UPDATE: The video of the Bush story.
UPDATE 9/25: A crock of a piece by John Aziz at The Week: "Earth to climate-change deniers: Neil deGrasse Tyson's errors won't help you." Includes this gem of a "to be sure" statement:
To be sure, science is about facts, and a public advocate for science shouldn't play fast and loose with the facts, even in the interests of a snappy presentation. This will inevitably invite criticism. Tyson needs to check carefully, in the future, that the quotes in his anecdotes are factual and not a figment of his imagination. And he should apologize to those who he has misquoted.Me: How nice. Followed immediately by this:
But at the same time, it should be said that none of Tyson's errors amount to methodological or factual errors in published scientific papers.Me: It should be said! And what a fantastically low standard for well-known scientists to follow! And how does Aziz know that Tyson's Bush story was an "error" as opposed to a deliberate fabrication, especially when Tyson won't address it? A defense like this makes the defended look worse.
UPDATE 1:06 PM: And I just noticed this tweet from Aziz:
In which I concede @seanmdav was right to criticize Neil deGrasse Tyson http://t.co/1sZr73EzgfWhich accentuates my view that Aziz's article is disingenuous posturing. When you "concede" something by wrapping it in an attack on the critics you're supposedly conceding to, and trying to downplay the significance of what you're conceding, you are engaging in the empty tribalism that passes for so much of political discourse these days.
— John Aziz (@azizonomics) September 25, 2014
UPDATE 9/28: An admission of error, to a degree, by Tyson, made in the comments of two Facebook posts. He says he "transposed" the quote from just after 9/11 to after the shuttle Columbia disaster. He doesn't mention that he changed the wording of the quote as well as its context and gave it a meaning it did not have. But it looks like this is far as he's going to go. A disappointing performance. Case closed.
UPDATE 10/2: Tyson's statement on this matter. While it still seems like an attempt to downplay it, there is an apology in there. It'll do.