NYT ‘Clarified’ Santorum’s ‘Black’ Quote

Exclusive: Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum is denying his slur about “black people” and “somebody else’s money” with absurd claims that the recordings of his quote aren’t accurate, now getting a sympathetic hearing from a New York Times reporter, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

New York Times political reporter Katharine Q. Seelye, who famously misquoted Al Gore during Campaign 2000, has now bent over backward to shield Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum from a real quote in which he disparaged “black people.”

Santorum has been running from his quote since he was caught on video discussing food stamps with a group of white voters in Sioux City, Iowa, on Jan. 1 and telling them “I do not want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.”

New York Times correspondent Katharine Q. Seelye

The comment won Santorum a round of applause from his white audience – and may have helped him rally right-wing Iowans as he surged to a virtual tie with front-runner Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses two days later. But the former Pennsylvania senator began coming under criticism for his racially charged remark, which was replayed on MSNBC, CNN and other news networks.

Rather than stand by his comment or simply apologize, Santorum offered the risible explanation that he never said “black people,” that he had “started to say a word” and then “sort of mumbled it and changed my thought.” The word on the video wasn’t “black,” he said, but “blah.”

Traditionally, the role of the press in such cases has been to hold politicians accountable, not let them make a bigoted appeal to one group and then weasel out of it later. However, the Times and its reporter Seelye chose to buy into Santorum’s ridiculous explanation.

In a brief item in the Times on Jan. 10, entitled “Food Stamp Remarks, Clarified,” Seelye wrote that “some construed” Santorum’s comments to be “racially charged” though she noted that Santorum explained that he had “been tongue-tied and had not meant to refer to black people.”

When it came to describing the actual quote, Seelye wrote that Santorum “was reported to have said” the words, rather than note that the words — “black people” — can be clearly heard on the videotape. Santorum’s context, criticizing black people for receiving welfare, also was pretty obvious. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Fleecing the Angry Whites.”]

Seelye went on to write that Santorum “maintains that he did not say ‘black’ people’s lives but rather stumbled verbally when he was trying to say ‘people’s lives’ and uttered a short syllable that came out as ‘plives.’”

Acting as if this was a plausible explanation – and ignoring the fact that Santorum earlier had insisted that his word was “blah” people, not “plives” – Seelye added that “nevertheless, [Santorum] faced criticism afterward for apparently linking food stamps with black people.” Gee, how unfair to Santorum!

In the online version of the story, Seelye also wrote: “Moreover, he said he has done more in black communities ‘than any Republican in recent memory.’” She further quoted Santorum as responding to press questions about the “construed” quote on “black people” by saying, “You guys, you guys — it’s really sad that you are bringing this up. It’s just sad news.”

Misquoting Gore

Seelye’s excuses for Santorum were in marked contrast to her combative reporting regarding Vice President Al Gore during Campaign 2000 when she and Washington Post reporter Ceci Connolly helped frame the destructive narrative that Gore was a serial exaggerator, ironically by misquoting him.

That “Lyin’ Al” narrative, especially in contrast to the mostly softball coverage of the well-liked Texas Gov. George W. Bush, cost Gore a significant number of votes, according to Election 2000 exit polls, and enabled Bush to narrow the gap with Gore enough so Republicans could steal that pivotal election – aided by Gov. Jeb Bush’s political cronies in Florida and five GOP partisans on the U.S. Supreme Court. [For details on the vote count, see Neck Deep.]

Perhaps the most memorable refrain from Election 2000 was the apocryphal quote attributed to Gore that he claimed to have “invented the Internet” when he never said that. But the national press corps also misrepresented other supposed examples of Gore’s “exaggerations.”

Indeed, some journalists behaved as if they were working out their disappointment that President Bill Clinton had survived impeachment by taking out those frustrations on Gore. Other reporters – sensing the “free-fire-zone” that was Al Gore – may have viewed it as an opportunity to demonstrate their toughness and build their careers.

Seelye and Connolly were at the forefront of this “war on Gore.” As I noted in an article in early 2000, “to read the major newspapers and to watch the TV pundit shows, one can’t avoid the impression that many in the national press have decided that Vice President Al Gore is unfit to be elected the next President of the United States.”

