NBC News has admitted that it broke the rules in using a deceptively edited clip of Attorney General William Barr speaking about the case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The tweeted apology, however, has not stilled the rage of those demanding an on-air apology.
Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press” included a segment about the case of Flynn, who had faced charges of lying to the FBI when it investigated him as part of its probe into collusion with Russia. The Justice Department announced Thursday that the charges are being dropped.
On Sunday, “Meet the Press” aired one piece of an interview with Barr that had been conducted by Catherine Herridge of CBS News, who had asked Barr how history would judge the DOJ’s decision to dismiss charges against Flynn.
“Well, history’s written by the winners. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history,” Barr said.
The edited version of the clip then allowed host Chuck Todd to trash Barr in remarks addressed to former White House speechwriter Peggy Noonan.
“I was struck, Peggy, by the cynicism of the answer. It’s a correct answer, but he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a political job,” Todd said.
The full clip, however, showed Barr saying the decision was proper.
“I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law,” the attorney general said. “It upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.”
NBC News’ edit drew howls from the DOJ, President Donald Trump and others.
Today on Meet The Press, @chucktodd wildly took context out of an answer AG Bill Barr gave about his decision to drop the case into Gen. Michael Flynn.
I cut Todd’s segment along with Barr’s full answer together. Look at how blatantly dishonest this is. pic.twitter.com/tODOEwL48V
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) May 10, 2020
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 11, 2020
Compare the two transcripts below. Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview. pic.twitter.com/PR1ciceMmE
— KerriKupecDOJ (@KerriKupecDOJ) May 10, 2020
The Twitter account for “Meet the Press” posted its version of “oops.”
“You’re correct. Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis. The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error,” it posted.
“‘Inadvertently strikes again!'” commentator Mike Cernovich tweeted.
Others said the deception needs to be clarified where it was shown — on the air.
On air apology please https://t.co/EVU68f0SUw
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) May 11, 2020
Herridge posted more of the interview on Twitter.
#FLYNN Two big moments from our exclusive AG Barr interview @CBSNews “I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It helped, it upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.” pic.twitter.com/aRtFnnx7da
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) May 10, 2020
The clip posted by Herridge included Barr, when asked if he was doing Trump’s bidding, telling Herridge, “No, I’m doing the law’s bidding. I’m doing my duty under the law, as I see it.”
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