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Last week, Mr. Gar­rison Grisedale argued that the migrant caravan is the U.S.’s most pressing foreign policy issue. I admit­tedly and firmly dis­agree with the piece. But regardless of the reader’s opinion on the migrant caravan, two quotes Mr. Grisedale used to argue that the caravan poses an extreme threat to the U.S. are pre­sented in a mis­leading light.

First, the author quotes an MSNBC reporter as reportedly saying about the demo­graphics of the caravan, “The majority are men … and have not artic­u­lated the need for asylum.” The full quote from the MSNBC TV segment reads far dif­fer­ently: “From what we’ve seen, the majority are actually men, and some of these men have not artic­u­lated that need for asylum. Instead, they have talked about going to the U.S. for a better life and to find work.” Though the first four words quoted in the article express the reporter’s point accu­rately, the omission of “and some of,” along with the rest of the statement dras­ti­cally twist the reporter’s words to support Mr. Grisedale’s argument.

Sec­ondly, Mr. Grisedale includes a quote from a member of the caravan who told Fox News, “Crim­inals are every­where.” But this once again omits the remainder of the quoted individual’s statement. In the full quote from the Fox TV segment the caravan member con­tinued to say: “There are crim­inals in here, I mean it is, but it is not that many. There is good people here trying to get through Mexico and then get to the U.S. but that doesn’t mean everybody is a criminal.” Does it make sense to say that crim­inals are every­where in the caravan, and then state that there aren’t that many? When taken as a whole, the individual’s statement makes far more sense if inter­preted as, “Crim­inals are every­where in the world, so of course some caravan members are crim­inals. But that doesn’t mean all or even many of the members are crim­inals.” Of course, this puts words into the man’s mouth, and the inter­pre­tation may be incorrect. Regardless, the author’s omission of the majority of the full quote alters a slightly ambiguous statement into one that allegedly sup­ports the article’s point of view.

The manip­u­lation of quotes is com­mon­place in modern media and facil­i­tates the dis­persal of false infor­mation and dis­honesty. Argu­ments and opinions should stand on their own for readers to judge without forced and mis­leading support.

Alex Taylor is a senior studying eco­nomics

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    ‘The manip­u­lation of quotes is com­mon­place in modern media and facil­i­tates the dis­persal of false infor­mation and dis­honesty. Argu­ments and opinions should stand on their own for readers to judge without forced and mis­leading support.’

    In classic jour­nalism the objective was to report a story accu­rately and suc­cintly. In modern jour­nalism the objective is to bend the words and images to fit your pre­con­ceived agenda. This is why jour­nalists today have lost the respect of the general public, they’ve fouled their own nest and destroyed their own image.

  • Camus53

    And that is one more reason why one shouldn’t listen to Trump.