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Justin’s Shorts – Can you really do this?

September 20, 2011

In Justin’s Short’s, I take a quick look at an issue or article that caught my opinionated eye. Today, I’m drawn to an article published through on Yahoo. You’re welcome to read the entire article but here’s the section I find most worthy of reflection:

Michelle Bachmann is quoted as having said:

“There’s a woman who came up crying to me tonight after the debate. She said her daughter was given that vaccine. She told me her daughter suffered mental retardation as a result. There are very dangerous consequences.”

In reflecting on this comment, she has now apparently stated:

“I relayed what she said. I wasn’t attesting to her accuracy. I wasn’t attesting to anything.”

Can you really do that? If so, I’m disappointed in her lack of inventiveness – why stop where she did? Surely, by interacting with a few more people in the room she could have found someone whose daughter:

  1. Left school and became the meglomaniacal ruler of a third world country
  2. Began a three day rampage including arson, stealing and using foul language
  3. Caused the NFL and NBA lockouts

Whether you agree or disagree with Michelle’s underlying arguments, I think there’s a reasonable expectation that factual errors, even when they’re embedded in anecdotal evidence should be acknowledged by our politicians.

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