The difference one or two words could make

Selective editing can make a big deal in the perception we have of people.  We have learned this week about the editing of Michelle Obama’s audio, taking “really” out of the audio.   That extra word does make a difference in how you perceive her words.

To further make the point, lets look to John McCain.  I am taking this from the NY Times story on the Romancing the Lobbyist.

“I would very much like to think that I have never been a man whose favor can be bought,” Mr. McCain wrote about his Keating experience in his 2002 memoir, “Worth the Fighting For.” “From my earliest youth, I would have considered such a reputation to be the most shameful ignominy imaginable. Yet that is exactly how millions of Americans viewed me for a time, a time that I will forever consider one of the worst experiences of my life.”

Now imagine if took that last line and dropped the “one of” from it, it would look like this:

…a time that I will forever consider the worst experiences of my life.

Now if you were to this phrase, minus two little words “one of” connect to the Keating 5 scandal, then contrast that description with his recent vote to not tie the CIA to the Army Field Manual and highlight what type of torture he faced as a POW in Vietnam.   Well that would make it seem that a scandal was the worst experience ever.  That torture, isn’t that bad, or least not the worst thing that ever happened to him.  That would put a very different perception on his vote and his stance on torture over all.

So let us make sure that what is reported is what is said.  No editing audio and no distorting the context.  And if you are part of the media, highlight that deceptive behavior.

-Josh

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