White House Slams NBC For "Deceitful" Reporting (Video)

The White House blasted NBC News today for purposely distorting an interview with President Bush.

Richard Engel interviewed President Bush this weekend during his trip to Israel and Egypt. Then NBC edited the clip to make it appear that the president agreed with Richard Engel’s characterization of his remarks when he had challenged Engel instead.

The Hill, via Drudge, reported:

The White House on Monday sent a scathing letter to NBC News, accusing the news network of “deceptively” editing an interview with President Bush on the issue of appeasement and Iran.

At issue were remarks Bush made in front of Israel’s parliament earlier this week.

Specifically, White House counselor Ed Gillespie laments that the network edited the interview in a way that “is clearly intended to give viewers the impression that [Bush] agreed with [correspondent Richard Engel’s] characterization of his remarks when he explicitly challenged it.

This deceitful editing to further a media-manufactured storyline is utterly misleading and irresponsible and I hereby request in the interest of fairness and accuracy that the network air the President’s responses to both initial questions in full on the two programs that used the excerpts,” said Gillespie in the letter to NBC News President Steve Capus.

Gillespie used the opportunity to also inquire whether NBC News still believes that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war. In November 2006, the network decided to label the infighting in the country a “civil war.”

“I noticed that around September of 2007, your network quietly stopped referring to conditions in Iraq as a ‘civil war,’ ” Gillespie wrote. “Is it still NBC News’s carefully deliberated opinion that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war? If not, will the network publicly declare that the civil war has ended, or that it was wrong to declare it in the first place?”

Keep it coming, Mr. President!
Don’t stop now.

UPDATE: Karl Rove responded to the NBC News report by Richard Engel tonight on The O’Reilly Factor:

Karl Rove agreed that NBC deliberately edited the president.
Rove added that NBC has a real problem, “We are starting to see the journalistic standards of MSNBC, which are really no standards at all, creep into the NBC which is a respected news organization.”
Really?… Who knew?

UPDATE 2: The interview was such a liberal hackjob that The White House not only wrote NBC but posted the letter on its website:

In the interview, Engel asked the President: “You said that negotiating with Iran is pointless, and then you went further. You said that it was appeasement. Were you referring to Senator Barack Obama?”

The President responded: “You know, my policies haven’t changed, but evidently the political calendar has. People need to read the speech. You didn’t get it exactly right, either. What I said was is that we need to take the words of people seriously. And when, you know, a leader of Iran says that they want to destroy Israel, you’ve got to take those words seriously. And if you don’t take them seriously, then it harkens back to a day when we didn’t take other words seriously. It was fitting that I talked about not taking the words of Adolf Hitler seriously on the floor of the Knesset. But I also talked about the need to defend Israel, the need to not negotiate with the likes of al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas. And the need to make sure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon.”

This answer makes clear: (1). The President’s remarks before the Knesset were not different from past policy statements, but are now being looked at through a political prism, (2). Corrects the inaccurate premise of Engel’s question by putting the “appeasement” line in the proper context of taking the words of leaders seriously, not “negotiating with Iran,” (3). Restates the U.S.’s long-standing policy positions against negotiating with al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas, and not allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.

Wouldn’t it be nice if the White House could react like this all of the time?

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