always good to learn something new.

Daemonocracy on September 10, 2011 at 4:34 PM

I actually thought Lincoln was one of the founders of the Republican party, not sure where I got this misinformation. Well it’s always good to learn something new.

Daemonocracy on September 10, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Founder, no. Arguably its first rising star, though.

gryphon202 on September 10, 2011 at 5:00 PM

LOL! Great post, Ed!

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 10, 2011 at 5:48 PM

well, it’s kinda like when Beverly Hall, Former Atlanta Schools Superintendent cheats for her doltish students except this is the media doing it for their doltish president.

esnap on September 10, 2011 at 7:24 PM

flyoverland’s political satire cartoon of the week takes on Obama and Lincoln

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/12440515/lincolns-ghost

flyoverland on September 10, 2011 at 8:08 PM

While I have no doubt of the liberal bias at PBS as it has been proven over and over, it must be pointed out that the Fox Business posting of the speech text also has the same error and has not been corrected as of the time of this comment. I will give Fox the benefit of the doubt though as they have the page labeled as “Full text of…” as opposed to PBS’s labeling of “Transcript of…”.

Linky

SteveInNC on September 10, 2011 at 8:27 PM

Update: Sometime around 11:30 ET this morning, PBS’s “transcript” mysteriously got updated to include the gaffe, as Ed Driscoll notes.

Uh, no, not that mysteriously. As mediaite reports, the original PBS transcript was “as prepared.” The update was “as delivered” and included Obama’s ZOMG! WORST HISTORICAL MISTAKE IN THE HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHES!!1! of mixing up the words “founder” and “father.” Hotair should have a conservative bias. That makes it more interesting to read. But you don’t have to make crap up. You can still have a point of view and tell the truth.

RightOFLeft on September 10, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Uh, no, not that mysteriously. As mediaite reports, the original PBS transcript was “as prepared.” The update was “as delivered” and included Obama’s ZOMG! WORST HISTORICAL MISTAKE IN THE HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHES!!1! of mixing up the words “founder” and “father.” Hotair should have a conservative bias. That makes it more interesting to read. But you don’t have to make crap up. You can still have a point of view and tell the truth.

RightOFLeft on September 10, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Charitable explanation: Someone at PBS messed up by calling it a “transcript” when by any basic definition of the word, it was not one.

Not-so-charitable explanation: Someone at PBS noticed the gaffe and decided to go with the remarks as-prepared hoping that no one would notice.

So what’ll it be, ROL? Stupid, or malicious? Either/or/or the other doesn’t look good for PBS.

gryphon202 on September 10, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Uh, no, not that mysteriously. As mediaite reports, the original PBS transcript was “as prepared.” The update was “as delivered” and included Obama’s ZOMG! WORST HISTORICAL MISTAKE IN THE HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHES!!1! of mixing up the words “founder” and “father.” Hotair should have a conservative bias. That makes it more interesting to read. But you don’t have to make crap up. You can still have a point of view and tell the truth.

RightOFLeft on September 10, 2011 at 8:29 PM

LOL at “as prepared” and “as delivered”. That’s just an excuse used to cover up incompetence and you know it.

tran·script – A written or printed version of material originally presented in another medium.

SteveInNC on September 10, 2011 at 8:53 PM

LOL at “as prepared” and “as delivered”. That’s just an excuse used to cover up incompetence bias and incompetence and you know it.

tran·script – A written or printed version of material originally presented in another medium.

SteveInNC on September 10, 2011 at 8:53 PM

FIFM

SteveInNC on September 10, 2011 at 8:57 PM

gosh this controversy really affects our jobs crisis. Good job HotAir you lived up to your name completely!!

PS we could have spent this time poring over the Republican jobs bill!

Zekecorlain on September 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM

gosh this controversy really affects our jobs crisis. Good job HotAir you lived up to your name completely!!

PS we could have spent this time poring over the Republican jobs bill!

Zekecorlain on September 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM

But I choose to spend my time pointing out what a blowhard you are.

gryphon202 on September 10, 2011 at 9:02 PM

PS we could have spent this time poring over the Republican jobs bill!

Zekecorlain on September 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Be my guest. It’s sitting on a table in the Senate.

unclesmrgol on September 10, 2011 at 9:03 PM

I’m wondering whom Mr. Obama had for history, because if it was anyone good he’s done them a terrible disservice.

Mr. Obama should realize that the Transcontinental Railroad was, first and foremost, a military endeavor designed to secure the western portion of the continent for the Union — it was so wildly popular that both the Democrats and the Republicans had a plank in their respective platforms supporting the endeavor. Interestingly, the politics surrounding the Transcontinental Railroad are a case study in what we now know as “the Chicago Way”.

As for the National Academy of Sciences, the charter signed by Lincoln specified no expenditures by the Federal Government, and stated further that the members would not be reimbursed by the Federal Government. Furthermore, its research was limited to military matters (until the 1950′s).

Finally, the Land Grant Colleges were chartered to teach military as well as agricultural and industrial studies. If we were to truly follow the example of Abraham Lincoln, we would be withdrawing funding for any college which did not allow a functioning ROTC unit.