The article, entitled “Al Gore v. the Media,” went on to say: “Across the board – from The Washington Post to The Washington Times, from The New York Times to the New York Post, from NBC’s cable networks to the traveling campaign press corps – journalists don’t even bother to disguise their contempt for Gore anymore.

“At one early Democratic debate, a gathering of about 300 reporters in a nearby press room hissed and hooted at Gore’s answers. Meanwhile, every perceived Gore misstep, including his choice of clothing, is treated as a new excuse to put him on a psychiatrist’s couch and find him wanting.”

A key moment in this “war on Gore” came in December 1999 when the U.S. news media generated dozens of stories about Gore’s supposed claim that he discovered the Love Canal toxic waste dump.

In twin articles – by Seelye in the Times and Connolly in the Post – Gore was quoted as saying “I was the one that started it all.” This “gaffe” then was recycled endlessly and combined with other situations in which Gore allegedly exaggerated, thus persuading many voters that Gore was an inveterate liar or clinically delusional.

The media’s Love Canal stampede was allowed to continue despite the fact that the Times and the Post quickly learned that their reporters had misquoted Gore. Seelye, in particular, insisted that the inaccurate quote didn’t deserve correcting because she felt she had gotten the gist of it right, though that wasn’t true either.

Upside-Down Journalism

The Love Canal quote controversy began on Nov. 30, 1999, when Gore was speaking to a group of high school students in Concord, New Hampshire. He was exhorting the students to reject cynicism and to recognize that individual citizens can effect important changes.

As an example, he cited a high school girl from Toone, Tennessee, a town that had experienced problems with toxic waste. She brought the issue to the attention of Gore’s congressional office in the late 1970s, he said.

“I called for a congressional investigation and a hearing,” Gore told the students. “I looked around the country for other sites like that. I found a little place in upstate New York called Love Canal. Had the first hearing on that issue, and Toone, Tennessee – that was the one that you didn’t hear of. But that was the one that started it all.”

After the hearings, Gore said, “we passed a major national law to clean up hazardous dump sites. And we had new efforts to stop the practices that ended up poisoning water around the country. We’ve still got work to do. But we made a huge difference. And it all happened because one high school student got involved.”

The context of Gore’s comment was clear. What sparked his interest in the toxic-waste issue was the situation in Toone – “that was the one that you didn’t hear of. But that was the one that started it all.” After learning about the Toone situation, Gore looked for other examples and “found” a similar case at Love Canal.

Gore was not claiming to have been the first one to discover Love Canal, which already had been evacuated. He simply needed other case studies for the hearings.

The next day, Seelye and Connolly altered Gore’s quote, changing the word ”that” to “I,” so that Gore was boasting “I was the one that started it all.” The context was also stripped away to make Gore’s praise for the girl from Toone, Tennessee, into a supposed example of his self-aggrandizing, thus fitting the narrative of Gore the Exaggerator.

Rippling Disinformation

The Republican National Committee spotted Gore’s alleged boast and was quick to fax around its own take. “Al Gore is simply unbelievable – in the most literal sense of that term,” declared Republican National Committee Chairman Jim Nicholson. “It’s a pattern of phoniness – and it would be funny if it weren’t also a little scary.”

The GOP release then doctored Gore’s quote a bit more. After all, it would be grammatically incorrect to have said, “I was the one that started it all.” So, the Republican handout fixed Gore’s grammar to say, “I was the one who started it all.” In just one day, the key quote had gone from “that was the one that started it all” to “I was the one that started it all” to “I was the one who started it all.”

Instead of challenging the misquote – and then surely getting pummeled for appearing overly defensive – Gore tried to head off the silly controversy by clarifying his meaning and apologizing if anyone got the wrong impression. But the fun was just starting. The national pundit shows quickly picked up the story of Gore’s new “exaggeration.”

“Let’s talk about the ‘love’ factor here,” chortled Chris Matthews of CNBC’s “Hardball” show. “Here’s the guy who said he was the character Ryan O’Neal was based on in ‘Love Story.’ … It seems to me … he’s now the guy who created the Love Canal [case]. I mean, isn’t this getting ridiculous? … Isn’t it getting to be delusionary?”

