CBS Implausibly Denies Editing Out Obama Criticism by Ted Cruz Was Political

Joe Strupp at Mediamatters.org on Monday was claiming that an anonymous spokesperson for CBS News was allegedly “knocking down right-wing media claims that an interview with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was edited for political reasons, explaining that the one-on-one just went too long and was also shortened for breaking news on the Maryland mall shooting.”

Seriously? Anyone can watch the show online and see CBS didn’t spend more than 30 seconds recounting the shooting in Columbia. Why was it so crucial for CBS to announce the name of this shooter? It never came up again after the first few minutes.

Schieffer began the program: “And good morning again. As you probably know by now, there has been another mall shooting yesterday. A 19-year-old that police have now identified as Darion Marcus Aguilar of College Park, Maryland, took a shotgun and two homemade explosive devices into a suburban mall in Maryland, shot and killed two people, then apparently turned the gun on himself.”

So nothing else in the show could be reduced by a half a minute? Not the long panel discussion? Not the interview with Obama’s gay Olympic delegation? Not the completely insincere “why didn’t the decent Mitt Romney run for president” closing commentary? The bad spin continued:


"This was not uncommon at all, this was a quick turnaround pre-tape," a Face the Nation spokesperson told Media Matters Monday, explaining that the interview was slated for seven minutes and ran long. "That just happened to be at the end so it was easy to trim for turnaround. And we had breaking news of the [Maryland mall] shooter's name ... We had already gone overtime, that is pretty much the gist of it."

"It just varies on topic and the availability of the person," the spokesperson said. "We also had breaking news, too. There's a lot to get into that first half hour."

If CBS could only edit the first half-hour of the program, the obvious question is: So why not edit out a few seconds of the interview with liberal Democrat Charles Schumer? That's easy: he wasn't attacking Obama. You can't "knock down" NewsBusters claims just by saying it's not "uncommon at all" for CBS to edit out answers the Obama White House doesn't like.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis