A little Fourth of July hangover story for you: a patriotic commercial for Samuel Adams beer has inspired the ire of internet commenters (really, what hasn’t?) for only partially quoting the Declaration of Independence. In the spot, an actor pours a Sam Adams as he says:
… Samuel Adams signed the Declaration of Independence. He believed that there was a better way to live. All men are created equal. They are endowed with certain unalienable rights. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …
Astute readers of the Declaration (published in full here) will recall that they’re missing a key phrase there. “They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.” (Emphasis ours, not Jefferson’s.) Cue the outrage!
“Unbelievable Sam Adams insults the majority of people in this country who are religious and patriotic to make happy a few that hate this country and hate religion,” says YouTube user fuzzypaws17. (LOL.) “I have been endowed by my creator with the unalienable right to never buy Sam Adams Beer again,” says John Johnsonville. Over on Twitter, it continues:
— Raptor (@raptor833) July 4, 2013
F0r this, Media Bistro has declared the ad a potential PR disaster. Other, calmer commenters point out that money is time in the land of commercials. And the actor doesn’t exactly sound like he’s making a direct quote, just kind of paraphrasing the main points that make the Declaration worthy of buying their alcoholic beverage. He leaves out some other words, too. In fact, the full sentence, with words that don’t appear in the Sam Adams commercial bolded, is, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” But you don’t hear anyone bitching about “that among these are” going missing. That among these are, guys! That’s important, too!
But also probably the larger point here is that no one is actually angry about this and it does not matter. YouTube commenters are not real. They do not exist IRL. If they did, then we’d really have cause to lose faith in America.
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/news/2013/07/05/samuel-adams-commercial-misquotes-declaration-of-independence-irks-internet/
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