Matthews turned to his baffled guest, Lois Gibbs, the Love Canal resident who is widely credited with bringing the issue to public attention. She sounded confused about why Gore would claim credit for discovering Love Canal, but defended Gore’s hard work on the issue.

“I actually think he’s done a great job,” Gibbs said. “I mean, he really did work, when nobody else was working, on trying to define what the hazards were in this country and how to clean it up and helping with the Superfund and other legislation.” [CNBC's Hardball, Dec. 1, 1999]

The next morning, the Post’s Connolly highlighted Gore’s boast and placed it in his alleged pattern of falsehoods. “Add Love Canal to the list of verbal missteps by Vice President Gore,” she wrote. “The man who mistakenly claimed to have inspired the movie ‘Love Story’ and to have invented the Internet says he didn’t quite mean to say he discovered a toxic waste site.” [Washington Post, Dec. 2, 1999]

That night, CNBC’s “Hardball” returned to Gore’s Love Canal quote by playing a clip but altering the context by starting Gore’s comments with the words, “I found a little town…”

“It reminds me of Snoopy thinking he’s the Red Baron,” laughed Chris Matthews. “I mean how did he get this idea? Now you’ve seen Al Gore in action. I know you didn’t know that he was the prototype for Ryan O’Neal’s character in ‘Love Story’ or that he invented the Internet. He now is the guy who discovered Love Canal.”

Matthews compared the Vice President to “Zelig,” the Woody Allen character whose face appeared at an unlikely procession of historic events. “What is it, the Zelig guy who keeps saying, ‘I was the main character in ‘Love Story.’ I invented the Internet. I invented Love Canal.”

Gore’s ‘Bold-Faced Lie’

The following day, Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post elaborated on Gore’s pathology of deception. “Again, Al Gore has told a whopper,” the Post wrote. “Again, he’s been caught red-handed and again, he has been left sputtering and apologizing. This time, he falsely took credit for breaking the Love Canal story. … Yep, another Al Gore bold-faced lie.”

The editorial continued: “Al Gore appears to have as much difficulty telling the truth as his boss, Bill Clinton. But Gore’s lies are not just false, they’re outrageously, stupidly false. It’s so easy to determine that he’s lying, you have to wonder if he wants to be found out.

“Does he enjoy the embarrassment? Is he hell-bent on destroying his own campaign? … Of course, if Al Gore is determined to turn himself into a national laughingstock, who are we to stand in his way?”

The Love Canal controversy soon moved beyond the Washington-New York power axis. On Dec. 6, 1999, The Buffalo News ran an editorial entitled, “Al Gore in Fantasyland,” that echoed the words of RNC chief Nicholson. It stated, “Never mind that he didn’t invent the Internet, serve as the model for ‘Love Story’ or blow the whistle on Love Canal. All of this would be funny if it weren’t so disturbing.”

The next day, the right-wing Washington Times judged Gore crazy. “The real question is how to react to Mr. Gore’s increasingly bizarre utterings,” the Times wrote. “Webster’s New World Dictionary defines ‘delusional’ thusly: ‘The apparent perception, in a nervous or mental disorder, of something external that is actually not present … a belief in something that is contrary to fact or reality, resulting from deception, misconception, or a mental disorder.’”

The editorial denounced Gore as “a politician who not only manufactures gross, obvious lies about himself and his achievements but appears to actually believe these confabulations.”

Student Challenge

Yet, while the national media was excoriating Gore over the bogus quote, the Concord students were learning more than they had expected about how media and politics work in modern America. For days, the students pressed for a correction from The Washington Post and The New York Times. But the prestige papers balked, insisting that the error was insignificant.

“The part that bugs me is the way they nit-pick,” said Tara Baker, a Concord High junior. “[But] they should at least get it right.” [AP, Dec. 14, 1999]

When the David Letterman show made Love Canal the jumping off point for a joke list: “Top 10 Achievements Claimed by Al Gore,” the students responded with a press release entitled “Top 10 Reasons Why Many Concord High Students Feel Betrayed by Some of the Media Coverage of Al Gore’s Visit to Their School.” [Boston Globe, Dec. 26, 1999]

The Daily Howler Web site, run by stand-up comic Bob Somerby, also was hectoring what it termed a “grumbling editor” at the Post to correct the error. Finally, on Dec. 7, a week after Gore’s comment, the Post published a partial correction, tucked away as the last item in a corrections box. But the Post still misled readers about what Gore actually said.

