By , E&P
Editor & Publisher
More than two days after an inflammatory quote used by a regular Washington Times columnist was shown to be fabricated -- it was attributed to Abraham Lincoln, no less -- the newspaper still had not removed it from the article, nor carried a correction. Finally, this afternoon, it pulled the entire Frank Gaffney, Jr. column.
Before that, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) cited the quote on the floor of the House on Thursday in the debate over the Iraq war "surge." He took it to be true, apparently. Rep. Young added, referring to Lincoln: "He had the same problem this President has, with an unpopular war. The same problem with people trying to redirect the commander in chief."
Young's spokeswoman, Meredith Kenny, said the congressman took the quote directly from The Washington Times column. "Now that he's been informed these are not the actual words of Lincoln, he will discontinue attributing the words to Lincoln. However, he continues to totally agree with the message of the statement," Kenny told The Washington Post.
On Wednesday, E&P and some political blogs pointed out that conservative Frank Gaffney, Jr., opened his latest column on Tuesday morning with this: "Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged." -- President Abraham Lincoln. He continued: "It is, of course, unimaginable that the penalties proposed by one of our most admired presidents for the crime of dividing America in the face of the enemy would be contemplated -- let alone applied -- today. Still, as the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate engage in interminable debate about resolutions whose effects can only be to 'damage morale and undermine the military' while emboldening our enemies, it is time to reflect on what constitutes inappropriate behavior in time of war. …