CBS Edits Interview to Protect McCain (Updated)

CBS Edits Interview to Protect McCain (Updated)

Honestly, I thought I had seen it all.  I had resigned myself to the traditional media doing everything they could to avoid drawing attention to McCain’s inability to keep basic facts about foreign policy straight — Sunni vs. Shia, Czechoslovakia (four times!), Somalia vs. Sudan, the remarkable Iraq/Pakistan border.  But I never expected CBS to actually edit an interview with McCain to conceal his newest mistake — his claim that the surge is responsible for the Anbar Awakening, when the Awakening in fact predated the announcement of the surge by a few months.  Yet CBS did exactly that, replacing McCain’s actual answer to Katie Couric’s question with tape from much later in her interview.  See for yourself:

As Ilan Goldberg has pointed out, this a fundamental misunderstanding of recent Iraqi history, not the kind of verbal gaffe that McCain has made so often in the past.  So it’s shameful that CBS would try to cover for him.  When did CBS morph into Pravda?

UPDATE: CBS has offered the following “explanation” for editing out McCain’s mistake:

As all news organizations do with extended interviews, last night’s Obama and McCain interviews were edited to fit the available time and to give viewers a fair expression of the candidates’ major differences. The full transcript and video were and still are available at cbsnews.com.

Funny, you’d think the fact that one candidate understands Iraq and the other doesn’t would qualify as a “major difference.”

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Diplomatic Gunboat
Diplomatic Gunboat

They’re just trying to make it look like a fair fight. 

The last thing they want is another Bob Dole versus Bill Clinton. 

Yes, the editing is serious.  News media giving any candidate assistance is inappropriate, and there has been plenty of that going around this year.  The media infatuation with Obama has been hard to suppress (ask Hillary supporters).  But the media also needs a credible-sounding contest to keep their ratings up.

Panem et circenses.