The assumption is that every word in a quote is word for word what the interviewee said. Many news organizations -- The New York Times, Associated Press -- do not allow reporters to "clean up" quotations, even if the speaker employs tortured syntax. In that case, it is often best to remove the quote and paraphrase the response -- or just quote the words or phrase that are the strongest. It is permissible to delete extraneous sounds like "uh" or "um."
Posted on August 31, 2007