John Leo

(4) The Democrats, for a TV ad in Madison, Wis., misquoting President Bush's uranium reference in his State of the Union message. The Republicans have offered so many conflicting versions of Bush's now-famous 16 words that you would think that the Democrats wouldn't have bothered to remove the first six words crediting (or blaming) British intelligence for the uranium-from-Africa report. But they did. The ad has Bush saying flatly, "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

(5) The French, for changing an apparently anti-American remark made on July 21 by President Jacques Chirac. In Malaysia to meet with Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamed, Chirac called for multilateralism in world affairs, then added: "We can no longer accept the law of the strongest, the law of the jungle." When a reporter called the Elysee Palace to ask about the reference, he found that the quote showed up on their transcript as, "We can no longer accept the evolution of men, the world, we can no longer accept the simple law of the strongest."

Oh, I get it. Chirac wasn't attacking America or the war in Iraq. He was just sharing his abstract opinion on faulty evolutionary theories and social Darwinism.

So who deserves the award? One vote here for the AP. It can't be that the reporter somehow failed to notice the second half of Scalia's sentence. At Slate, Dahlia Lithwick wrote that this was "a case of the media getting a quote completely wrong and disseminating it so that it becomes universally believed." Give the award to the AP. It's a statuette of Nathan Hale, with his famous quote, "I regret that I have but one life."

John Leo

John Leo is editor of and a former contributing editor at U.S. News and World Report.

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