“LANDMINES” AND LIES
by Joseph DeMaio, ©2020
(May 11, 2020) — On Mother’s Day, Chuck Todd on the NBC News show “Meet the Press” ran an edited video clip of a portion of a prior CBS News interview of U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr conducted by reporter Catherine Herridge. The interview related to the Department of Justice’s recommended dismissal of criminal charges against Michael Flynn. Stated otherwise, the Todd NBC video showed an altered (i.e., out-of-context shortened portion) of the Herridge CBS News video.
The original NBC clip is embedded in this link. In the video clip, Herridge asked Barr: “When history looks back on this decision, how do you think it will be written?” Barr responded: “Well, history is written by the winner. So it largely depends on who’s writing the history. But 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.” (Emphasis added)
Moreover, it is important to also note that in the CBS video of the Herridge-Barr interview, while Barr is answering the question, at the bottom of the video the CBS producers superimposed a chyron, you know, that little strip of text explaining what is taking place in the video. The CBS chyron “headline” reads: “BARR DEFENDS DROPPING FLYNN CASE” and below that adds: “says decision ‘undid what was an injustice,’ did not discuss with POTUS.”
However, in the NBC-Chuck Todd truncated version of the clip, the entire third and fourth sentences of Mr. Barr’s answer are cut out, leaving the impression with viewers that his initial “off-the-cuff” comment captured the whole of his thoughts. It did not. Worse, the NBC altered video also completely erased the CBS chyron from the image displayed in the Todd broadcast. Stated otherwise, not only did NBC and Chuck Todd eliminate words that had been actually spoken by Barr in answering the question Herridge posed, they also hid from view (and thus from its dwindling pool of viewers) information which even the likes of CBS had included in its original video of the interview.
Todd feigned “shock” to other persons on his Zoom multi-pane broadcast that the Attorney General of the United States would so cynically defend the decision. He accused Barr of failing to “make the case that he was upholding the rule of law…” and that “he [Barr] was almost admitting that, yeah, this is a…, this is a political job.” Absurd, but entirely unsurprising.
In fact, as the above quote confirms, Barr specifically referred to “the rule of law” when answering Herridge. Thus, Todd’s misrepresentation of a “part” of Barr’s answer as being “the answer” – made possible by running only a portion of the Herridge CBS video clip – is “fake news” yellow journalism at its best. Chuck Todd and whoever the producers at NBC were who had a hand in doctoring what Barr said – including removing the CBS chyron – personify virtually everything that is deceitful, mendacious and untrustworthy in the mainstream media. By consciously interpreting and reporting Barr’s remarks without the “rule of law” language and without the chyron, Todd misled the viewers of Meet the Press, most being TDS (“Trump Derangement Syndrome”) folks.
Someone at the Department of Justice, however – one Kerri Kupec – noted the audio anomaly (but not the chyron omission) and reported it to NBC News. Thereafter, recognizing they had been caught, NBC issued the standard leftist “we regret” statement in lieu of anything resembling an apology or a retraction. The NBC statement said: “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.”
Faithful P&E readers will recognize that this “inadvertent error” claimed by NBC has a parallel in the products of the Congressional Research Service (“CRS”). Specifically, in a number of CRS memoranda and formal reports over the years, the CRS has altered critical words in the language and quotes of U.S. Supreme Court decisions in order to drive the “conclusion” that one Barack Hussein Obama, Jr. was (in 2008 and 2012) and remains today a “natural born citizen” eligible to be president. Those alterations have been addressed by your faithful servant here, here and here.
To be clear, your faithful servant posits that Monsieur Obama was not, is not and in the future will never be a “natural born citizen” as contemplated by the Founders. But because the CRS purports to be the repository of the “nation’s best thinking,” the 535 Members of Congress, the nine Supreme Court Justices and one POTUS have thus far accepted its “products” as the definitive “last word” on Obama’s eligibility. Democracy recognizes the right to be wrong.
In particular, the CRS elimination by ellipsis omission of critical, substantive words from a quote in the Supreme Court’s decision in Perkins v. Elg, 307 U.S. 325 (1939), addressed in detail here, is not unlike the NBC News omission of the chyron text included by CBS in its original video. NBC, having been caught red-handed with fake news all over its face, was forced to issue a lame and completely insufficient expression of “regret” for its “error.” In fact, it is apparent to everyone – except TDS victims – that the “regret” being expressed relates not to any “error” on its part, since the deliberate cutting of both Barr’s audio response and the original CBS chyron can hardly be called “errors.” Get a grip.
The NBC “error” is only the most recent landmine in a series of transient landmines exploding what remaining vestige of credibility that network retains. One day, NBC will disappear. On the other hand, the actions of the CRS, from its original “eligibility product” in 2009 to the present time have laid the groundwork for virtually unlimited future usurpations of the office of the President of the United States.
The Nation can survive the transitory deceit of NBC News, distasteful as that might be. But it is less clear that it can survive any more usurpations of the presidency.