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May 21 2013

Beck and the Art of Quotemining

I remember one of my favorite high school teachers (also my debate coach) talking about out-of-context quotes, using the example of those little three word snippets they use in movie ads, like “a daring thrill ride — Time magazine.” She pointed out that many times, they cut out things like “The director clearly intended to make a daring thrill ride of a movie, but instead it drags along for far too long.” Here’s Glenn Beck doing exactly that to Obama:

Beck cited it as evidence that President Obama is ruthless in attempting to destroy anyone who dares to criticize his administration, playing a short audio snippet of Obama saying “we’re going to punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”

“There is it,” Beck said. “You’ve seen it over and over again, but nobody wants to look at the pattern”:

Yeah. Now here’s the actual quote, delivered to a Latino group:

“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re going to punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’ if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it’s going to be harder and that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2.”

Here’s what we’ve seen over and over again, a pattern of Glenn Beck just inventing “facts” to suit the narrative he’s selling to his credulous followers.

5 comments

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  1. 1
    theschwa

    “I…like…to…eat…children.”
    -Glen beck

  2. 2
    zippythepinhead

    “we’re going to punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”

    Uhhh, so we should be doing … what exactly? Rewarding our enemies and punishing our friends?

  3. 3
    John Pieret

    a pattern of Glenn Beck just inventing “facts” to suit the narrative he’s selling to his credulous followers.

    Just good ol’ American free enterprise! Create a market where people want to buy your product, no matter how shoddy or harmful, so that they feel like the are part of the “in” crowd.

  4. 4
    catbutler

    Nitpicking, but isn’t that a four word snippet?

  5. 5
    addiepray

    My favorite example of the movie ad pull: “Sleepy Hollow” had a quote on the ad saying “this has got to be the most beautiful, painterly movie ever made- Newsweek”. I picked up the nearest copy of Newsweek and read the full quote: “this has got to be the most beautiful, painterly movie ever made about multiple decapitations.”

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