Heartland Institute Edits George Carlin's Words For Cheap Facebook Hits

The billionaire-funded think tank's stunt proves it's less interested in scholarship than it is in scoring points.

[Caution: It's George Carlin, and NSFW]

Did the idiots running social media at the Heartland Institute really think no one would notice what they did there? AnnieJo at Daily Kos has the details.

Here's George Carlin's words:

Because the owners of this country don't want that. I'm talking about the real owners, now. The real owners, the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they're an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don't. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They've long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They've got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. They've got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying,­ lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else.

But I'll tell you what they don't want. They don't want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don't want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They're not interested in that. That doesn't help them. That's against their interests. They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around the kitchen table and figure out how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fucking years ago.

Here's what the Heartland Institute lifted for their Facebook meme (bolded above):

I suppose they thought they'd grab enough of his quote to be recognizable without bothering with context. Except in this case, context is everything. They managed to turn it around so that it appeared as though Carlin said exactly the opposite of what he actually said.

All of that to post an image on Facebook to mislead all of the folks who now use Facebook to spread stupid memes instead of email. Way to go there, Heartland.


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See update #2 below According to Heartland's website, their "New Media Specialist" is Keely Drukala. Her bio says she has connections to the Cook County Republican Party and got a high-powered education in politics from the American University in Paris. Evidently they forgot how to teach her to properly quote someone in context so as not to twist their meaning. Or maybe there was a special course in telling lies and damn lies.

I'm not sure we should expect truth from an organization built on the premise of denying it.

Update: After Kelly Carlin got wind of it late last night and you all stepped up and shared this post, Heartland retracted it. Of course, the horse has left the barn. It's doubtful it will die a rapid meme death anytime soon. That's the goal of every lie they spread. By the time it's caught and retracted, it has a life of its own.

Update #2: John Engle, an intern at the Heartland Institute, wrote and informed us that he was the person who posted the original image on Facebook, not Keely Drukala.

Engle further stated that the original image was not created by Heartland, which they also claimed in their retraction. Whether or not it was their creation, there is no dispute that it was shared across social media with the intention of misleading their followers about what George Carlin said. We appreciate their retraction. This update corrects the original text to note the person to whom Heartland's post can be attributed.

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