CNN Obsesses Over McCain's 'Made-in-America Flub'

According to CNN, a relatively minor misstatement by John McCain was worth replaying four times in the span of an hour. Newsroom host Randi Kaye repeatedly focused on a comment by the senator that the iPad and iPhone are "built" in America. (In fact, they are designed in California, but assembled in China.)

A CNN graphic trumpeted, "McCain's Made-in-America-Flub." Kaye breathlessly related, "McCain's office tells CNN the senator is aware of [the fact that the Apple products are built in China.] Talking to political director Paul Steinhauser, the host interrogated, "Paul, this is getting a lot of attention. Is the Senator aware of that or not?"

Steinhauser skeptically responded, "Uh, he says he is aware of it." Teasing the story later in the show, Kaye quizzed viewers, "Listen closely to what Senator John McCain told ABC's This Week and then see if you can figure out what's wrong with what he said."

Once again, she corrected, "The iPad, the iPhone and the iTouch each have the words 'designed by Apple in California, assembled in China' on the back. McCain's office tells CNN the Senator is aware of that."

McCain's misstatement occurred on Sunday's This Week. The Arizona senator's comment went uncorrected by host Christiane Amanpour. (Later, United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard did point out the error.) Yet, it certainly wasn't obsessed over by ABC.

The moment wasn't discussed on Sunday's World News or Monday's Good Morning America. For some reason, only CNN seemed to fascinated.

A transcript of the two March 7 segments can be found below:


CNN GRAPHIC: McCain's Flub

RANDI KAYE: Listen closely to what Senator John McCain told ABC's This Week. Then see if you can figure out what is wrong with his statement.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: I would also point out if it emptied that house there, if you left a computer there or an iPad or an iPhone, those are built in the United States of America. And as the President said, continuously, and I agree with him, innovation is the key to us being able to restore our economy.

KAYE: So, you think about that and we'll tell you the mistake when we come back.

9:41

CNN GRAPHIC: McCain's Made-in-America-Flub

KAYE: Well, Senator John McCain may need to check with a techie after he misspoke during an interview. McCain told ABC's This Week that iPads and iPhones are American made.

MCCAIN: I would also point out that if it emptied that house there, if you left a computer there or an iPad or an iPhone, those are built in the United States of America. And as the President said, continuously, and I agree with him, innovation is the key to us being able to restore our economy and that's got to be exports.

KAYE: The iPad, the iPhone the iTouch each have the words "designed by Apple in California, assembled in China" right on the back. McCain's office tells CNN the senator is aware of that. So, let's bring in our deputy political director Paul Steinhauser. Paul, this is getting a lot of attention. Is the Senator aware of that or not?

PAUL STEINHAUSER: Uh, he says he is aware of it. But, it's interesting, Randi. You know, this story is the lead for the political ticker and it's doing a lot of traffic online, as you mentioned, generating a lot of interest online.

10:46am

KAYE: Listen closely to what Senator John McCain told ABC's This Week and then see if you can figure out what's wrong with what he said.

MCCAIN:  I would also point out if it emptied that house there, if you left a computer there or an iPad or an iPhone, those are built in the United States of America. And as the President said, continuously, and I agree with him, innovation is the key to us being able to restore our economy.

KAYE: So, think about that for just a moment and we'll tell you the mistake he made when we come back.

10:49

KAYE: Senator John McCain may need to check with a techie after he misspoke during an interview. McCain told ABC's This Week that iPads and iPhones are American made.

MCCAIN:  I would also point out if it emptied that house there, if you left a computer there or an iPad or an iPhone, those are built in the United States of America. And as the President said, continuously, and I agree with him, innovation is the key to us being able to restore our economy

KAYE:  The iPad, the iPhone and the iTouch each have the words "designed by Apple in California, assembled in China" on the back. McCain's office tells CNN the Senator is aware of that.

— Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org