The Post correction read: “In fact, Gore said, ‘That was the one that started it all,’ referring to the congressional hearings on the subject that he called.” The revision fit with the Post’s insistence that the two quotes meant pretty much the same thing, but again, the newspaper was distorting Gore’s clear intent by attaching “that” to the wrong antecedent. From the full quote, it’s obvious the “that” refers to the Toone toxic waste case, not to Gore’s hearings.

Three days later, The New York Times followed suit with a correction of its own, but again without fully explaining Gore’s position. “They fixed how they misquoted him, but they didn’t tell the whole story,” commented Lindsey Roy, another Concord High junior.

While the students voiced disillusionment, the two reporters involved showed no remorse for their mistake. “I really do think that the whole thing has been blown out of proportion,” said Seelye. “It was one word.”

Connolly even defended her inaccurate rendition of Gore’s quote as something of a journalistic duty. “We have an obligation to our readers to alert them [that] this [Gore's false boasting] continues to be something of a habit,” she said. [AP, Dec. 14, 1999]

National Impact

The half-hearted half-corrections also did not stop newspapers around the country from continuing to use the bogus quote. A Dec. 9 editorial in the Lancaster [Pa.] New Era even published the polished misquote that the Republican National Committee had stuck in a press release: “I was the one who started it all.”

The New Era then went on to psychoanalyze Gore. “Maybe the lying is a symptom of a more deeply-rooted problem: Al Gore doesn’t know who he is,” the editorial stated. “The Vice President is a serial prevaricator.”

In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, writer Michael Ruby concluded that “the Gore of ’99″ was full of lies. He “suddenly discovers elastic properties in the truth,” Ruby declared. “He invents the Internet, inspires the fictional hero of ‘Love Story,’ blows the whistle on Love Canal. Except he didn’t really do any of those things.” [Dec. 12, 1999]

Actually, all of those elements of the “Lyin’ Al” narrative were distortions by the U.S. press corps. It was as if the journalists had become school-yard bullies pummeling some unpopular nerd.

The earliest of these Gore “lies,” dating back to 1997, was Gore mentioning a press report that indicated that he and his wife Tipper had served as models for the lead characters in the sentimental bestseller and movie, Love Story.

When the author, Erich Segal, was asked about this, he stated that the preppy hockey-playing male lead, Oliver Barrett IV, indeed was modeled after Gore as well as after Gore’s Harvard roommate, actor Tommy Lee Jones. But Segal said the female lead, Jenny, was not modeled after Tipper Gore. [NYT, Dec. 14, 1997]

However, rather than treating this distinction as a minor point of legitimate confusion, the news media concluded that Gore had willfully lied. In doing so, however, the media repeatedly misstated the facts, insisting that Segal had denied that Gore was the model for the lead male character.

In reality, Segal had confirmed that Gore was, at least partly, the inspiration for the character, Barrett, played by Ryan O’Neal in the movie. Some journalists seemed to understand the nuance but still could not resist disparaging Gore’s honesty.

For instance, in its attack on Gore over the Love Canal quote, the Boston Herald conceded that Gore “did provide material” for Segal’s book, but the newspaper added that it was “for a minor character.” [Boston Herald, Dec. 5, 1999] That, of course, was untrue, since the Barrett character was one of Love Story’s two principal characters.

Inventing an Invention

The media’s treatment of Gore’s Internet comment followed a similar course. Gore’s statement may have been poorly phrased, but its intent was clear: he was trying to say that he worked in Congress to help develop the modern Internet. Gore didn’t claim to have “invented” the Internet, which carried the notion of a hands-on computer engineer.

Gore’s actual comment, in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that aired on March 9, 1999, was as follows: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”

Republicans quickly went to work on Gore’s statement. In press releases, they noted that the precursor of the Internet, called ARPANET, existed in 1971, a half dozen years before Gore entered Congress. But ARPANET was a tiny networking of about 30 universities, a far cry from today’s “information superhighway,” a phrase incidentally widely credited to Gore.

