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Snip Snip Here, Snip Snip There ...

Friday, Jul. 25, 2008 3:48 AM

CBS News is under fire for having edited two distinct answers into one during Katie Couric's exclusive interview with John McCain - with the edited version showcased on the CBS Evening News, and the uncut version on the CBS News website.

In my personal experience (and I am not speaking on behalf of CBS News or any of its affiliates) - it is acceptable to edit down a single answer for the sake of brevity or clarity.

It is not acceptable to take answers out of context. That is, if a reporter asks, "Given what you know about the situation in Iraq now, would you vote the same way?" and Senator Porkbarrel replies, "Yes. I'm proud of what I did, and I'd do it again." - it is unethical to take that answer, in part or in full, and associate it with a different question, such as, "Senator, is it true you killed your first wife and buried her behind the toolshed?"

Editors rarely work without some form of direction when it comes to an interview like this. Therefore, the instructions to consolidate the answers must have come from the writer/producer or the reporter (which would be Katie Couric).

One indicator to look for is the 'cutaway' shot - a reverse-angle look at the reporter in the middle of an answer - which suggests that an edit was made.

The same interview included the latest McCain gaffe, in which the good senator attested that Iraq was the first, major, post-9/11 military operation.

Which either means McCain has forgotten about Afghanistan, or doesn't think it was a major operation.

Senator McCain was also scheduled to have made an appearance on a Louisiana oil rig, to tout his energy policy (and, in all likelihood, repeat the lie that not a single drop of oil was spilled from offshore platforms during Hurricane Katrina).

That appearance was cancelled 'due to the weather.'

Or possibly due to the barge/tanker collision that left a 29-mile stretch of the Mississippi River coated with a mix of fuel oil.

Regarding the charges that the media is favoring Obama over McCain, the answer is not to suddenly put a critical spin on one's coverage of the junior senator from Illinois, or more coverage of Arizona's elder statesman.

That's the same crap that perpetuates the 'mainstream media' meme. Criticism is made with the implication that said media has it all wrong; media falls all over itself trying to appease the critic.

And if McCain isn't happy with the amount of airtime he's getting, perhaps he needs to think real hard about something called the Fairness Doctrine ... and that it was eliminated under President Reagan.

And just why did the State Department tell its foreign service workers that they were not allowed to attend Obama's speech?

Isn't that like saying, 'you can't watch the news'?

More advice to the Idiots in Trees of Berkeley. A judge has already ruled against you; you don't gain any sympathy by throwing a temper tantrum at a city council meeting.

Oh, wait, this is Berkeley ...

... which must explain why said Idiots in Trees were able to climb down to attend the meeting, but were otherwise not arrested (and, I gather, not prevented from climbing back up).

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