Controversy Erupts After Obama Gaffe Goes Missing From PBS Transcript

David Drumm has already addressed the mistake made by President Barack Obama in his jobs speech to Congress when he called Abraham Lincoln “the founder” of the Republican Party. It is a common mistake, as David points out. However, I am more interested in what appears to be a bit of helpful editing by PBS. The gaffe has mysteriously disappeared like last year’s pledge drive.

Here is what Obama said according to the New York Times:
“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.”

Here is what PBS reported:

“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.”

PBS corrected the transcript after objections (and suspicions) were raised by its posting. Conservatives jumped on the issue and questioned whether federal funding or political sympathies played a role in the edit. Others have noted that organizations like Times magazine were quick to nail Mike Huckabee on the same error — in that case, it was a certain Time Mag employee named Jay Carney.

Putting aside the conspiracy theories, PBS (as a news organization) should explain how this one embarrassing line was edited out of the speech. There may be an innocent explanation (such as using the prepared text which did not include the gaffe), but there should be an explanation for PBS to remain credible.

This is a minor matter in my view, though (if PBS is using the prepared text rather than the actual speech), it is a poor practice for a leading and respected news organization. It is ironic in the case of Obama who relies heavily on a teleprompter and rarely departs from prepared remarks.

53 thoughts on “Controversy Erupts After Obama Gaffe Goes Missing From PBS Transcript”

  1. Frankly:

    No they dont.

    But there are 2 sides to this issue and I seem to have history on my side. If you really cared about people you would not want socialist economics practiced in this country.

    But you guys are too worried about some guy having more than you do so you want to cut everyone else down to your level.

    Envy, it is worse than greed.

  2. Frankly:

    where do you think most of the people employed by Haliburton and Blackwater making good salaries live?

    And the military and the companies supplying more than just ammunition?

    Sorry Frankly you cannot have it both ways. Krugman is a numbskull and stimulus never has and never will create jobs.

  3. Nice try (again) Roco. Money spent on war is an inefficient stimulus because only part of it goes into wages & material purchases in the US. The folks who work for ATK making bullets draw wages that they spend causing some economic activity. The hundreds of billions set on fire to procure friends in the Stans and Iraq not so much. Try actually reading Krugman instead of telling him what you think he thinks.

    But, if the Fed spent a trillion dollars on infrastructure those wages, and the material needed to repair the infrastructure would cause an increase in demand that US companies could count on. This would allow them to hire additional workers causing more demand. Eventually the government spending would end but the economy would recover – Oh, and revenue would increase because of all the new jobs so the deficit would be reduced.

    Just out of curiosity, how much does the RNC pay you to spew bullshit here?

  4. rafflaw:

    “If private industry was going to create jobs with tax credits and tax breaks they would have done it during the Bush regime and the facts shows us that they didn’t because he ended his 8 years with a huge net job loss.”

    how much money was spent on war? That was stimulus according to your way of thinking and should have created jobs. I say the money used on war was not used in the private sector.

    All of that money spent on bombs and Haliburton should have created jobs. It doesnt matter if it is a bridge or bomb the effect should be the same according to Krugman and his alien invasion.

  5. I think they are all crazy…but then anyone in politics must have a screw loose….

  6. OS,
    You are right. The ight wants everyone to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, except for the wealthy and corporations.

  7. raff, we should have had plenty of practice seeing this mentality in action. Look at Roco, Kd, and an number of others who seem to think exactly the same way.

    As they say, karma is a bitch, and the Almighty has a sense of humor. Some of my most infesting moments have come when one of these folks fall on hard times and come to me trying to get disability benefits and Medicare or Medicaid because they are sick and have been tossed off their insurance plan. You would not believe the gymnastics of logic they go through trying to convince me they should get benefits but no one else should. Or maybe you would believe…..

  8. Swarthmore,
    That is one sick audience. Between the last debate audience cheering the execution record of Perry and this atrocity, how can they sleep at night?

