Tom Chick at Fidgit spots some naughty editorial word games. In a Newsday report on some teenage thugs, the lede claims that they were "inspired" by GTA 4, but when we get to the actual attributed quote from Det. Sgt. Anthony Repalone, a Nassau police spokesman, it's just not the same: "They were emulating the character in that Grand Theft Auto game."
A subtle distinction? Not really: inspiration concerns the cause of a crime, while emulation concerns the manner in which it is conducted. The quote's vanished in an update to the piece, however, replaced by a nearly identical one ("emulating the popular fictional character Niko Bellic") – attributed to a different official!
That Newsday appended the word said to suspiciously coordinated and obviously written statements from public officials is par for the course. Setting out to improve such quotes, however, never looks good.
Attention mothers: If you're concerned about the effects of video games on children, and wonder why nothing ever actually happens to benefit your side, this is why: it's because journalists and politicians exploit your fears so ham-fistedly that no-one really takes them seriously.