Monday, May 22, 2006


This "Bushism" is from Slate's Bushism of the Day:

"That's George Washington, the first president, of course. The interesting thing about him is that I read three—three or four books about him last year. Isn't that interesting?"—Showing German newspaper reporter Kai Diekmann the Oval Office, Washington, D.C., May 5, 2006

Yup. That dubya sure is stoopid. Saying such random rubbish.

Oh, hang on. What's this? There's more? That wasn't all he said? I guess if they cited the whole quote, to show that he actually went on to explain why that's interesting, he wouldn't be making a "Bushism":

... Isn't that interesting? People say, so what? Well, here's the "so what." You never know what your history is going to be like until long after you're gone. If they're still analyzing the presidency of George Washington -- (laughter.) So Presidents shouldn't worry about the history. You just can't. You do what you think is right, and if you're thinking big enough, that history will eventually prove you right or wrong. But you won't know in the short-term.

It's pretty easy to make someone "say" what you want when you use quotes selectively in order to create a false picture. Taking quotes out of context in this fashion is a form of False Attribution. I wonder if this has ever happened to Bush before?

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Via Fallacy Files -
Bush Contextomy of the Day and The Volokh Conspiracy - We Provide the Context, So Slate Doesn't Have To