AND: The video shows that Ana Marie Cox did not transcribe the quote correctly. It's not: "I'm scared of Barack Obama... he's an Arab terrorist..." It's: "I can't trust Obama. I have read about him, and he's not he's not he's a uh he's an Arab." "Terrorist" is simply not there. The McCain quote is a bit off too. He says: "He's a decent family man citizen that I just happen to have some disagreements with on fundamental issues." Don't pin "terrorist" on the little old lady in the audience, and don't pin "whom" on the presidential candidate.
AND: Note that Time's Cox (or whoever did the transcription) not only added "terrorist" but also substituted "scared" for "can't trust." What does that say about the mind of the transcriber? It suggests the press is looking for evidence of fear and fear mongering. I think we're seeing a grasping for more evidence to justify blaming the campaign for deranging the minds of McCain's supporters. But if this woman's concern is that Obama is an Arab and that you can't trust him because of that, then it has nothing much to do with the Ayers connection that the McCain campaign promoted this week. So spike the quote with "terrorism" and "scared."
BUT: If she only said "he's an Arab," why did McCain say "no" and "He's a decent family man citizen..."? "No" makes sense as a simple correction of fact, but why "He's a decent family man citizen" as if Arab-Americans are not decent citizens who care about their families? I think McCain blurted out an accidental, implied ethnic slur.
UPDATE: Josh Marshall is conspicuously struggling to say that the woman -- her name is Gayle Quinnell -- really did say "Arab terrorist":
You can see the video I've embedded below. The gist is that Quinnell apparently did say "Arab terrorist." (ed.note: It would be more accurate to say that she insisted he was one in the interview. It's unclear from interview whether she actually used the second word with McCain.)No, dammit. Here's the transcript of what she says in the interview. She never says "terrorist." It's obvious that she doesn't say that word to McCain. In the interview, the interviewer tries to put that word in her mouth, but she does not say it.
Here are the relevant parts from the interview transcript:
Quinnell: I’m afraid of what’s going to happen to this country.Did she hear the first question and mean to respond to it, or is she responding to the second question that leaves off the word "terrorist"? That's an awfully unfair way to ask the question, and Kunin ought to have followed up and pinned her down. The woman is, 75 and there is noisy music in the background, and she has to lean her head in and say "pardon." Under the circumstances, ascribing the word "terrorist" to her is patently unfair.
Aigner [Adam Aigner of NBC News]: What would you think would happen? Do you think it would become Muslim country and what would that mean?
Quinnell: It would be bad...
Noah Kunin, Senior Political Correspondent from The UpTake: ... And just to be sure to make sure we got your quote OK, you called Obama and Arab terrorist?
Noah: You called him an Arab terrorist? Is that correct? Why do you think he is an Arab?
Quinnell Because his dad is....
Come on, Josh! Take it back.