It is a tale of two con jobs.
As outlined in my previous column, ABC’s Charles Gibson interview of Sarah Palin was questionably edited. Now CBS has followed suit with the Katie Couric interview of the GOP vice presidential candidate.
A pattern of distortion has emerged. Both ABC and CBS cut answers by Palin; answers that would have indicated a more nuanced approach to foreign policy when it comes to the issue of multilateral diplomacy.
In the Couric interview, Palin answered a question that dealt with what the U.S. should do to convince Pakistan to take a harder line against terrorists.
“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 U.S. 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,” Palin responded.
This question and answer were edited out.
Could it be that Palin’s response did not serve CBS’ desired post-interview spin?
When Couric inquired about the implementation of democracy in other parts of the world, Palin answered, “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.”
This response, too, was withheld from the public.
Could it be once again that CBS did not find the response to be consistent with the hawkish image of Palin that mainstream media are trying to cloak her with?
Similarly, Couric asked about instances when a democracy does not produce the desired outcome, such as in the election of Hamas.
“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, especially there in the Mideast, then nothing will,” Palin responded.
“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,” she added.
Again CBS editors snipped away.
ABC News cut similar content from the Gibson interview. Intelligent, thoughtful, reasoned responses edited out? Beyond shameful, this represents the utter corruption of the Fourth Estate.
The New Media thankfully ride to the rescue.
In other media missteps, CBS, Katie Couric, and Barack Obama had to be corrected by famed diplomat Henry Kissinger.
Kissinger released a short statement that was intended to clear up some false representations made about something he had allegedly said.
During the Couric-Palin interviews, Couric asked the following question of Sarah Palin: “You met yesterday with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is for direct diplomacy with both Iran and Syria. Do you believe the U.S. should negotiate with leaders like President Assad and Ahmadinejad?”
Palin answered, with respect to Ahmadinejad, “You can't just sit down with him with no preconditions being met.”
Couric claimed that negotiating with Iran without preconditions was Kissinger’s position.
When the interview ended, Couric told her audience, “Incidentally, we confirmed Henry Kissinger’s position following our interview.” She repeated that Kissinger supports talks “without preconditions.”
Is it possible that CBS and the Obama campaign are communicating?
During the first presidential debate, Obama claimed that Kissinger “along with five recent secretaries of state just said we should meet with Iran, guess what, without preconditions.”
John McCain shot back, “Dr. Kissinger did not say that he would approve a face-to-face meeting [with Ahmadinejad]. He did say there could be secretary and lower level meetings.”
Kissinger later weighed in, saying, “Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next president of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend, Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality.”
I think that, without preconditions, CBS, Couric, and Obama should engage in talks with a make-up artist on how to get the egg off their faces.
James Hirsen, J.D., M.A. in Media Psychology, is a media analyst, teacher of mass media and entertainment law at Biola University and professor at Trinity Law School.
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