Action Time: Katie Couric and CBS
I’m one of those skeptical bloggers who doesn’t believe that we can do much to impact media behavior, but what went down tonight was enough to finally push me over the edge. If we can’t get this story out to the wider blogosphere and then to the MSM, I’m not sure what deserves to be pushed:
CBS had an interview with Barack Obama tonight during which Katie Couric hammered him on the surge, asking the same question over and over in different formats. Then came her interview with John McCain, in which she gave him a free platform to smack at Obama, and as he was speaking, she ran pictures of McCain with Petraeus, soldiers doing their jobs, and basically made McCain out to be a heroic old master contrasted with Obama the petulant child.
But that’s not the scandal. This is:
From the transcript of the CBS interview:
Couric: Senator McCain, Sen. Obama says, while the increased number of U.S. troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What’s your response to that?
McCain: I don’t know how you respond to something that is such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarlane (phonetic) was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that’s just a matter of history. Thanks to General Petraeus, our leadership, and the sacrifice of brave young Americans. I mean, to deny that their sacrifice didn’t make possible the success of the surge in Iraq, I think, does a great disservice to young men and women who are serving and have sacrificed.
They were out there. They were protecting these sheiks. We had the Anbar awakening. We now have a government that’s effective. We have a legal system that’s working, although poorly. And we have progress on all fronts, including an incredible measure of security for the people of Iraq. There will still be attacks. Al Qaeda’s not defeated. But the progress has been immense. And to not recognize that, and why it happened, and how it happened, I think is really quite a commentary.
Couric: A commentary on what?
McCain: That Sen. Obama does not understand the challenges we face. And … not understand the need for the surge. And the fact that he did not understand that, and still denies that it has succeeded, I think the American people will make their judgment.
But here’s the juice, via DKos commenter on this post:
- McCain’s response didn’t survive the cutting room floor, but
- Couric’s question did; and
- CBS replaced McCain’s incorrect response with one he gave to another question.
Like I said, I rarely get this upset about press stories, because the press is pathetic on a daily basis.
But this is shocking: CBS edited the interview to remove the parts McCain got factually wrong – that go to the HEART of his argument – and replaced it with an answer designed to make him sound better.
Here’s the actual interview.
I’m not going to ask you to mail CBS, because that won’t do anything. But I am going to ask you to send this story to every possible outlet you can, because two essential things need to happen:
This isn’t a small thing.