The Corner

Partial Retraction

Greg Sargent has a post up in which he says that he’s called Gore’s representative and received the following statement:

“Mr. Goldberg’s insinuation is simply incorrect. Mr. Gore did indeed spend an educational week in Cannes during the summer when he was fifteen. That summer he also spent a great deal of time working on the family farm.”

This is taken to confirm the essence of this statement:

“The first [time I was in Cannes] was when I was 15 years old and came here for the summer to study the existentialists — Sartre, Camus…. We were not allowed to speak anything but French!”

Now, there is indeed much parsing I could do here, as Greg Sargent clearly understands (if he thought Gore was in the clear, there would not be so much throat-clearing and pre-emptive complaining about my reaction). An “educational week in Cannes” doesn’t sound much like being in Cannes “for the summer to study the existentialists” to me. I leave it to others to decide if they think Gore is taking liberties — AKA “exaggerating.” I also leave it to others to decide if Sargent is doing the same.

Nevertheless, it is obvious that if I had found any evidence that Gore had been in Cannes for even a week that summer, I would not have written the column the way I did. It’s 5:30 in the morning and I’ll give it further thought as the day progresses. But, I think as far as this statement goes, I should take Gore at his word. I apologize for the imprecision and overly broad insinuations. I’ll ask to offer a clarifying statement in my next LA Times column.

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