  9. Roco,

    Think….the trickle down theory…yeah….Your RWR….the great panderer of it….It appears that Business does not have the incentive to spend the money that it is holding in reserves….so if more jobs are created at Government inducement…Then maybe the trillions that it is holding in reserves can be justified in spending….or it may have to be shelled out to the stock holders as dividends….Retained earnings can only be held so long before they become taxed….

    Think of it in these terms…..If the Airline cuts one flight it may cost 10K service related jobs…Not including the other industry’s that build the roads, the stores, the parking lots…You look at a glass half full…I look at a glass a think about how many jobs were created making that glass….

    You need sand or similar elements…a factory…people…. energy….boxes…transportation….and you need all of the other things that go into that same company….houses….food….energy….Hopefully you get the picture….is this Keynesian….or and I missing something….many necessaries were omitted…..but the way it is now….the glass is not even made….so it can’t be half full or half empty….it is neither because it is not being made…

    Now get government to get the need for jobs and the need for goods….and guess what…all the others fall into place….

    The way you are working it, eventually there will only be one factory….and then they can charge what they want for the goods….ever heard of 50 dollar bags of ice….they did that in Texas after a hurricane…I suppose they were charging what the market would bear….But isn’t that price gouging….a monopoly….oh yeah…thats ok…so long as you are the beneficiary of the gouging….right?

  10. Roco,
    with all due respect, I am just not buying what you are selling. Stimulus jobs will create the demand that will increase jobs and save jobs. Just because you won’t believe the CBO’s figures on how many jobs were created or saved due to the first stimulus is your problem, not ours. If private industry was going to create jobs with tax credits and tax breaks they would have done it during the Bush regime and the facts shows us that they didn’t because he ended his 8 years with a huge net job loss.

  11. rafflaw:

    All government jobs and stimulus are either created with current tax dollars or future tax dollars.

    The money you spend on stimulus and government jobs are at the expense of private industry. You are taking money from the builder in the private sector and giving the money to the builder who builds a road or bridge.

    You are reducing the efficiency of the money by giving it to government. The private sector allocates capital to where it will yield the largest return in most cases. A bridge or a road is not capital that can be used by the private builder to create wealth.

    If a builder builds an apartment building he puts people to work [as does a bridge builder] but when the apartment building is finished you have increased your capital or the capital of the building owner. With the bridge there is only the creation of jobs and the profit the bridge builder made. With the private builder there is the same but with the added building which increases the overall wealth in society. A bridge does not belong to a private person and so does not increase wealth.

    You also lose the opportunity to build the apartment building when you take too much from the private sector. So the money used to build a bridge does not increase the wealth of society, it actually takes from the wealth of society.

    This is, in my opinion, why stimulus doesn’t work and government cannot create jobs which will have any impact on an economy.

  12. Blouise, Sorry about my confusion!
    Government spending can create demand for products and services that is not there now. Please tell me how well the Tax cuts during the Bush era that Obama continued produced jobs. Without demand your corporations won’t increase jobs and without money in their pocket, consumers can’t and won’t purchase goods and services. You have to increase demand and the stimulus did it and additional stimulus will add or save more jobs.

  13. AY:

    how are we keeping people out of work? Stimulus isnt going to put people to work on a permanent basis. A job created by government is paid for by the private sector. Government produces nothing.

    A good example would be an old water wheel that has a pool of water but the stream that fed it got full of debris and damed up so there is only that pool of water left. The old water wheel and the stream that feeds it are the private sector. The government then comes in and builds a new water wheel down stream to stimulate the economy. The only way for the government to get water is from the pool of the old mill. It has a finite volume of water unless replenished by the stream.

    The government tells the old mill that it must open its gates and give some of the water to government so they can run their mill. Without busting the dam upstream the water in the pool will eventually run out.

    You cannot create jobs without production first. Bust the dam [regulations and taxes], the water will flow.

    That Keynes shit doesnt work and will only put us deeper into debt. It took 15 years to get us out of the last great depression and even then it really wasnt over until after WWII and the GI’s returned to making toasters and automobiles.

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