In other words, each of these endeavors could claim to be rooted at least somewhat into the defense clauses of our Constitution — the only capability the Constitution requires the Federal Government to maintain.

unclesmrgol on September 10, 2011 at 10:48 PM

gosh this controversy really affects our jobs crisis. Good job HotAir you lived up to your name completely!!

Zekecorlain on September 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Yes because we cannot handle more than one subject at a time. /

Seems some blowhard, namely you, cannot handle the truth about how bought the media is and what a joke our President is.

CW on September 10, 2011 at 10:49 PM

RightOFLeft on September 10, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Oh take your knee pads off. You’re pathetic.

CW on September 10, 2011 at 10:50 PM

Zekecorlain on September 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM

—-

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/09/08/open-thread-the-speech-that-saved-the-economy/

Over 1300 comments

This one:

About 120 including yours. How many posts did you have on the other one I just noted?

CW on September 10, 2011 at 10:56 PM

RightOFLeft on September 10, 2011 at 8:29 PM

President Obama and Vice President Biden constantly mangle history.

“I stand here as the 44th man to be President of the US.”

“When the depression happened, FDR didn’t just go on TV…”

Pointing these things out isn’t making stuff up. Neither is being suspicious of PBS motives in neglecting to use the remarks the President actually made.

We ask this rhetorically, for a reason: would the outcome have been the same if George Bush had done it?

massrighty on September 10, 2011 at 10:57 PM

We ask this rhetorically, for a reason: would the outcome have been the same if George Bush had done it?

massrighty on September 10, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Why do we bother? RofL has Democratically Produced Golden Knee Pads.

CW on September 10, 2011 at 11:01 PM

I hope Obama keeps up this line of speeches. Next he can give a speech on how Republicans fought for civil rights for blacks, stood side by side with them in the South, and sent the National Guard to integrate the schools.

If he wants to spend every week reminding people of great moments in Republican history, I’m fine with that.

hawksruleva on September 10, 2011 at 11:49 PM

You can still have a point of view and tell the truth.

RightOFLeft on September 10, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Something Biden and Obama have apparently failed to grasp.

hawksruleva on September 10, 2011 at 11:50 PM

gosh this controversy really affects our jobs crisis. Good job HotAir you lived up to your name completely!!

Zekecorlain on September 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Would you prefer us talk about how utterly pathetic Obama’s jobs plan is? Or how Obama can’t see Republicans without browbeating them, even in a speech intended to bring Congress on board with his plan?

You should be happy we’re talking about Obama’s poor grasp of history. Instead of reminding folks that he mangles historical facts all the time, we could be debating how much the WH knew about the Fast and Furious gun operation.

A comment like this would be a huge negative if Michelle Bachmann had said it. Why shouldn’t it similarly mar Obama’s record?

hawksruleva on September 10, 2011 at 11:55 PM

Founder Lincoln

He was speaking metaphorically since the anti-slavery aspect of the Republican Party was, in a sense, “founded” by President Lincoln. And, enslavers like our present liberals clearly see his impact.

I dream of following the spirit of it as we find our minorities competing,working and producing as free men and women instead of doing whatever Rev. Sharpton and the black caucus seem to have planned.

How free are you when you need the government to meet all your needs?

IlikedAUH2O on September 11, 2011 at 1:02 AM

Yeah they cover his a$$, and they rip Sarah Palin for saying things that are correct. The media is a joke.

wi farmgirl on September 11, 2011 at 5:13 AM

PBS’s “transcript” mysteriously got updated to include the gaffe

Thank our lucky stars for the internet to expose agents of misinformation.

Say, has P-BS been defunded yet?

petefrt on September 11, 2011 at 6:07 AM

PS we could have spent this time poring over the Republican jobs bill!

Zekecorlain on September 10, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Or you could work at your pet project of lowering the age of consent with our children.

hawkdriver on September 11, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Correct me if I’m wrong. According to the current administration…

If you report the news as it actually happened, you are Right-Wing media.

If you report only the news in the democrats favor (or changed the factual transcript/text to put them in a better light), you are not guilty of media bias.

Ipso facto: Conservatives tell the truth and Liberals lie.

Hammie on September 11, 2011 at 2:26 PM

@Hawkdriver, typical bullshit you’re always spouting. Seeing as how I believe in age of consent laws while the person spreading that noxious rumor can’t accept that the bible doesn’t have any and is therefore morally deficient instead pretends that because I believe in have an age cut off I must therefore be championing old guys marrying young chicks. Which is totally legal. If you care to spread lies go ahead but you’l end up with egg on your face if you listen to that self hating gay NorthDallas30, who posts naked pictures online while decrying the pornification of modern society.

Oh yeah did all your military buddies quit the force yet?

Zekecorlain on September 11, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Over the weekend, another politician quoted Lincoln ACCURATELY, and rather eloquenty. Obama? No. Biden? No. No, this was former (Dumb Cowboy(TM)) President George W. Bush at Shanksville, PA, who quoted from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, without a teleprompter.

Who’d a thunk it?

Steve Z on September 12, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Comment pages: 1 2