July 1, 2018

How Embarrassing: NPR Badly Botches Spanish For ‘Year of the Woman’

Saturday evening, NewsBusters’ Tim Graham reported that NPR All Things Considered guest host Audie Cornish interrupted conservative guest Gayle Trotter during a Friday discussion when Trotter characterized far-left Democrats as “the Venezuelan wing of the Democratic Party.” Cornish cut off Trotter in mid-sentence, saying, “You’re calling them full-on Venezuela, I just want to pause for that” — and laughed, as if Trotter’s characterization was obviously ridiculous. Well, since laughing at perfectly reasonable comparisons is now fair game, we’re certainly entitled to a healthy chuckle over NPR’s embarrassing failure to properly use the Spanish language Saturday.

The mangling of Spanish took place in a story on Mexico’s elections, and in the tweet promoting it.

NPR has apologized for its original and now-deleted tweet in a follow-up tweet. To its credit, NPR showed readers the now-deleted original in a photo. But the apology is still incomplete for the English-only members of its audience (HT Twitchy):


Only those who understand Spanish will recognize the full, humiliating extent of the public broadcaster’s error.

For those not familiar with Spanish, here’s the problem, as explained by another tweeter:


We can’t make this stuff up.

Though NPR prominently disclosed the existence of its error on Twitter (while failing to fully disclose its details), it also committed the same error in the story posted on its website, and has only added a tiny and similarly vague correction at the end of Carrie Kahn’s story.

A Web Archive capture of that report on Saturday at 2:26 p.m. shows that NPR originally made the same mistake in its opening paragraph before correcting it:


Setting aside NPR’s humiliating error, Kahn’s “year of the woman” characterization has a serious problem which she didn’t disclose until Paragraph 10 of 17:


So “The Year of the Woman” is really “The Year of Sex-Based Quotas for Political Candidates.” An obsession with sexual identify has now officially replaced what would be a more appropriate focus on results.

Getting back to Audie Cornish’s laughter at Gayle Trotter’s “Venezuelan wing” characterization of far-left Democrats, her ridicule doesn’t change the fact that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the party’s new darling, is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, and that the DSA’s “constitution” reads, in part (HT Townhall):


Let’s see what has happened in Venezuela, which has “only” (sharply) discouraged the pursuit of private profit:


The DSA’s constitution rejects private profit. As such, it is to the left of how Venezuela, which the linked article accurately describes as an economic “trash heap,” has operated.

Thus, Gayle Trotter’s Friday characterization of the Democratic Party’s far-leftists as ”the Venezuelan wing of the Democratic Party” is an understatement — and no laughing matter. Audie Cornish’s failure to recognize this should be more embarrassing than the network’s failed “Year of the woman” translation.


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