Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Ironic quote marks?

Today's column is relatively free from fiction masquerading as facts (they are, of course, all relatively free of facts). However, Polly makes up for it by mangling a quote. Consider this quote from Pollyanna's column:

Professor Roger Silverstone, of the LSE, calls the research hopeful, "revealing the emergence of a dynamic, socially engaged and environmentally conscious" voter - not a few, but 20 million.
Now compare that with (and most certainly not to) the actual Silverstone quote from this BBC page:

Roger Silverstone, Professor of Media and Communications at the London School of economics [sic] says: "This is, in many respects, a significant and indeed a hopeful piece of research.

"It reveals the emergence of a dynamic, socially-engaged and environmentally conscious consumer at the heart of British culture which should have real consequences for the ways in which commodities are bought and sold, and media are consumed."
We can skip lightly over Polly's "revealing" and the original "reveals" -- this is the sort of attention to detail that we only expect from credible journalists. However, the substitution of "voter" for "consumer" is quite a big one, particularly as Silverstone goes on to talk about the consumption of commodities and media, and not about voting intentions.

I understand, of course, why Pollyanna does not quote one of the findings from the research -- that "86% of Big Britons claim they find it increasingly difficult to trust what they read" (you can find the quote on the BBC website linked to above) -- given her own manipulation and fabrications.

10 comments:

DC Thaddeus said...

Sheer brilliance - I can imagine that there are many more out there that are as loose with evidence as Polly.

Yours,
Double-checking Thaddeus

Son of the Suburbs said...

What a prissy pedant you are. Do you not have anything better to do with your life? Her use of the quote in no way changed its essential meaning; and who's to say the BBC had it right?

Son of the Suburbs said...

What a prissy pedant you are. Do you not have anything better to do with your life? The slight change of wording did nothing to change the essential meaning of the quote; and who's to say the BBC was correct?

Anonymous said...

Keep it up!

fido said...

Have you checked out http://devilskitchen.blogspot.com/2006/05/polly-smells-coffee-almost.html

Serf said...

Voters / Consumers, they're all the same in a Socialist Utopia.

tyke said...

Excellent job you're doing, keep it up. She's another one of Blair's witches.
Burn, baby, burn!

conceptTshirts said...

This is a great site. Well done. We need one for all journos.

Ben said...

keep up the good work, sir.

FactcheckingPollyanna said...

Son of the suburbs -- I do quite a few other things with my life; please do not imagine it takes a long time to find inaccuracies in Polly's columns.

And you can't have it both ways -- arguing that twisting the quote doesn't matter and that anyway she didn't do it. Which is it?