“So perhaps journalists, playing Wizard of Oz for so many years behind the veil of assorted editors, fact-checkers and media executives, are now feeling a bit naked out in the open. It doesn’t help that media companies have cut fact-checking down to the bone (if it exists at all). With the Net and bloggers breathing down their necks, journalists will just have to try harder, especially when it comes to quotes.” Mark Glaser —Feeling Misquoted? Weblogs, Transcripts Let the Reader Decide (OJR)
For more fun stuff regarding quotes, see Ann Coulter’s observation that an “average guy on the street” named Greg Packer has been quoted about 100 times:
It was easy for the Times to spell Packer’s name right because he is apparently the entire media’s designated “man on the street” for all articles ever written. He has appeared in news stories more than 100 times as a random member of the public. Packer was quoted on his reaction to military strikes against Iraq; he was quoted at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Veterans’ Day Parade. He was quoted at not one – but two – New Year’s Eve celebrations at Times Square. He was quoted at the opening of a new “Star Wars” movie, at the opening of an H&M clothing store on Fifth Avenue and at the opening of the viewing stand at Ground Zero. He has been quoted at Yankees games, Mets games, Jets games – even getting tickets for the Brooklyn Cyclones. He was quoted at a Clinton fund-raiser at Alec Baldwin’s house in the Hamptons and the pope’s visit to Giants stadium.
Update: an AP story, that does not credit Coulter, offers a profile of the oft-quoated Packer, a highway construction worker who enjoys rubbing elbows with celebrities.