Though Gore never uttered the word “invented,” the Republicans and the press corps simply began using the word as if he had.

As the media clamor arose about Gore’s supposed claim that he had “invented” the Internet, Gore’s spokesman Chris Lehane tried to explain. He noted that Gore “was the leader in Congress on the connections between data transmission and computing power, what we call information technology. And those efforts helped to create the Internet that we know today.” [AP, March 11, 1999]

There was no disputing Lehane’s description of Gore’s lead congressional role in developing today’s Internet. But the media was off and running. Whatever imprecision may have existed in Gore’s original comment, it paled beside the press distortions of what Gore clearly meant. While excoriating Gore’s phrasing as an exaggeration, the media engaged in its own exaggeration.

In a different world, you might have thought that the journalists who committed these professional violations would have paid a serious price, especially after exit polls showed that widespread doubts about Gore’s honesty drove many citizens to vote for Bush and thus set the stage for Bush’s catastrophic presidency.

But that isn’t the world we live in. Indeed, it has often been the honest and courageous journalists – those who take on the truly difficult stories and do them well – who get severely punished, sometimes seeing their careers and livelihoods taken away from them as happened to Gary Webb. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Warning in Gary Webb’s Death.”]

Those who run with the herd and make grievous journalistic errors usually face no punishment at all. In fact, those reporters and pundits typically get rewarded. For instance, Chris Matthews still hosts “Hardball,” with the hour-long show now broadcast twice on weekday evenings on MSNBC.

Both Seelye and Connolly continued at their respective newspapers, covering important stories. For instance, Connolly handled the high-profile health reform battle for the Post and became a regular commentator on Fox News. (She is now a private consultant on health-care issues.)

For her part, Seelye is back on the campaign trail in 2012, where ironically she has encountered another controversy around a quote – although this time she is protecting a Republican candidate from his actual words rather than castigating a Democratic candidate for something he never said.

[For more on related topics, see Robert Parry’s Lost History, Secrecy & Privilege and Neck Deep, now available in a three-book set for the discount price of only $29. For details, click here.]

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ are also available there.

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11 comments on “NYT ‘Clarified’ Santorum’s ‘Black’ Quote

  1. John Puma on said:

    Is there any evidence of Ms Seelye behaving like an actual journalist (on purpose OR by accident) in the interim between Gore and Santorum?

  2. I watched Santorum as he spoke those words, and Seelye is making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Even CBS correctly reported what Santorum said. What really bothered me in Perry’s piece was the fact that Santorum’s racist statement was partially responsible for his surge. I’d like to see some evidence for that; I am prepared to accept it if true. Did exit polls show that? The only two Republican candidates that have any sense are Huntsman (who actually believes in science) and one we cannot hear about, Buddy Roemer. I don’t like some of Roemer’s positions on the social safety net, but when he excoriated Obama for allowing Goldman “friggin’” Sachs to host one of his campaign parties at >$35K a plate, he got my attention. I’d like to know more about him; he frightens the establishment much more than Ron Paul, which is why he is shut out of the debates.

  3. Karen Romero on said:

    Rather than stand by his comment or simply apologize…
    This is the most well said question in this article. So why didn’t Santorum do simply that?

    I will tell you why! This is one of many reasons why the Blessed Mother herself influenced his Senate re election. He is yet another dishonest politician and all of Heaven is trying to clean up the Congress. So that is the real reason he did not get re elected in Pennsylvania! As of now they will all be thrown out. According to the Akashic Records there is only five decent people in the Congress! Two of them are Senators and three of them are Representatives. You see, most of them have gone beyond treason and they have become a crime syndicate of the worse kind!

    So I believe Rick dishonest Santorum prays to the Blessed Mother for help and she definately knows more than him, and she decided he needed to clean up his dirty lies or give up politics. So she in fact was helping him when he prayed to her. So maybe Ricky poo needs to contemplate that and perhaps it would have been more beneficial for him to have also contemplated the brilliant question Mr. Robert Parry asks in this very article.

    Truly,
    Karen Romero
    P.S. I love consortiumnews.com!

