Did CBS and Katie Couric Conspire to Make McCain Look Better?

So, last night CBS Evening News aired an interview Katie Couric conducted with John McCain. Or rather: They aired portions of an interview, because they removed, among other things, a part in which Couric tells him that Barack Obama alleges security might have improved in Iraq even without the U.S. troop surge in 2007. "What's your response to that?" she asked. McCain was aghast, and responded that, among other things, the surge began the Anbar Awakening. "I mean, that's just a matter of history," he added. Except, actually, it's not, because as many have since pointed out, the Anbar Awakening happened before the surge, back in 2006. Mistake! Happily for McCain, however, CBS edited his original answer out and instead spliced together a composite answer, one that was less about Iraq and more about Obama ("Senator Obama has indicated by his failure to acknowledge the success of the surge, that he would rather lose a war than lose a campaign," he starts out.) Bigger mistake!


After Keith Olbermann pointed out the editing on Countdown last night, and the reaction of the liberal blogosphere was fast and furious and full of theories about a CONSPIRACY and can basically be summed up by this verselike comment on the Huffington Post

Nice job Katie and company.

I didn't know you were part of the McCain campaign.

The fact that the interview was cut and pasted to make McCain look better means Katie
and her producers heads should be on the block.
They should be fired.

Except: The only reason anyone knows that McCain made that gaffe is that it appears in the transcript. Which CBS published on their Website. With the video like, next to it. So … not to sound like we're on the side of Big Media or Corporations or The Right or are totally naïve, but probably there's not much of a conspiracy here? Said CBS in a statement:

"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."


Which might well be another way of saying: They were edited for and by people who are less interested in military tactical history and more interested in beefs candidates have with one another. Now, that doesn't make them look so great, either, but you know, that's another can of worms.

CBS splices McCain interview clip, expunging his false claim on surge timeline and falsely suggesting he gave different answer [Media Matters]
CBS Defends Obama Interview [Politico]