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CBS Edits Help Obama

John on October 2, 2008 at 2:25 pm

Obama appeared on 60 minutes last week. He had a hard time with the question about why he should be President. Here’s the tail end of that question (if you’re so inclined the full aired video is here):

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Now look at the transcript of the full answer. The parts that aired on CBS are in bold, the rest was cut:

KROFT: Why do you think you’d be a good president?

OBAMA: Well, I think that when you think about the challenges we face, these are challenges that require us to look forward and not backwards. When it comes to the economy I think we have to recognize that we are now in a global economy. And that the measure of our success is: how well are we training our workers? How well are we investing in the new energy economy?

KROFT: Why you? I mean, why do you think you would be a good president?

OBAMA: Well, I was gonna get to that.

KROFT: Oh, okay. Okay. Go ahead.

OBAMA: I think both by training and disposition I understand where we need to take the country. Not just where we’ve been. And so, when it comes to the economy, I think I understand the knowledge economy. I think I understand what it’s gonna take in order for us to reinvest in our manufacturing base, and what it’s gonna take to ensure that we are freeing ourselves from dependence on foreign oil. How we can fix our health care system. These are issues that I’ve been working on for years. And issues on which I have a fundamental disagreement with George Bush and the dominant economic ideology that we’ve been seeing for so many years, and got us into this rut. John McCain embraces that philosophy. I’ve got a different view. And that’s on just on the economy. Now, there’s a parallel when it comes to foreign policy. Because the threats that we’re gonna face in the 21st century are not the same threats we faced in the 20th. Fighting al Qaeda is going to be different than my grandfather, who fought in Patton’s army in Europe. There’s a different set of threats. Some of them, like terrorism, that we have to focus militarily, but also diplomatically, and use all elements of power. Some like climate change, that we’re gonna have to strengthen our alliances and form partnerships. And it’s gonna be much more of a task of persuasion. We can’t, you know, use our military to make sure the planet doesn’t get warmer. And so that kind of leadership, of being able to bring people together, to apply practical commonsense solutions based on facts, based on science, based on what works you know, that’s been the approach I have taken consistently as a public servant. That’s the kind of style that I think we need in the presidency right now.

KROFT: But what is there specifically about you? You mentioned disposition. You mentioned disposition. What skills and traits do you have that would make you a good president?

OBAMA: Yeah. You know I am very good at analyzing complicated problems. Hearing all voices. Getting all perspectives. And then taking some decisive action in terms of moving us in a direction that’s gonna solve the problem. And you know, that was true when I worked across the aisle on issues like ethics reform, or nuclear proliferation. It’s been true when I was in the state legislation, when I provided tax cuts to people who needed them. But also made sure that, as we were moving women from welfare to work, that they had the kinds of transportation assistance or health care assistance or other things that they needed. You know, I am a practical person, somebody who, I think, can cut through some very complicated problems and figure out the right course of action. Now, there’s one other element that I think is important that we need in the presidency right now. And that is somebody who understands what it’s like to struggle. And understands what people are going through all across America. You know, I come from pretty modest beginnings. And I know what it’s like to scratch and claw to get to where I am. I know, you know, what it’s like watching your mom have to go to school and work at the same time. Or, you know, watch your grandparents live in a small apartment because they’re trying to help the next generation. You know, I don’t get a sense that the kinds of folks that my mom and my grandparents were, the kinds of folks that Michelle’s mom and dad were, who were able to make it 20, 30 years ago, even without a college education, I don’t get a sense that people in those same circumstances now feel like they’ve got those opportunities. And I think an insistence that the American dream, American promise, gets passed on to the next generation, that somebody’s fighting for that middle class, working class, for group of people who have to work, and are working very hard but aren’t getting a real fair shake right now — I think that’s what’s needed in the White House right now.

If you watched the clip, you’ll notice the camera cuts away after Obama says he’s a “practical person.” The second half of his answer actually comes from his response to a totally different question several minutes later:

KROFT: Who are the people that you would surround yourself with? Who are some of the people that you’re considering to have in your cabinet?

