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Thursday, November 25, 2004

The bastards changed the rules and didn't tell me

Over the years, I've read this quote, attributed to Spiro Agnew, in many Israeli newspaper articles - each time to make another point. Haaretz' old-timer Yoel Marcus is particularly fond of it, e.g.: Suddenly, Israel is faced with a new situation that echoes Spiro Agnew's famous moan: "The bastards changed the rules and didn't tell me."
(http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=58498)

Supposedly, Agnew uttered this sentence when confronted with evidence on his tax evasions. I'm too young to remember - I was eight when Spiro Agnew resigned. I wondered what the context was and decided to google it out. All I could find were references in the Israeli press. Could it be that Agnew never said it?! Was this sentence born in the mind of a semi-professional Israeli journalist and perpetuated by a generation of Haaretz readers turned writers?

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Daniel Dreymann said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Effy Leibovich said...

today I heard the same quote attributed to the same Spiro in the evening Israeli tv political show, London&Kirsnbaum and I was intersted in the origin of the quote and I can say the Wikiquoates has no referance to this quoate and also google search doesnt yield anything of interset to this issue besides your post.

So, I think, now, 2013, 9 years after the post was written, you can close the lid of this question.

I think it's an Israeli folklore.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually it seems that the only Israeli folklore is the word "bastards".
Here is an interview with Agnew with the quote:
http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/White%20%20Files/Watergate/Watergate%20Items%2005093%20to%2005323/Watergate%20Items%2005247.pdf

There is a whole post that someone wrote about the vaery sam question:
http://kabirism.com/?p=330#comments

11:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The quote "they changed the rules" was adapted in a specific context which I no longer remember, though I was living in Israel at the time. The new quote was "The bastards -- they changed the rules" (hamamzerim, hem shinu et haklalim) -- the second part referring to Agnew, and the first part an ironic embellishment by the speaker or journalist (someone famous, but I can't recall who). In any case it became an instant idiom and part of the culture, used extensively and applied widely.

8:27 PM  

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