Saturday, March 06, 2010

Difficulty sourcing a quote

In my review of Blasphemy by Alan Dershowitz, I noted that Dershowitz attributes the following quote to Ralph Reed: ""[It is] the Jewish element of the ACLU which is trying to drive Christianity out of the public place ... because the ACLU is made up of a tremendous amount of Jewish attorneys."

A while ago I happened to notice that the particular section of Blasphemy that that quote comes from was recycled from the previous Dershowitz book The Vanishing Jew. Except in that book the quote is attributed to Billy McCormack of the Christian Coalition. Blasphemy does not offer a citation for the quote and I have not been able to find a copy of The Vanishing Jew to see if it sources the quote any better.

McCormack is the more likely source of the quote, as you can find it attributed to him through a google search (supposedly in a taped LA Times interview,) but not to Reed. Still, all of the links I have found have failed to source the quote to my satisfaction, so I would consider it dubious until further notice.

I wish I had posted this update when this first came to my attention, but I had intended to attempt to contact Dershowitz to ask about the quote and then forgot about it when I never got around to doing so.

Since the quote is a damning example of bigotry, it is fairly defamatory to attribute it to someone without having verified its veracity. I owe Ralph Reed an apology, regret the error and my neglect to resolve the matter sooner, and have removed the quote from the original post.

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