Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A tale of two transcripts

Efforts to marginalize Sarah Palin are becoming risible and transparent. This bit on the Conan O'Brien show, with William Shatner reading a few sentences from her farewell speech as beat poetry, to the accompaniment of bass and bongos, is schoolyard-level mockery.

It's instructive to compare the transcripts offered by a hostile site and by a friendly one. The HuffPo's AKMuckraker has a transcript with the ums and hesitations preserved, some dialect spellings, and very little punctuation. This seems to be the one that's going around.

For contrast, Townhall has one with correct spellings and punctuation. (And paragraph numbers! If you find the paragraph numbers intrusive, try this version at Free Republic.) These transcription tricks are reprehensible, but they further the narrative, which is all that counts.

For an example of how NPR routinely cleans up interviews, see NPR news, "fake but accurate," here earlier. All of the media that present these transcriptions of Palin with the dialect spellings and um's preserved should do the same for everyone they quote. Pigs will be flying on that day.

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