Jun 122018

There are lots of incorrectly attributed or just flat made-up quotes circulating, and some of the ones I see the most have politicians attached to them. Someone—maybe Dianne Feinstein? can’t remember for sure—is supposed to have said that once a gunman realizes everyone else is unarmed, he’ll lay his gun down because that’s human nature. (No, she didn’t.)

I saw one this past weekend that claimed Elizabeth Warren said:

“If women need to be raped by Muslims to prove our tolerance, so be it. Then thank goodness for Planned Parenthood.”

Take a moment and read that again.

Now Elizabeth Warren certainly has her issues. She is as vapid as any person I can recall being seriously discussed as a presidential candidate. But this assertion is far beyond ridiculous, and anyone with two brain cells to rub together should know so immediately.

I actually said so on a post the other day, commenting no, she didn’t say that. Instead of immediately taking it down, the original poster replied something like “well, but I wouldn’t put it past her!”

No. Just no.

I can’t believe I have to say this, but folks, if someone didn’t say something, you can’t post it as a quote. It’s dishonest, and it can be illegal. Most importantly, if you’re actually hoping to persuade, it’s a tremendous hit to your credibility to traffic in falsehood. You can recover from it if it’s accidental, but to gleefully do it after your mistake is noted is to quickly make yourself irrelevant.

Of course, I’m ringing this bell much too late. I hold out some hope that thoughtful, well-crafted editorials might still sway some hearts and minds out there. But I no longer have any delusions about Facebook and Twitter. By and large, no one who can be persuaded is looking there, and no one who can persuade is casting a net there.

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 Posted by at 10:00 am

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