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.