Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Maclean's and the "Misquotes"

Canada's national magazine gets on Suzanne Somers' back for misquoting two famous statesmen:
Former Three’s Company star, ThighMaster maven and self-help writer Suzanne Somers has waded into the U.S. health care debate, penning a critical Wall Street Journal op-ed that’s prompted its own criticism for some famous misquotes and inaccuracies. 
“Medical care will be degraded, the costs will skyrocket, and most frightening of all, your most intimate and personal information is now up for grabs,” writes Somers, in a piece that bears the title ‘The Affordable Care Act Is a Socialist Ponzi Scheme‘ (Tell us what you really think, Suzanne!). Somers also cites, semi-accurately, a 2008 Maclean’s cover story. 
Somers’ op-ed was taken to task by writers at The Atlantic Wire and New York magazine (“Whatever she lacks in traditional analytic skills, she more than makes up for with a strong love of freedom,” writes Jonathan Chait), but what garnered the most attention was a pair of quotes attributed to Vladimir Lenin and Winston Churchill — erroneously, it turns out. 
The WSJ correction, subsequently appended to the piece: “An earlier version of this post contained a quotation attributed to Lenin (“Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state”) that has been widely disputed. And it included a quotation attributed to Churchill (“Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens“) that the Journal has been unable to confirm.”...
What Lenin actually said was, "Medicine is the keystone of the arch of socialism," which means pretty much the same thing as the misquote.

As for the Churchill quotation, I wasn't able to find it, either. I was, however, able to find these ones:
  • “If you have ten thousand regulations you destroy all respect for the law.”
  • "Socialists think profits are a vice; I consider losses the real vice."
  • "Some see private enterprise as a predatory target to be shot, others as a cow to be milked, but few are those who see it as a sturdy horse pulling the wagon."
  •  “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
And my own personal favorite:
  • “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.”

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