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Monday, October 16, 2006


Recently a huge amount of fuss was made over a leftist Head of State’s purported error on pronouncing an oft-quoted writer and thinker dead in a speech. All the Hounds of Baskerville and beyond went to town about an elementary gaffe made by one who should have known better, being quite the one-trick pony for his meandering ways, reviled no end by the West.

Nothing really significant—the oft-q. writer and thinker is old enough for it not to send the n y s e crashing, and at least by association, it was not unthinkable that the leftist H.of S. metaphorically and convivially put his arms around the septuagenarian writer. And that it would have irked the scum of Westernist scribes and tribes alike was also no great surprise. For unlike the writer, the H. of S. does not really enjoy universal approbation.

So what’s all the fuss about ?
Some guy erroneously referred to another as dead, drew a lot of flak in the process and the matter subsided gradually. Make a mistake and get yourself pulled up on the front page. That’s how it has always been. Simple !

Turns out not quite !

The Editor of a prominent newspaper issued a correction as under

An article on Sept. 21 about criticism of President Bush at the United Nations by President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran reported that Mr. Chavez praised a book by Noam Chomsky, the linguist and social critic. It reported that later, at a news conference, Mr. Chavez said that he regretted not having met Mr. Chomsky before he died. The article noted that in fact, Mr. Chomsky is alive. The assertion that Mr. Chavez had made this misstatement was repeated in an interview with Mr. Chomsky the next day

In fact, what Mr. Chavez said was, “I am an avid reader of Noam Chomsky, as I am of an American professor who died some time ago.” Two sentences later Mr. Chavez named John Kenneth Galbraith, the Harvard economist who died last April, calling both him and Mr. Chomsky great intellectual figures.

Mr. Chavez was speaking in Spanish at the news conference, but the simultaneous English translation by the United Nations left out the reference to Mr. Galbraith and made it sound as if the man who died was Mr. Chomsky.
Readers pointed out the error in e-mails soon after the first article was published. Reporters reviewed the recordings of the news conference in English and Spanish, but not carefully enough to detect the discrepancy, until after the Venezuelan government complained publicly on Wednesday.

Editors and reporters should have been more thorough earlier in checking the accuracy of the simultaneous translation.

So where does this leave us ?
Back to where we started.
That it is easier to prognosticate and pontificate when one stands in the open minefields of sweeping ignorance !

So do we expect apologies, even mumbled ones ?

No, coz’ it is so cool ( and American !) to be opinionated, ya, even if we are wrong, ya.
Opinions matter, facts are just useless unconnected and inconvenient nuggets of irrelevant information.
And as a wise one said-I never let the facts interfere with what I wanna say !


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