  4. charles sereno on said:

    I could rest in peace if only I knew that Seelye and Connolly were honorable enough, or merely brave enough, to read this this expose.

  5. F. G. Sanford on said:

    OK-nobody has made the crass joke yet. Poor Rick, we should give him a break. He was obviously overcome with sympathy and got tongue-tied…thinking about the hardship of licking all those food stamps. These Republicans just get tied in knots when they put themselves in the shoes of all those “blah” people. Lord knows, none of those people would be poor if we hadn’t tempted them into lives of indolence with food stamps and welfare. After all, they could move to one of those “Right to Work” states, but it would involve a big pay cut. I’ve certainly never met anyone who could live on minimum wage, but I hear it’s a mild climate in the Southeast, and people don’t really need shoes down there. Rick is one of those ‘self-made’ guys whose Grandfather had to walk to the coal mine every day, uphill both ways, and put up with those stingy union wages. Rick followed in his footsteps, and just look at all he’s accomplished. We should be proud of him, and praise his concern for the less fortunate.

  6. Pingback: NYT 'Clarified' Santorum's 'Black' Quote | The Quote Effect

  7. rosemerry on said:

    Nobody should waste time reading the NYT (except for occasional op-eds like Gitmo detainees finally released as innocent after years of torture by the US freedom-lovers). Tom Friedman,Bill Keller, Ethan Bronner, Judith Miller, now Seelye, besides constant demonising of Iran and other “enemies”, make a mockery of the claim to real journalism. Sick Rantorum and the whole “GOP” team are not needed in 2012, with a Repug in disguise already in the WH. Find some real news that matters.

  8. chmoore on said:

    There’s a very definite and unsettling bully aspect to all the goings-on in these stories.

    What happened with Santorum was, he was talking to sympathetic listeners about those whom they mutually love to blame, but then while his mouth was flying on auto-pilot it dawned on him how it might play on TV to the rest of America. So while his brain stumbled on that thought he slurred a couple of words somewhat. Poor Rickie; it was too late to pull out of that dive.

    But what’s worse is for him to switch from active to passive bullying by acting as though media reporting is bullying him.

    Then there’s Al Gore. I sense that Gore really is a person who genuinely wants to do good. But when he’s confronted by bullying, he seems to prefer to take what he thinks is the high road – maybe to avoid the trap of trying to out-bully the bully. But his achilles heel is that he doesn’t seem to have developed any real effective way to deal with bullies.

    I think he took a real hit during one of the 2000 election debates with Bush. Bush had butted in out of turn with accusations about “fuzzy math” in character with his life career as a spoiled brat, but it was truly embarrasing to watch Gore stand there and do nothing in his own behalf – as if the moderator might benevolently somehow put the whole thing back together.

    The uncomfortable truth about human nature is, when people have a choice between a bully versus someone who doesn’t at least attempt to deal with the bully, they’ll side with the bully every time.

  9. Great piece. I remember when the media mercilessly savaged Gore, over and over, while taking a completely hands-off approach to Bush. I had headaches from repeatedly smiting my forehead at the nonstop b.s. from the MSM. And Matthews, especially, was to blame, that idiot. I remember when he had Gov. Sununu and PJ O’Rourke on his program, and he asked them (rather than have a democrat on to defend against his nonsense comments) “If you were Gore, what would you do?” What a completely arrogant moron. But hey, he’s all about gotcha “journalism,” and is now so “outraged” at the direction of the republican party. Hell, he helped make it happen….

  10. Gregory L Kruse on said:

    “That’s not the world we live in” indeed. Two paths we choose from in life: to believe that the world can be as we hoped it would be or just go along with the way it is. Those who go along with it receive the available worldly rewards; those who resist receive other rewards, not so apparent or worldly. People like Seelye, Matthews, Steele, and many others who go along so expertly will not affect the future much in spite of their relative fame, but those like Parry, Hedges, and Gore have and will affect the future even if their names are not remembered. If we will ever be free, it will be the truth that makes us free.

  11. Wade Riddick on said:

    You should reference the public letter Vint Cerf circulated during the 2000 campaign to back up the Gore quote about the internet. It was suspicious the way no one in the press covered it.