A daily blog on the thrills, spills, and frequent absurdities of the world's one and only 'non-imperial empire' - as Barroso himself called it - the European Union.




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Friday, 23 March 2012

Independent Columnist Caught Out Misquoting Le Pen

'You cannot trust quotes on the Internet' - President William McKinley, Supreme Leader of Icantbelieveitsnotistan


If there's one thing that grinds my gears more than misquotations, it's conveniently-placed misquotations offered as evidence for a point that would otherwise be pretty shoddy. In an article entitled 'France is a deeply racist country, and Toulouse will only make that worse,' Adrian Hamilton has it that Miss Le Pen, leader of the right-of-centre-and-once-criticised-Islam, aka. far-right, Front National said the following:


fight this war against these politico-religious fundamentalists who are killing our Christian children, our young Christian men
thereby implying that she only cares for white Christians, and is thus deserving of the far-right, chauvinistic, xenophobe label that the Independent often ascribes to her and her party.  I should clarify that Adrian Hamilton has not misquoted her: rather, he's blatantly disregarded half of what she said. Her actual quote, as recorded in every other media report that discussed the subject, is:


fight this war against these politico-religious fundamentalists who are killing our children, who are killing our Christian children, our young Christian men, our young Muslim men and who killed these Jewish children two days ago


It makes a difference, no? The ommission of those lines can take Miss le Pen from a Muslim-bashing, foreigner-hating bigot to an open-minded and inclusive secularist. Their inclusion would have demolished the claim that France is a 'deeply racist country' -  the central thrust of the piece - and it simply wouldn't do to have the supposed 'far-right' leaders come across as more caring and inclusive than the average Guardian reader, now, would it? To include the quotes would have shattered the narrative. Perhaps that's why comments were disallowed, too, because a few of them would have shattered the narrative - or even pointed out Mr. Hamilton's error?

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