NBC edits Romney rally speech to portray candidate as out of touch. What do about it?
NBC edits Romney rally
speech to portray candidate as out of touch.
NBC is taking heat again for selective editing a day
after presenting video of Mitt Romney seemingly awestruck by the process of
ordering a sandwich at a convenience store.
During an afternoon broadcast of "Andrea Mitchell
Reports," video of the GOP presidential candidate seemed to show a
politician out of touch as he discussed ordering a hoagie at Wawa.
The video clip went viral after the blogsite SooperMexican.com pointed out in a
post that it appeared doctored.
“It’s amazing," Romney said, as the Pennsylvania
crowd appeared to laugh. Then viewers saw Romney say, "You have a
touchtone keypad, and you touch that, touch this, go pay the cashier, there’s
What viewers didn't see or hear was nearly three
minutes of Romney discussing the nightmare of paperwork faced by an optometrist
he'd talked to in trying to get the post office to change his address. He
expressed mock amazement at Wawa's efficiency to underscore how the private
sector often runs circles around the clumsy bureaucracy.
"We went to Wawas and it was instructive to me,
because I saw the difference between the private sector and the governmental
sector. People who work in government are good people and I respect what they
do, but you see, the challenge with government is that it doesn’t have
competition,” Romney said in a portion edited out of the segment.
But Mitchell invoked an old perceived campaign stumble
by George Bush, who supposedly marveled at a supermarket scanner at a grocers'
convention during his failed 1992 re-election bid. Even though Bush was
actually impressed not by an ordinary scanner, but by a then state-of-the-art
device that could weigh food and read damaged bar codes, the anecdote was
reported by The New York Times and offered as evidence that Bush was out of
touch with everyday Americans.
Representatives for the Romney campaign declined to
comment, but officials from the Romney camp had reached out to the Peacock
Network, which promised they would correct the issue.
At the opening of Tuesday’s show, Mitchell addressed
criticism over the misleading edits.
“There’s been a lot of discussion about a conversation
you and I had yesterday, Mitchell said to MSNBC contributor Chris Cillizza, “We
ran clips of Mitt Romney in Cornwall, Pa., talking about his trip to a Wawa.”
“The RNC and the campaign both reached out to us
saying that Romney had more to say about that visit, about federal bureaucracy
and innovation in the private sector,” she added before playing the unedited
clip from the rally.
Lauren Skowronski, a spokeswoman for NBC, which owns
MSNBC, denied that any deceptive editing took place.
"MSNBC did not edit anything out of order or out
of sequence and at no time did we intend to deceive our viewers,"
Last August, Ed Schultz of MSNBC played an edited clip
in which then-presidential candidate Rick Perry described the national debt as
a “big black cloud that hangs over America” to make it sound like a racial dig
at President Obama. Schultz later apologized.
And in March, NBC was caught editing the audio of
George Zimmerman's 911 call as he watched Trayvon Martin in the minutes before
he fatally shot the Florida teen. On a tape edited and played on the “Today”
show, Zimmerman was heard calling Martin “suspicious” and volunteering that he
was “black.” But the full, unedited tape showed that Zimmerman only mentioned
Martin’s race when asked by the dispatcher. The result made it sound like
Zimmerman was racially profiling Martin. The network fired three people after getting
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