A big fan of war?

Jimmy Carter was on campus to receive an award as part of the Albert Schweitzer Institute’s activities. Our student paper led with a quote from one of our students who attended Carter’s speech:

“I am an advocate of war, but after hearing his speech, I do not understand why people would ever want the use of nuclear weapons,” said Carley Shimkus, a junior journalism major.

I was floored when I read that. Did one of our students actually say “I am an advocate of war.” Who says that?

Update (Oct 12): Be sure to see Carley’s reaction in the comments below.

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  1. Posted 10/2/2007 at 8:04 pm | Permalink


  2. alex
    Posted 10/2/2007 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    I can’t imagine most Republicans would actually say that they are “an advocate of war.” Even the most hawkish suggest a patina of necessity. Something like “we must fight in order to protect ourselves.”

    Now this may be a quote that has been taken out of its initial context. Maybe it was meant to suggest that Ms. Shimkus is an advocate of the Iraq War, or thinks that we should continue the occupation, or something. But the way it reads is that she is an “advocate of war.” Short of the Mussolini-influenced futurists’ love of the sound of explosions and mechanized death, or something like it, I can’t imagine anyone actually being a “war fan,” no matter which side of the aisle they sit on.

  3. Posted 10/4/2007 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Your students are becoming as bad as mine :(

  4. Carley Shimkus
    Posted 10/12/2007 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    To set the record straight- I am outraged that i was misquoted to such an outlandish degree. I am, in fact, not an advocate of war (just like every other non-satanic blood bottom dweller. What I said during the interview went something like this: “After the 9/11 attacks, I supported Bushes plan to take action against our attackers. However, I am disappointed with many decisions the Bush Administration has made since the war began.” Another question the reporter asked pertained to my thoughts on Carter’s passion for nuclear disarmament. I said i agreed with Carter’s viewson the matter. I feel completely misrepresented and am rather upset about it. I am at a loss as to how the reporter pieced my words together to create a rather sophomoric sounding fabrication. I am a journalism major and somethink like this has shown me what it feels like to be misquoted. Maybe it’s a little lesson in disguise but as for now- Iam angry.

  5. alex
    Posted 10/12/2007 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Carley: Thanks for setting the record straight. I have to say, I’m regularly misquoted in by journalists–it seems to go with the territory. However, I’ve been really lucky in that they have more often made me sound better than I actually did. If you haven’t already, you might want to send a note to the Chronicle making it clear…

  6. Carley
    Posted 10/13/2007 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Im glad you have a positive view on the news media. Like i said before, this certainly has taught me a lesson. The Chronicle is aware of the mistake and will be printing an apology statement in the next issue.

  7. Alicia
    Posted 10/14/2007 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I am the reporter who conducted the interview with Carley. The Chronicle has decided to not write a correction about Carley’s quote. I have in my notes that those were the words that she used and I am standing by what I heard and wrote. She used ‘advocate of war’ and in my opinion I feel as though people on this blog are taking her words out of context. I never called her a fan of war; I just wrote what she said. Carley, I am sorry if you remember the conversation differently but myself and the Chronicle stand by our decision to not print a correction since we feel there is no correction to be made, according to my notes.

  8. Carley
    Posted 10/14/2007 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I happen to remember the conversation differently. Like I said in my email to Alicia, I am majoring in journalism as well. I know that key words are used when you are quickly taking notes during an interview. I probably would have taken out the word “the” as well. But taking out that simple word changes the entire meaning behind what I said. If I said something stupid I would own up to it but seeing as we were only discussing The War in Iraq, I don’t believe I would talk about my feelings on war in general. Alicia conducted a good interview in person. I believe she just forgot a word when writing the article. Although I disagree with The Chronicles decision to not print a correction, my strong convictions on the matter are enough for me.

  9. alex
    Posted 10/14/2007 at 9:47 pm | Permalink


    I presume that when you say “the people on this blog are taking her words out of context,” you mean that I am taking them out of context. I don’t think the phrase “I am an advocate of war,” can be placed in a favorable context, do you?

    The journalist’s ethical obligation is more than just getting the quote right, it is also making sure that quotations do not misrepresent an interviewee’s position. Moreover, journalists bear the responsibility of responding to complaints from the public they serve. Even if your editor decides a retraction is unnecessary, providing Ms. Shimkus the chance to respond to what she sees as a misrepresentation of her position is the responsible course of action.

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  1. […] criticism because of an exchange that occurred on this blog. I noted a quote in the Chronicle that seemed odd, and the person quoted argued that she never said what the paper said she said, or at the very […]

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