As an example, consider that in his speech last Thursday night the President said this:
We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. Founder of the Republican Party. But in the middle of a civil war, he was also a leader who looked to the future -- a Republican President who mobilized government to build the Transcontinental Railroad ....In fact, so far from being a founder, Lincoln only joined the party in 1856, two years after it was founded, but you won't hear any hearty guffaws from the usual suspects on the Left who would be rolling on the floor had Bachmann said this.
Now, don't misunderstand. I don't think the President's misstatement is a big deal, nor did I think it was necessarily indicative of any mental shortcoming when he claimed to have campaigned in all 57 states, but neither is it a big deal when Republicans commit the same sort of blunders. If people are going to hold a laugh-fest when Bachmann or Palin says something untoward they should do the same thing when Obama does it, and if, as I think, they shouldn't deride the President for his historical solecisms neither should they deride Republicans for theirs.
What I do think is a big deal, though, besides the contrast in the reaction to Republican goofs and Democrat goofs, is that PBS went so far as to scrub the Obama flub from their transcript of his speech. Here's what the PBS transcript said:
We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. But in the middle of a civil war, he was also a leader who looked to the future.What would have been treated as an uproarious gaffe if a Republican had said it was actually expunged from the transcript by a media outlet that's subsidized by our tax dollars. PBS, behaving like Izvestia under the old Soviet regime, deliberately edited out anything which would make the president to whom they're emotionally wedded look ill-informed. Nor have I seen anything in any liberal media source chastising PBS for this shameful breach of professional ethics.
Little wonder that so few people trust the media to be fair and honest.
Update: PBS has inserted the missing words into the transcript at their website. Perhaps it was all an honest mistake, but that's rather hard to believe. PBS called their rendering of the speech a "transcript" which, unlike a "prepared text" from which the president might have deviated, is a word for word record of the actual speech, and it would just be astonishing if the one thing they missed in preparing that transcript was the very blooper that would embarrass the President.
Tom McGuire at Just One Minute offers another interesting sidenote. He quotes Time magazine as they set the record straight:
He gives a good speech, but he’s loose with the facts. He called Abraham Lincoln the “founder” of the Republican Party. Nope. Lincoln was not the founder of the party; he wasn’t even the first Republican nominee (John Fremont was, in 1856). Lincoln was, of course, the first Republican to be elected president.McGuire then adds:
Ooops, my bad - that was Time ... writing about Mike Huckabee [who made the same error] back in 2008. The author of that immortal and transportable wisdom? Jay Carney, who now famously flacks for Obama. I still can't find Time's mention of the Obama gaffe.Maybe Carney, President Obama's current press secretary, will be quizzed about all this at the next press briefing. Or not.