Saturday, September 27, 2008
CBS editing manipulates interview
I was really looking forward to watching both the Joe Biden interview and the Sarah Palin interview with Katie Couric so I could compare the two. I was really disappointed with the Biden interview, it seemed more like a People Magazine expose and no challenge of obvious fabrication by Senator Biden. So next, Katie interviews Sarah Palin. But what do we get? A interview that has been manipulated in editing !
Governor Sarah Palin has given two mainstream media interviews. In both, she made multiple statements about the importance of multilateralism in foreign policy. In both, these comments were deleted by the news organizations.
After both interviews, a furor has broken out afterwards because of her hawkishness.
At two points in the video (2:58 and 5:39), segments have been removed from the official transcript.
Here are the missing pieces of the transcript:
(2:58) Couric: What, specifically, in your view, could be done to convince the new government in Pakistan to take a harder, tougher line against terrorists in that country?
Palin: At a time when new leadership comes in, that is the opportunity to forge better, tighter, more productive relationships and that’s what we’ll take advantage of with new leadership in the US and in Pakistan. And I’m sure that President Zardari, too, will agree with us as we commit to the support that Pakistan needs, that other nations in the region need, in order to win this war on terrorism. (3:32)
(5:39) Couric: But what lessons do you think you have learned as you’ve watched this unfold in terms of implementing the democracy and the challenges inherent in that goal?
Palin: Well, one is that America cannot be counted on to do this solely, to be the savior of every other nation, but we need friends and we need allies and we need this nation-building effort and we need to forge new alliances, and that is what a new election will provide opportunity to do.
Couric: What happened if the goal of democracy, Governor Palin, doesn’t produce the desired outcome, for example in Gaza, the US pushed hard for elections and Hamas won.
Palin: Especially in that region, though, we have got to protect those and support those who do seek democracy and do seek protections for the people who live there. And you know, we’re seeing today, in the last couple of days here in New York, a speaker, a President of Iran, Ahmadinejad, who would come on our soil and express such disdain for one of our closest allies and friends—Israel—and we’re hearing the evil that he speaks. And if hearing him doesn’t allow Americans to commit more solidly to protecting the friends and allies that we need, expecially there in the Mideast, then nothing will.
If Americans are not waking up to understand what it is that he represents, then nothing is going to wake us up and we will be lulled into some kind of false sense of security that perhaps Americans were a part of before 9/11.(7:25)
What do each of these three Palin answers have in common? They portray her as a foreign policy moderate who seeks multilateral coalitions with allies and who advocates for human rights, caring about better lives for Middle Easterners.
Interestingly, ABC News also edited out the same kind of moderate, multilateralist comment in order to more effectively promote the misinformation that Palin was advocating a new, warmongering approach to Russia.
Katie Couric clearly hasn't learned much from the previous CBS News scandal, Rathergate.
Technical note: There may have been further editing of each of the two interviews. In both instances, we only know about the modifications because of sloppy editing. In one, the transcript is the smoking gun for the discrepancies; in the other it is the video.
Here's an analytics perspective on the deletions:
In the Gibson (ABC News) interview:
7 instances were deleted of "allies"
5 instances were deleted of "countries"
5 instances were deleted of "democracies"
In the Couric (CBS News) interview:
4 instances were deleted of "allies"
3 instances were deleted of "democracies"
3 instances were deleted of "friends"
3 instances were deleted of "nations"
(A few word variants were included.)