Mary Anastasia O’Grady explains to us some interesting things about Colombia. While it’s more than a little oversimplified it is interesting. However, she misquotes Obama from the third debate. O’Grady claims that Obama said “they’re assassinating labor leaders in Colombia and there have been no prosecutions,” adding in a harsh tone, “that is a flat out lie.” The lie however is that Obama said “no prosections.” What the video and transcripts show is that he said, “The history in Colombia right now is that labor leaders have been targeted for assassination on a fairly consistent basis and there have not been prosecutions.”  While this may appear the same on the surface they are quite different and it gets my English degree blood boiling. There is a huge difference between “no prosecutions” and “there haven’t been prosecutions.” One means not once, not ever. The other means there have been assassinations that have gone without prosecution (not all but some, maybe even a lot), which is something that O’Grady admits to herself. Guess which one Obama said.
In the end there is only one flat out lie here, and its O’Grady’s. News organizations should make sure to properly quote someone, especially when they are attacking that quote. Maybe Rupert Murdock had The Wall Street journal lay off most of their fact checkers, because there is no excuse for screwing up something this simple.