19 May

White House Attacks NBC For Deceptively Editing Bush Interview

                                       

Ouch….The White House sent a email to NBC blasting them for selectively editing an interview with the President making it seem that Bush agrees with Richard Engel view about negotiating with Iran. First, here is the 3+ minute edited version shown this morning:

The question from Engel:

RICHARD ENGEL: Good morning, Meredith. I started by asking the President about his controversial comments he made in Israel, which Democratic candidates interpreted as a political attack. You said that negotiating with Iran is pointless and then you went further. You’re saying, you said that it was appeasement. Were you referring to Senator Barack Obama? He certainly thought you were.

GEORGE W. BUSH: You know, my policies haven’t changed, but evidently, the political calendar has.

What NBC left on the cutting room floor:

People need to read the speech. You didn’t get it exactly right, either. What I said was is that we need to take the words of people seriously. And when, you know, a leader of Iran says that they want to destroy Israel, you’ve got to take those words seriously. And if you don’t take them seriously, then it harkens back to a day when we didn’t take other words seriously. It was fitting that I talked about not taking the words of Adolph Hitler seriously on the floor of the Knesset. But I also talked about the need to defend Israel, the need to not negotiate with the likes of al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas. And the need to make sure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.

But I also talked about a vision of what’s possible in the Middle East.

Completely dishonest hack job by NBC and Engel.

Here is the letter sent from the White House:

Steve Capus

President, NBC News

30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10112

Mr. Capus:

This e-mail is to formally request that NBC Nightly News and The Today Show air for their viewers President Bush’s actual answer to correspondent Richard Engel’s question about Iran policy and “appeasement,” rather than the deceptively edited version of the President’s answer that was aired last night on the Nightly News and this morning on The Today Show.

In the interview, Engel asked the President: “You said that negotiating with Iran is pointless, and then you went further. You said that it was appeasement. Were you referring to Senator Barack Obama?”

The President responded: “You know, my policies haven’t changed, but evidently the political calendar has. People need to read the speech. You didn’t get it exactly right, either. What I said was is that we need to take the words of people seriously. And when, you know, a leader of Iran says that they want to destroy Israel, you’ve got to take those words seriously. And if you don’t take them seriously, then it harkens back to a day when we didn’t take other words seriously. It was fitting that I talked about not taking the words of Adolph Hitler seriously on the floor of the Knesset. But I also talked about the need to defend Israel, the need to not negotiate with the likes of al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas. And the need to make sure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.”

This answer makes clear: (1). The President’s remarks before the Knesset were not different from past policy statements, but are now being looked at through a political prism, (2). Corrects the inaccurate premise of Engel’s question by putting the “appeasement” line in the proper context of taking the words of leaders seriously, not “negotiating with Iran,” (3). Restates the U.S.’s long-standing policy positions against negotiating with al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas, and not allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Engel’s immediate follow-up question was, “Repeatedly you’ve talked about Iran and that you don’t want to see Iran develop a nuclear weapon. How far away do you think Iran is from developing a nuclear capability?”

The President replied, “You know, Richard, I don’t want to speculate – and there’s a lot of speculation. But one thing is for certain – we need to prevent them from learning how to enrich uranium. And I have made it clear to the Iranians that there is a seat at the table for them if they would verifiably suspend their enrichment. And if not, we’ll continue to rally the world to isolate them.”

This response reiterates another long-standing policy, which is that if Iran verifiably suspends its uranium enrichment program the U.S. government would engage in talks with the Iranian government.

NBC’s selective editing of the President’s response is clearly intended to give viewers the impression that he agreed with Engel’s characterization of his remarks when he explicitly challenged it. Furthermore, omitted the references to al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas and ignored the clarifying point in the President’s follow-up response that U.S. policy is to require Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment program before coming to the table, not that “negotiating with Iran is pointless” and amounts to “appeasement.”

This deceitful editing to further a media-manufactured storyline is utterly misleading and irresponsible and I hereby request in the interest of fairness and accuracy that the network air the President’s responses to both initial questions in full on the two programs that used the excerpts.

As long as I am making this formal request, please allow me to take this opportunity to ask if your network has reconsidered its position that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war, especially in light of the fact that the unity government in Baghdad recently rooted out illegal, extremist groups in Basra and reclaimed the port there for the people of Iraq, among other significant signs of progress.

On November 27, 2006, NBC News made a decision to no longer just cover the news in Iraq, but to make an analytical and editorial judgment that Iraq was in a civil war. As you know, both the United States government and the Government of Iraq disputed your account at that time. As Matt Lauer said that morning on The Today Show: “We should mention, we didn’t just wake up on a Monday morning and say, ‘Let’s call this a civil war.’ This took careful deliberation.’”

I noticed that around September of 2007, your network quietly stopped referring to conditions in Iraq as a “civil war.” Is it still NBC News’s carefully deliberated opinion that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war? If not, will the network publicly declare that the civil war has ended, or that it was wrong to declare it in the first place?

Lastly, when the Commerce Department on April 30 released the GDP numbers for the first quarter of 2007, Brian Williams reported it this way: “If you go by the government number, the figure that came out today stops just short of the official declaration of a recession.”

The GDP estimate was a positive 0.6% for the first quarter. Slow growth, but growth nonetheless. This followed a slow but growing fourth quarter in 2007. Consequently, even if the first quarter GDP estimate had been negative, it still would not have signaled a recession – neither by the unofficial rule-of-thumb of two consecutive quarters of negative growth, nor the more robust definition by the National Bureau of Economic Research (the group that officially marks the beginnings and ends of business cycles).

Furthermore, never in our nation’s history have we characterized economic conditions as a “recession” with unemployment so low – in fact, when this rate of unemployment was eventually reached in the 1990s, it was hailed as the sign of a strong economy. This rate of unemployment is lower than the average of the past three decades.

Are there numbers besides the “government number” to go by? Is there reason to believe “the government number” is suspect? How does the release of positive economic growth for two consecutive quarters, albeit limited, stop “just short of the official declaration of a recession”?

Mr. Capus, I’m sure you don’t want people to conclude that there is really no distinction between the “news” as reported on NBC and the “opinion” as reported on MSNBC, despite the increasing blurring of those lines. I welcome your response to this letter, and hope it is one that reassures your broadcast network’s viewers that blatantly partisan talk show hosts like Christopher Matthews and Keith Olbermann at MSNBC don’t hold editorial sway over the NBC network news division.

Sincerely,

Ed Gillespie

Counselor to the President

Ouch!

Karl Rove attacked NBC also:

How in the world does the MSM actually believe they won’t be called on this kind of blatant bias in this day and age? Are they that full of themselves that they think they can get away with anything, like the good old days of Vietnam and Watergate?

When it comes down to it I believe they think of the viewer as the uneducated who must be told what to believe because they are the elite, the all-knowing, the educated. You must not agree with Bushitler….or else we will just snip and cut pieces of video until you see how ignorant you really are.

Here is the full 15 minute interview done by NBC which clearly shows that Bush did NOT agree with Engels assessment and called him on it to boot.

About Curt

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 20 years.
This entry was posted in MSM Bias, Politics. Bookmark the permalink. Monday, May 19th, 2008 at 7:24 pm
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12 Responses to White House Attacks NBC For Deceptively Editing Bush Interview

  1. Carl says: 1

    Should this sort of dishonest and unethical yellow journalism by NBC surprise anyone ever since NBC executives admitted they were going to a liberal slant in their news?

    ReplyReply
  2. No surprise here. Typical lying lefty reporter.

    What I was suprised by was the strong White House reaction.

    The letter by Gillespie is dynamite.

    I especially like the reference to Iraq as a “civil war.”

    When have ANY of the Dems either in the media or in Washington admitted that Iraq is NOT in a civil war and that the surge is working?

    There is a quagmire in Iraq all right. It’s the quagmire of the defeatist Dems who simply refuse to see any good news and will LIE about any that they do see.

    ReplyReply
  3. yonason says: 3

    SPEAKING OF ATTACKS

    What is your bet that CAIR will try to spin that as a “hate crime” committed by the news crew?

    As to NBC, my experience is they are some of the worst (the worst I’ve seen, though I haven’t seen that many so there could be others that are worse.) During Katrina, they kept harping about how minorities were suffering and that the administration didn’t care. They sounded like Wrong Rebend Wright. I couldn’t stomach it, and was only able to watch till I got over the initial shock at what they were doing, less than 30 seconds total, I think.

    Unlike the news crew above who were physically assaulted by Muslims, those “attacked” by Bush and Rove fully deserved it. The only problem I have with their “attacks” is that it is far too little and far too late. Opinions are already formed, and it will take years and maybe even decades to undo the damage. And with such a dangerous person as O’Bomber (Kennedy pronunciation) within reach of the presidency, we don’t have the luxury of even one year.

    G-d BLESS America? No! No! No! G-d HELP America!!!!! (And, obviously Bless, too, but first things first, after all)

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  4. yonason says: 4

    “How in the world does the MSM actually believe they won’t be called on this kind of blatant bias in this day and age?”

    They don’t care, and I saw the secret in a political cartoon in a Lefty rag back in the sixties, the punchline of the winner to the shocked loser (carrying a sign that said “you can’t fool all the people all the time,” was, “you don’t HAVE to fool all the people all the time.”

    And yes, it takes a lot of arrogance to behave the way they do, which explains Obie’s behavior, as well. If you want to know which ones are the bad ones, just look at how arrogant they are. As an example, that Engles character isn’t as rude as Wright, but he seems to be working on it.

    And, no, contrary to Mr. Bush’s vision, we will never see a “Placentinian” state gouged out of the heart of Historic (Biblical) Israel. If it ever appears to come into being, it will be short lived and constantly dependent on life support, because it just is not viable on their own.

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  5. Aye Chihuahua says: 5

    “you don’t HAVE to fool all the people all the time.”

    That’s exactly right.

    Exactly.

    Once you convince just a few there is a very good chance that they will be practically rabid in their belief and nothing will convince them of their error in judgment.

    Just think how often we see it right here on this site.

