“TEA’d off” Article Correction

On 16 April 2009 the Starkville Daily News published an article entitled “TEA’d off” that took one of my comments very much out of context. Here is my, “Letter to the Editor” response to that article.

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To the Editor

“TEA’d off” Article Correction

Kelly Daniels, in her 16 April 2009, Starkville Daily News article on the Starkville Tax Day Tea Party, “TEA’d off”, said, “Robert J. Allen called the country’s elected officials “enemies of the state.”

What I really said is:

“Our country is in jeopardy of being destroyed from within by elected and appointed officials who give evidence of being outright incompetents and/or outright traitors — internal intentional enemies of the state. We may very well wake up one day to find our country has been stolen from us by these people. If we do, we will surely look back and ask ourselves, “Why didn’t I DO something when I could have?” And we will have to answer this same question to our children and grandchildren who will ask it to us too.”

The article contained many typos and/or outright errors — most of which could be corrected by the reader by considering the context in which the “misquote” was made. My “quote” however, was not placed in a context, and so the reader would not know that I did not say what the paper said I said.

Again, what I said is,

“… officials who give evidence of being outright incompetents and/or outright traitors — internal intentional enemies of the state.”

A reasonable fair-minded person realizes that the term, “give evidence”, means that some people can, and may, interpret what these officials do as intentionally harmful to the nation. And reasonable people also know that the term, and the total statement that term is in, also allows for other, much-less-sinister, interpretations to be made: “incompetence” being but one of many such possibilities. The overall context of my speech may have suggested to Daniels that I DO interpret the actions of many elected and appointed officials in one or both of these ways — but I did not SAY I interpreted their actions that way. And I certainly did not state that the worse of the two mentioned possible interpretations actually describes (and accuses) these officials.

Read what I said. I did not say what the paper says I said. The paper owes me, and Starkville Tea Party, the organization which I represented in my speech, a correction and an apology.

(To read the text of this speech, go to robertjallen.org)

Thank you.

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