LA Times Reporter Issues Correction on Pete Buttigieg’s Obama Misquote That Went Viral


LA Times reporter Evan Halper appeared to have captured a remarkably newsworthy moment when during an interview with presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend Mayor laid blame for the rise of Donald Trump at the feet of former President Barack Obama.

The last paragraph included the following comment “The failures of the Obama era help explain how we got Trump,” which is a starkly critical comment of the still wildly popular political figure in Democratic circles.  And not surprisingly, this comment quickly went viral.

The sentiment expressed toward Buttigieg is neatly encapsulated by Mediaite’s own Tommy Christopher’s quote tweet of actor Twitter-famous Kamala Harris supporter Chris Evans:

But it turns out, Buttigieg never actually said that, at least according to Halper, who corrected the record and apologized for the misquote which he attributed to a “noisy recording at a loud rally.” Halper tweeted:

The LA Times article has been updated to correct the quote from Obama, but curiously no note of correction has been included. The last paragraph now reads:

For a lot of people, “‘normal’ has been a real problem for a very long time, and I think the failures of the old normal help explain how we got Trump. I am running on building a future that is going to have a lot of differences.… One thing I learned in 2016 is to be very skeptical of any message that relies on the word ‘again.’ ”

While Halper corrected the record, questions about the veracity of his correction remain. Let’s go back to Tommy Christopher’s clear expression of reasonable skepticism:

At least one notable media figure took a charitable view of Halper’s mistake. Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough showed appreciating and understanding when he tweeted the following:

UPDATE: Buttigieg has shown appreciation for Halper’s “swift and honest” correction of his misquote:

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