Patterico's Pontifications

9/9/2008

Arnold Claims He Was Misquoted by Der Spiegel

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:36 pm



Hmmm. Does this sound familiar?

Something about speaking in the native language loosens the lips, which just might explain the freewheeling interview that Arnold Schwarzenegger, California’s Austrian-born governor, gave recently to the German language publication Der Spiegel. So freewheeling, in fact, that the governor’s office is casting doubt on the accuracy of the interview until it can verify the translation.

In a transcript published in English of an interview conducted at least partially in German, Schwarzenegger called the leaders of California’s Republican Party — his own party — “so out -there” politically, saying he has no almost no contact with them.

Why would Arnold be suspicious of a Der Spiegel translation? I can’t imagine why. Unless it’s the fact that their editor admits that the publication rewrites quotes and represents the rewritten version to be a verbatim quotation.

I mean, what’s wrong with that?

P.S. If an enterprising journalist who wants to confirm Arnold’s quotes, I’m sure they need only ask Der Spiegel to hear the tape, and the magazine will happily allow it! Remember, that’s what they said with the Maliki interview:

Der Spiegel has no plans to release the tape (“We don’t see a need to improve upon our credibility by, say, putting the audio on the web.”) but is happy to play it—in person, over the phone—for any journalist interested in verifying.

“Anyone who wants to hear it can hear it,” says Müller von Blumencron. “But no one else has asked.”

And they make it so easy! When I asked, they immediately said I could listen to it told me: “we are sorry, but we generally don’t hand out research material.” Then, when I wrote back and cited their editor’s promise that anyone could hear it, I was told I would have to travel to one of their offices in Washington D.C. or New York City to listen to it. (No, they wouldn’t play it over the phone. I asked.)

What could be simpler? See? Anyone can listen! — as long as they’re willing to travel across the country!

I’ll get right on that, Governor.

6 Responses to “Arnold Claims He Was Misquoted by Der Spiegel”

  1. About ten years ago, I was still trying to learn German fluently (after having spent six months in Germany and attending the Goethe Institut, a German-language school). I read Der Spiegel (not Speigel, as Patterico says), among other German “news” outlets, as practice. But, I finally couldn’t stand Spiegel’s crazy left-wing views, so I gave it up.

    b10621 (df882e)

  2. Can we at least trust Der Spiegel to quote the original German accurately? If so, I don’t think this:

    SPIEGEL: Still, the convention must have been a disappointment for you. It was a celebration of conservative values rather than bipartisanship as you had hoped.

    Schwarzenegger: There’s no celebration in any convention of bipartisanship because you have the most hard-core individuals. Think about the Republicans from California that are running the party. I have almost no contact with them. None — because they’re just so out there. But those are the people that were there. I mean, I would have been there giving a speech, but they wouldn’t have wanted that kind of a presentation. The speech I would have given is the one that Fred Thompson gave. I gave him my speech because I did not go to the convention. It was a great speech because it talked in minute detail about McCain’s torture and his being a POW, and that’s the speech that the party wanted me to give. Why? Because this way I don’t go and talk about centrist politics and maybe rub some people the wrong way. That’s another stage.

    is all that bad a translation for this:

    SPIEGEL: Der Parteitag kann Ihnen nicht gefallen haben, denn er war eine Feier der konservativen Werte und nicht der Überparteilichkeit, wie Sie sich erhofft haben.

    Schwarzenegger: Bei einem Parteitag geht es ja nie um Überparteilichkeit, dort regieren notorisch die Ideologen, wie zum Beispiel die Republikaner aus Kalifornien, die politisch ganz weit jenseits des Mainstreams stehen, weit rechts von der Mitte. Das sind genau die Leute, die den Parteitag besuchen und beherrschen. Ich sollte auf diesem Parteitag über den Kriegshelden John McCain reden. Eine Rede über eine Rückkehr zur zentristischen Politik war nicht erwünscht.

    If I were the one doing the translation, this:

    Bei einem Parteitag geht es ja nie um Überparteilichkeit, dort regieren notorisch die Ideologen, wie zum Beispiel die Republikaner aus Kalifornien, die politisch ganz weit jenseits des Mainstreams stehen, weit rechts von der Mitte. Das sind genau die Leute, die den Parteitag besuchen und beherrschen.

    Would have said this:

    At party conventions, it’s never about bipartisanship. There, the ideologues are notoriously in control. Like, for example, Republicans from California, who are politically far outside the mainstream, far to the right of the middle. Those are precisely the people who attend conventions and run the show.

    Note, however, that the part about having almost no contact with them is curiously absent from the German version. So too is the reference to Fred Thompson; the latter is more understandable because your average German reader couldn’t care less about the primary season’s also-rans. But the part about no contact is troubling; if he said it in German, wouldn’t that have been just as interesting to the German readers?

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  3. In any language “Der Schwarzenegger” ist kaputt!

    C. Norris (37ee3c)

  4. I see no reason to change my opinion that Der Spiegel maintains the same standards of journalistic ethics as Der Volkisher Beobachter.

    Bar Sinister (b50c99)

  5. “Der Volkisher Beobachter” does not exist, and the name isn’t even grammatical. Perhaps you were thinking of Neues Deutschland, which was the GDR’s answer to Pravda?

    Xrlq (b71926)

  6. I read Der Spiegel (not Speigel, as Patterico says)

    I misspelled it once out of several times. I appreciate your pointing out the typo, but give me credit for the fact that it was a typo and not an indication that I don’t know how to spell it, as you falsely suggest.

    Patterico (cc3b34)


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