    The talking points are spewed out and refuted one by one over and over and over again.

    Yet the same people continue to spew the same stuff over and over.

    This sort of “journalism” has been going on to some degree since the beginning of our country. Only during this war has it become the majority.

    How long do you think it will be before the “edited” version of the Presidents comments become what is posted on websites throughout the Internet?

    ReplyReply
  6. Megalomania says: 6

    Here is the kicker, and you better believe that this media once the Bush Bubble of defense will now turn upon Bush and Company. The big news is advertising revenues projected are in a down swing for media. Especially the old broadcast America, now, high definition media is cutting over in 2009. Big time change in real old advertising that is going kaput, a whole market switched off just like that.

    However in a sense good for America, here an abundance of broadcasting equipment, manpower, revenue, management and first line Journalism that either get a parachute or are going to have to jump from the ledge. A lot of bodies are going to compete for Chris Mathews and Tim Russert’s job. So, better believe, leaks, creeps, and moral authority may even pop up once in a while, the Media Pimp Meisters, the contextual slip streamers of smear, chaos, confusion splatter, and IMUS types will likely retire because the FCC will inevitably change when Democrats get in about the same time too.

    When the theme is as bad as claimed as the Party it self, the trend is there. Here the GOP label is so bad that if they sold it as dog food it would be taken off the shelf because it is so tainted is an expression that at first was funny, but illustrates the trend of the dollar. Dollar value of the stock market too.

    Metaphorically speaking, and knowing the Bush method of operation, grand pa Bush would be proud of George and Company, for they are riding the new wave. One watching the stock market sees a side way move, while oil keeps reaching new highs are telling everyone the big guy’s are unloading in the market. Stocks are about to take a dive. A big time drop in the Dow is likely as pump prices keep wondering up past 4.00 a gallon. Billions of dollars are diverted out of the economy every day. You have to be a fool not to recognize that, but fools of CNBC seem to think the economy is resilient.

    ReplyReply
  7. Scott Malensek says: 7

    This kind of misquoting, half quoting, etc is nothing new, but perfectly acceptable for Bush-haters. Note, no left partisans calling for honest reporting here. None.

    ReplyReply
  8. Meglomania: You are correct that the GOP brand is smelling like tainted dog food. The only saving grace we may have is that the other brand is smelling like dog sh#t that someone stepped in and then walked across the living room carpet.

    ReplyReply
  9. yonason says: 9

    Aye Chihuahua,

    “…the same people continue to spew the same stuff over and over.”

    Show they are wrong, and they change to another subject and say, ‘well, what about this?’ until enough time elapses and they repeat the first nonsense again.

    You would think that after they were shown to be wrong a sufficient number of times that it would dawn on them that something was wrong with their data processing, but no.

    “How long do you think it will be before the “edited” version of the Presidents comments become what is posted on websites throughout the Internet?”

    I wouldn’t be surprised if it already is. And if you point out they are wrong, they will just foam at the mouth and keep repeating the lie. I saw a while back that Dan Rather was still defending his “fake but accurate” shtick about that phony memo (it may have been on the show referred to here where he’s bashing Bush for, of all things, deception). It’s as if they are constitutionally incapable of processing truth, like they were afraid it would be toxic to them, or something.

    ReplyReply
  10. malagent says: 10

    NBC Nightly News with Michael Moore.

    ReplyReply
  11. wordsmith says: 11

    I’d like to bolden this part:

    On November 27, 2006, NBC News made a decision to no longer just cover the news in Iraq, but to make an analytical and editorial judgment that Iraq was in a civil war. As you know, both the United States government and the Government of Iraq disputed your account at that time. As Matt Lauer said that morning on The Today Show: “We should mention, we didn’t just wake up on a Monday morning and say, ‘Let’s call this a civil war.’ This took careful deliberation.’”

    I noticed that around September of 2007, your network quietly stopped referring to conditions in Iraq as a “civil war.” Is it still NBC News’s carefully deliberated opinion that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war? If not, will the network publicly declare that the civil war has ended, or that it was wrong to declare it in the first place?

    ReplyReply
  12. doug says: 12

    An Imagined Dialogue:

    General Petraeus’ (Apr. 8 congressional testimony):

    [C]ivilian deaths have decreased over the past year to a level not seen since the February 2006 Samarra mosque bombing that set off the cycle of sectarian violence that tore the very fabric of Iraqi society in 2006 and early 2007.

    Humble observer:

    So was this “cycle of sectarian violence that tore the very fabric of” Iraqi society a ‘civil war’?

    Gillespie:

    No!

    Petraeus (continuing):

    In September, I described the fundamental nature of the conflict in Iraq as a competition among ethnic and sectarian communities for power and resources. This competition continues, influenced heavily by outside actors. And its resolution remains the key to producing long- term stability in Iraq. Various elements push Iraq’s ethno-sectarian competition toward violence. Terrorists, insurgents, militia extremists and criminal gangs pose significant threats.

    Humble observer:

    So, it’s an “ethno-sectarian competition” that “tore the very fabric of” Iraqi society –but not a civil war.

    Gillespie:

    Exactly!

    ReplyReply

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