All these circumstances explain why so many folks on social media jumped on an alleged quote from Buttigieg published in the Los Angeles Times. “My message is not about going back to where we were. The failures of the Obama era help explain how we got Trump," said Buttigieg, according to a story by Evan Halper.
In fact, Buttigieg never said such a thing. The quote was the result of a journalistic screw-up. As with all journalistic screw-ups, however, the correction lagged behind the stern and immediate reaction to the quote on social media:
Newsweek found the alleged quote compelling enough to write a story headlined, “OBAMA ERA ‘FAILURES’ EXPLAIN HOW WE GOT TRUMP PRESIDENCY, SAYS PETE BUTTIGIEG.” That headline now reads, “'FAILURES OF THE OLD NORMAL’ EXPLAIN HOW WE GOT TRUMP PRESIDENCY, SAYS PETE BUTTIGIEG.” Not quite as newsworthy anymore.
The reason for the change? In a tweet, Halper came forth with a correction, explaining that he was attempting to transcribe a “noisy recording during a loud rally.” He was appropriately contrite:
Buttigieg himself tweeted in support of the correction:
And Lis Smith, senior adviser for communications for the Buttigieg campaign, tweeted audio of the quote, which makes clear that the corrected version of the quote is the correct quote:
In another tweet, Smith cautioned against folks on Twitter who might be inclined to “dunk” on Halper: "just don’t,” she advised. We asked Smith for an interview about the episode. She declined: “We have moved on.”‘
Read more from Erik Wemple: