Misleading Quote?

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on March 9, 2011

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-Read the excerpt below from the "Best of the Web" post by OpinionJournal.com's editor James Taranto (original post date 2/17/11).
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

The New York Times continues its fraudulent campaign to depict conservatives and Republicans as, in the words of its latest editorial on the subject, purveyors of “Dangerous Threats.” The latest purported example [by the Times]:

Representative Denny Rehberg, a Republican and Montana’s House member, boasts that he brings Made-in-Montana solutions to Washington. His latest, proposed last week in a speech advocating states’ rights to the State Legislature, is to put a judge “on the Endangered Species List.”

…The quote in context is actually far less invidious than the Times’s description would lead you to believe. … The (Butte) Montana Standard has the full text of Republican Congressman Denny Rehberg’s address. Here is the relevant portion [of what Congressman Rehberg said]:

“Environmental obstructionists found a federal judge in Missoula that was willing to ignore the scientific evidence as well as the expert opinions of on-the-ground wildlife managers here in Montana. And he ruled last August that the grey wolf had to remain on the Endangered Species List.

When I first heard his decision, like many of you I wanted to take action immediately. I asked: how can we put some of these judicial activists on the Endangered Species List? I am still working on that! But in the meantime, I have introduced legislation that would permanently end federal jurisdiction over the gray wolf population–and return responsibility to the wildlife managers here in Montana.”

…The Times’s … falsely asserts that Rehberg said he wanted to put a particular judge “on the endangered species list,” when Rehberg actually referred to “some of these judicial activists” — to a type, a metaphorical species, of judge.

Now, one can criticize a joke on the ground that it is not funny, although the Times notes that “Representative Rehberg’s threat [sic] drew an eager laugh.” Maybe you had to be there. One can also fault a joke as being in poor taste. Certainly most jokes about killing public officials fall into that category. But is that even an accurate description of Rehberg’s “endangered species list” jape?

………………….

It is preposterous to suggest that Rehberg was suggesting violence against federal judges. Rather, he was lightheartedly observing that he would like to see changes in the political and legal environment such that it produces fewer “judicial activists.”

Read the origianl post at opinionjournal.com. (see the first entry “The Gray Lady Who Cried Wolf”)

Questions

Why do you think the Times’ editorialist used a partial quote that mislead readers about Congressman Rehberg’s intended meaning?


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























Answer(s)

Opinion question. Answers vary.