White House Condemns Editing Of Bush Interview
The White House on Monday accused NBC News of "deceitful" editing of an interview with President Bush by correspondent Richard Engel. In the interview, Engel asked Bush about remarks he made before the Israeli Knesset last week in which he accused his political opponents of saying "we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along." Engel asked Bush if he was referring to Barack Obama. As broadcast on NBC Nightly News, Bush replied, "You know, my policies haven't changed, but evidently the political calendar has. ... And when, you know, a leader of Iran says that they want to destroy Israel, you've got to take those words seriously." The White House objected to the d eletion of this passage from the president's response following the words, "the political calendar has:" "People need to read the speech. You didn't get it exactly right, either. What I said was that we need to take the words of people seriously." Removing tho se words, Bush counsel Ed Gillespie said, amounted to "deceitful editing to further a media-manufactured storyline." NBC maintained that the report accurately reflected the president's comments and that the entire unedited interview is available on its website. In its own report on the controversy, the Associated Press observed, "The White House routinely pushes back against news stories it does not agree with. The one against NBC News stands out for its angry tone and its accusation that the news division deceptively and deceitfully edited the president's words."