The battle between Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann is entertaining enough without journalists fabricating quotes. But that didn't stop an editor at Politico, and now the go-to site for every dedicated Beltway news junkie has issued an apology.
The screw up came in an opinion piece by former Virginia Democratic Party chief Paul Goldman and George Mason University professor Mark J. Rozell.[jump]
"Palin's bus tour had some of the hallmarks of a primal scream: 'I built this constituency, not Bachmann, not anyone else,' she said. Looking at it through her eyes, she has a point."
The passage makes it look as though Palin actually uttered the "primal scream," but she didn't, and her PR department wasted no time in pouncing.
An absurd opinion piece in Politico includes a quote attributed to Governor Palin that is a total fabrication and yet is deliberately written to appear as if it is a legitimate direct quote. By any standard this is unacceptable even for an opinion piece. This puts us in mind of a real quote of something Governor Palin actually did once say to the media: "Quit making stuff up."
And sure enough, they got their correction:
CORRECTION: An editing error caused a false attribution in an earlier version of this column. A comment by the authors was transformed into a direct quote from Sarah Palin. She never said the words attributed to her. Those words were written by the authors.
It's sort of too bad, really. We just had Bachmann's campaign chief call Palin a lightweight quitter. A "primal scream" retort would have indeed have been an awesome real quote.
Previously in Bachmann vs. Palin: