That MLK Quote, Ctd.

Alexis Madrigal tracks down 24-year-old Jessica Dovey, the girl who began the whole misquote shitstorm:

My mom yelled at me. She said, “I can’t believe you misquoted Martin Luther King, Jr.” I said, “I didn’t.” … Online, it’s been mostly positive. I don’t think I’ve gotten one negative message and I have hundreds of messages in my Facebook mailbox. Not one negative message at all. People are saying thank you. Or you said it beautifully. It’s kind of embarrassing, I don’t know. I don’t know any of them, really. It’s just so strange that all of these people singled me out and are sending their thanks my way. I just think the focus should be on the idea. The thing that I’m most proud of is that before all this happened, my dad commented on the thread and said, “I agree with this,” and he called me later and said, “I agree. I don’t think it’s right what’s happening.” It really meant a lot to me that my father would say that. He taught me to respect life. Whatever I say, it’s coming from him.

She sounds like a pretty good person, who got caught up in a strange situation beyond her control. The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle has more: “At some point, someone cut and pasted the quote, and–for reasons that I, appropriately chastened, will not speculate on–stripped out the quotation marks. Eventually, the mangled quotation somehow came to the attention of Penn Jillette, of Penn and Teller fame. He tweeted it to his 1.6 million Facebook followers, and the rest was internet history. Twenty-four hours later, the quote brought back over 9,000 hits on Google.”

I really don’t know why this whole thing fascinates me as much as it does.

Comments on this entry are closed.