Monday, November 03, 2008

Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to

From Yahoo! news:
Barack Obama's grandmother, whose personality and bearing shaped much of the life of the Democratic presidential contender, has died, Obama announced Monday, one day before the election. Madelyn Payne Dunham was 86. [My emphases are in bold.]

But [Obama] said he wanted people to know a little about her — that she lived through the Great Depression and two World Wars, working the second on a bomber assembly line with a baby at home and a husband serving his country.

Fact: The United States' involvement in World War II was during the years 1941 - 1945.

Facts: The United States' involvement in World War I was during the years 1917 - 1918. The Great War ended November 11, 1918 (Armistice Day/Remembrance Day/Veterans Day).

Fact: 2008 - 86 = 1922.

Madelyn Payne Dunham would have been born in 1922, or 1921 at the earliest, if she had not yet celebrated her birthday this year. World War I was definitely over by that time. Not only could she not have lived through the first world war, she could not have lived at any time during it.

Perhaps the Senator was mistaken in his grief. I send my sincere sympathies to him and his family. I doubt the Associated Press will note this error, nor make as big a deal of it as Vice President Quayle's alternate spelling of potatoe in 1992.

Update 3 November 2008, 6:16 PM, PST: I find it interesting that the text in the article at Yahoo! news changed since I wrote my post. I copied and pasted the text directly from the website. I probably should have created a screen shot provide evidence that this is how it was originally written.

I did not misread it.

Either Senator Obama made an error, OR Yahoo! news misquoted him. It would be interesting to hear a sound bite to discover if it was he or Yahoo! who was in error.

I am not.

A note to all of us once again that we should never take news reports as the Gospel.

Update #2: 6 November 2008, 6:38 PM, PST. I took the quote from the original Yahoo! text and Googled it (see screen shot below, and click on it to view a larger image). I found 10 results, all identical. Apparently, the original story from the AP did read as I have listed above. What's in question is whether they quoted the Senator correctly. Only a sound bite can tell.


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think you need to go back and read the yahoo article again as you misread it.

The Truth said...

Read it again Mariam. I believe you'll see the facts.

Miriam said...

I find it interesting that the text in the article at Yahoo! news changed since I wrote my post. I copied and pasted the text directly from the website. I probably should have created a screen shot.

I did not misread it.

Either Senator Obama made an error, OR Yahoo! news misquoted him.

Randy said...

To anyone who's been through the current campaign I'm sure it seems like a World War.

John said...

Here's the YouTube Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot4RYQqFq0Q

I agree that it was most likely a grief-stricken mistake, combined with the effects of what I am sure has been an exhausting campaign, and that he probably is aware that the first world war was over in 1922.