OBAMA: Well, you know, I don’t want to start giving names for specific positions. But I can tell you, for example, during this economic crisis the people I consult with are Paul Volcker, former Fed chairman; Bob Rubin , former Secretary of the Treasury; Larry Summers, also another Treasury secretary; Laura Tyson, former head of the Council of Economic Advisers; Paul O’Neill, former Treasury secretary under Bush. You know, so if you take a look at the kinds of people who are advising me, that will give you a sense of the direction I want to move when it comes to the economy. People who believe in markets, who’ve been very successful in the private sector but also recognize that we’ve gotta set up the rules of the road to work. When it comes to national security, you know, I look for guidance, not only from my own inner circle, not only my own team of advisors that include people like Secretary Albright, or former secretary of the Navy, Richard Danzig. You know, Susan Rice, former State Department officials. But it also you know draws from people like Dick Lugar, Republican ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with whom I have an extraordinarily close relationship. And who I’ve worked on critical issues surrounding nuclear proliferation. I think it’s fair to say that when it comes to who I’m gonna choose for the Cabinet, my criteria is gonna be they’re gonna be the best in their fields. They are going to be practical. Not ideological. They’re gonna have integrity. They’re gonna be in this for public interest and not for, you know, interests of self aggrandizement or cashing in later. And I want people who are gonna be independent and who argue with me. ‘Cause one of the things you asked earlier about my leadership style, or why me. One of the things I’m good at is getting people in a room with a bunch of different ideas who sometimes violently disagree with each other and finding common ground and a sense of common direction. And that’s the kind of approach that I think prevents you from making some of the enormous mistakes that we’ve seen over the last eight years.

Granted, Obama did refer back to the earlier question, but note this is fully five minutes later. Asked “Why you?” Obama bloviated for ten minutes before coming up with a coherent response. CBS dutifully cut to the chase and edited out all the rest, none of which was on point. They wind up creating the impression that he answered the question with a snappy soundbite about his leadership. But in fact he didn’t at all.

Now, compare this to the treatment Sarah Palin got at ABC which I discussed here and here. Her answers were also shortened, but in her case there was clearly an attempt to remove the meat of her answer and leave the fluff. Given the master tapes, I could do the same with Obama. How about this [Note, I haven't reordered or added anything, this is all Obama, minus a few sentences here and there]:

KROFT: Why do you think you’d be a good president?

OBAMA: Well, I think that when you think about the challenges we face, these are challenges that require us to look forward and not backwards. When it comes to the economy I think we have to recognize that we are now in a global economy.

KROFT: Why you? I mean, why do you think you would be a good president?

OBAMA: Well, I was gonna get to that.

KROFT: Oh, okay. Okay. Go ahead.

OBAMA: When it comes to the economy, I think I understand the knowledge economy. I think I understand what it’s gonna take in order for us to reinvest in our manufacturing base, and what it’s gonna take to ensure that we are freeing ourselves from dependence on foreign oil. How we can fix our health care system. And that’s on just on the economy. Now, there’s a parallel when it comes to foreign policy. Fighting al Qaeda is going to be different than my grandfather, who fought in Patton’s army in Europe. There’s a different set of threats. Some of them, like terrorism, that we have to focus militarily, but also diplomatically, and use all elements of power. Some like climate change, that we’re gonna have to strengthen our alliances and form partnerships. And it’s gonna be much more of a task of persuasion. We can’t, you know, use our military to make sure the planet doesn’t get warmer.

KROFT: But what is there specifically about you? You mentioned disposition. You mentioned disposition. What skills and traits do you have that would make you a good president?

OBAMA: Yeah. You know I am very good at analyzing complicated problems. Hearing all voices. Getting all perspectives. And then taking some decisive action in terms of moving us in a direction that’s gonna solve the problem.

Wow, suddenly Obama sounds like he’s unable to answer the question. He’s rambling about foreign oil and health care, then it’s his grandfather and next he’s saying we can’t use our army to fight climate change, as if that needed to be explained. In the end he has some vague platitudes about “hearing all voices.” Are you hearing voices, Barack? Suddenly, this sounds like something that might turn up on Saturday night live.

At least it could have if CBS hadn’t edited it all this mess out for “the One.”

That’s the difference editing can make. Wanna guess who the editors at CBS and ABC are voting for this fall? Just consider this a reminder: The fix is in.

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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