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Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Newsmax Deceptively Edits Obama's 'Laziness' Quote
Topic: Newsmax

Margaret Menge does a little deceptive editing in a Dec. 23 Newsmax article:

In a pre-Christmas interview with Barbara Walters set to air tonight on ABC, President Barack Obama refers to himself as lazy, saying it’s the result of having grown up in Hawaii, with the sun and beach.

Walters interviewed the president and the first lady in the Green Room of the White House on Dec. 15 in a special called “One-on-one with the Obamas.”

In the interview, Walters asks each: "What's the trait you most deplore in yourself and the trait you most deplore in others?"

"Laziness," the president replies.

"You're lazy?" Walters asks.

"You know, it's interesting,” says the president. “There is a deep down -- underneath all the work that I do -- I think there's a laziness in me. It's probably from, you know, growing up in Hawaii and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach”

“Sounds good to me,” Walters replies.

The president left for Hawaii today on a 10-day vacation with his family. He was scheduled to leave earlier and to stay in Hawaii for 17 days, but changed his plans after Mitt Romney, a leading contender for the Republican nomination for president, rapped him for leaving town before a budget deal had been reached.

Romney has repeatedly criticized the president for his lax work ethic and for taking long vacations, saying earlier this month: “Obama’s idea of a hands-on approach to the economy is getting a grip on his golf club.”

Menge curiously failed to include the entire Obama quote:

Q    Okay.  What's the trait you most deplore in yourself and the trait you most deplore in others?


Q    You've lazy?

THE PRESIDENT:  It's interesting, there is a -- deep down, underneath all the work I do, I think there's a laziness in me.  I mean, probably --

MRS. OBAMA:  If you had your choice --

THE PRESIDENT:  It's probably from growing up in Hawaii, and it's sunny outside, and sitting on the beach --

Q    Sounds good to me.

PRESIDENT:  Right.  But when I'm mad at myself, it's because I'm saying to myself, you know what, you could be doing better; push harder.  And when I -- nothing frustrates me more than when people aren't doing their jobs.  Although -- sorry, I shouldn't provide two answers.  The thing actually that I most dislike is cruelty.  I can't stand cruel people.  And if I see people doing something mean to somebody else just to make themselves feel important, it really gets me mad.  But in myself, since I tend not to be a mean person, if I get lazy, then I get mad at myself.

So Obama actually uses his feelings of laziness as motivation to "push harder." Menge not only didn't mention that, she reinforced the misleading impression that Obama called himself lazy by repeating Romney's criticism of Obama's supposedly laziness.

Politico's Ben Smith is calling this the "next anti-Obama talking point." Menge proves Smith right.Too bad Menge can't be bothered to fairly report the quote in full.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EST

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