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Barack Obama on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno last week. (Credit: YouTube, "tonightshownbc," screenshot)

The Associated Press “wrongly inserted an interpretative phrase in parentheses into a quote by” Barack Obama that changed the meaning of the President’s comment.

Obama had said on NBC’s Tonight Show:

“If we don’t deepen our ports all along the Gulf – places like Charleston, S.C., or Savannah, Ga., or Jacksonville, Fla. – if we don’t do that, these ships are going to go someplace else and we’ll lose jobs.”

According to the AP’s August 8 correction, Obama’s comments could have been interpreted in two ways — that Obama (wrongly) thought Charleston, S.C., Savannah, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla. were Gulf of Mexico ports, or that Obama was saying the three ports were in addition to Gulf of Mexico ports.

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But, the AP added into Obama’s quote a parenthetical that it shouldn’t have. As Politico explained, the added parenthetical was seen as “a way to smooth over an apparent gaffe Obama made.”

The AP correction reads in part:

“Charleston, Savannah and Jacksonville are not Gulf ports. It wasn’t known if the president was suggesting they were. The AP should not have added the phrase in an effort to clarify his statement.”

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AP Corrects, Obama’s Gulf Ports Comment Shouldn’t have been Clarified

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