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The Globe screws Hillary

I'm a day late to this, but compared to the Globe I'm a model of punctuality.

Yesterday's lead Globe editorial was an interesting piece of work. On the face of it, the piece--titled "What Hillary said"--righteously set the record straight about a comment Hillary Clinton made during an interview with the Globe editorial board. The comment in question was this: "I have a million ideas. The country can't afford them all." In using this line to attack Clinton, the Globe said, Rudy Giuliani and the Republican National Committee were guilty of "cheap political distortions."

What you might not have grasped, unless you read the editorial closely, was that the Globe apparently misquoted Clinton. Here, according to yesterday's editorial, is Clinton's comment as it was actually delivered to the Globe:

I have a million ideas. I can't do all of them. I happen to think in running a disciplined campaign--especially when it comes to fiscal responsibility, which is what I'm trying to do--everything I propose I have to pay for. You know, you go to my website, you'll see what I would use to pay for what I've proposed. So I've got a lot of ideas, I just obviously can't propose them all. I can't afford them all. The country can't afford them all. [emph. added]

And here's how the paper initially quoted Clinton--back on October 11 (!):

Clinton recently floated the idea of issuing a $5,000 bond to each baby born in the United States to help pay for college and a first home, but it immediately inspired Republican ridicule and she quickly said she would not implement the proposal.

She defended that decision yesterday, saying she is focusing on proposals with more political support and she is not formally proposing anything she can't fund without increasing the deficit: "I have a million ideas. The country can't afford them all."

Did I mention that the Globe's write-up of Clinton's ed board was published on October 11?!?

It's pretty clear, from the language the Globe originally used, that Clinton didn't tell the Globe ed board she'd be a profligate president. But not as clear as it might have been--especially with that "not formally proposing" phrase ominously floating around.

Some journalists use ellipses when they're condensing quotes; others don't. But a good rule of thumb--ellipses or no--is to make sure that the condensed quote accurately reflects the spirit of the original. That didn't happen here; instead, the Globe diluted Clinton's emphasis on fiscally responsible spending and hand-crafted a laugh line for the GOP.

If I were Clinton, I'd be awfully pissed that the Globe got it wrong--and that the paper took two weeks to correct itself.

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