Tim Lambert posting about climate change denialism reminded me that there are any number of misquotes and absolutely false quotes found on the Internet these days.
Snopes carries examples of some classics which are primarily sourced from America.
However, if one wants to see blatant misquotes and bogus paraphrasing at work in Australia one can do no better than look through Hansard courtesy of Open Australia where complaints about misrepresentation are not uncommon.
This little exchange was set off by that arch word-twister, Tony Abbott:
Tony Abbott (Warringah, Liberal Party, Leader of the Opposition) My question is to the Prime Minister. Does the Prime Minister agree with his finance minister that the Home Insulation Program, which has contributed to the deaths of four Australians, was a program where the government could not be expected to dot the i's and cross the t's? Anthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the House) Mr Speaker, on a point of order: it is not in order for the Leader of the Opposition to verbal the finance minister in a question. Therefore the premise of the question is incorrect and therefore the question is out of order.
Harry Jenkins (Speaker) The Leader of the House will resume his seat. The chair is not in a position to vouch for the accuracy of quotes contained within questions. On all occasions, these matters are left in the hands of the person that is asking the question, and the remedial action open to any aggrieved party is well known by members of the House.
Lindsay Tanner (Melbourne, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Finance and Deregulation) Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.
Harry Jenkins (Speaker) Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?
Lindsay Tanner (Melbourne, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Finance and Deregulation) I do. And it has just been repeated in the most recent statement.
Harry Jenkins (Speaker) Please proceed.
Lindsay Tanner (Melbourne, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Finance and Deregulation) In question time today, the Leader of the Opposition stated that I had said yesterday that the government could not be expected to dot its i's and cross its t's with respect to the administration of the insulation program. As those who are listening might have noted in what was just read out by the member for North Sydney, I was asked a specific question about delaying decisions with regard to the government stimulus matters, and the question related to: why didn't the government deal with issues such as the risk association with metal fasteners at the time it made these decisions? My answer was: these are matters for implementation, rightly to be dealt with by the minister and the department, and this was not a reason for delaying those decisions. So the interpretation that is being placed on my statement by the member for North Sydney and the Leader of the Opposition is totally false.