Did CBS News engage in selective editing during the Ted Cruz interview on Face the Nation yesterday?
The broadcast omitted the Texas senator’s comments about what he called abuse of power including last week’s federal criminal indictment of conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza.
As Newsbusters.com observed, “Apart from being the victim of Schieffer’s accusations that the Tea Party senator was to blame for the shutdown, it also appears that Mr. Cruz was the victim of editing by CBS.”
Viewers did get to see Cruz call on President Obama to apologize during tomorrow night’s State of the Union speech for all the canceled health insurance plans under Obamacare and to do something to fix the problem.
If you watched the interview as aired, however, there was an obvious abrupt jump cut at the end. A video released by Sen. Cruz contains the comments that CBS left on the cutting room floor.
As noted above, a significant part of the program consisted of Cruz and host Bob Schieffer sparring over who was responsible for the government shutdown. When Schieffer asked Cruz for a yes or no about whether he will run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination (which he didn’t want to answer as no politician does prematurely), there was an interesting omission from the broadcast.
Here’s what viewers at home didn’t get to see of Cruz’s response that seemed to make Schieffer very uncomfortable:
What you can take that as is that my focus is standing and fighting right now in the Senate to bring back jobs and economic growth. Economic growth is my number one priority. Let me tell you something that deeply concerns me — it’s the abuse of power from this administration. We’ve seen multiple filmmakers prosecuted, and the government’s gone after them. Whether it’s the poor fellow that did the film that the president blamed Benghazi and the terrorist attack on, turns out that wasn’t the reason for the attack, but the administration went and put that poor fellow in jail on unrelated charges. Or just this week it was broken that Dinesh D’Souza, who did a very big movie criticizing the president, is now being prosecuted by this administration.”
When Schieffer tried to interrupt him, Cruz continued on this theme:
Can you image the reaction if the Bush Administration had gone and prosecuted Michael Moore and Alec Baldwin and Sean Penn? It should trouble everyone that this administration uses government power and the IRS in particular to target their enemies…”
This would not be the first time that CBS engaged in selective editing of this kind. For example, in a 60 Minutes interview with Congressman Paul Ryan when he had just been named Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate, the broadcast version left out Ryan’s comments about Medicare reform, which was a big issue in the campaign. Ryan pointed out that his mother is a Medicare recipient in Florida and that any senior currently on Medicare like his mother would have no change whatsoever to their benefits. These remarks were contained in the 60 Minutes interview transcript but left out of the broadcast entirely. Moreover, the Ryan discussion of Medicare was posted separately on the 60 Minutes website, making it harder to find than the uploaded version of the broadcast.
Do you think that Bob Schieffer and the Face the Nation producers edited out Ted Cruz’s remarks condemning abuse of power because of time limitations or was there another agenda in play?