NY Times' Dowd echoed Healy's misleading account of Clinton interview

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Echoing an article by New York Times reporter Patrick Healy about President Clinton's appearance on PBS' Charlie Rose Show, Maureen Dowd wrote, "He got so agitated with Charlie Rose -- ranting that reporters were 'stenographers' for [Sen. Barack] Obama [D-IL] -- that his aides tried to stop the interview." But neither Dowd nor Healy noted Rose's actual on-air comments on the matter, indicating that the interview had gone "over" time -- not that the aides were concerned about the content of the interview.

In her December 23 column, The New York Times' Maureen Dowd, referring to former President Bill Clinton's appearance on the December 14 edition of PBS' The Charlie Rose Show, claimed, "He got so agitated with Charlie Rose -- ranting that reporters were 'stenographers' for [Sen. Barack] Obama [D-IL] -- that his aides tried to stop the interview." Dowd's assertion echoes a December 16 article by New York Times reporter Patrick Healy that claimed that "[d]uring the Charlie Rose interview, Mr. Clinton looked agitated at times" and that "[a]t one point, Mr. Rose said that, in his control room, aides to Mr. Clinton were trying to persuade the show's producers to end the interview." But while Healy purported to report what Rose said about Clinton's aides trying to stop the interview, and Dowd purported to report on what the aides themselves did, neither Dowd nor Healy noted Rose's actual on-air comments about the matter. Rose indicated that the interview had gone "over" time -- not that the aides were concerned about the content of the interview. As Media Matters for America has documented, Rose said to Clinton, "Let me -- let me just close with this, because it's important and fairly -- we're over and your people need to take you -- you need to go wherever you need to go." The interview then continued for several more minutes. Minutes later, Rose added: "Your people are pushing me, so I want you to finish, but it's not my --"

From Dowd's December 23 column:

Bill is staying up late strategizing and recasting her message and speeches. But he's off his game on the trail, making clumsy mistakes like his remark -- bound to be shot down by Poppy Bush -- that Hillary would send 41 and 42 around the world to restore prestige lost by 43.

Hillary advisers noted that when Bill was asked by a supporter in South Carolina what his wife's No. 1 priority would be, he replied: C'est moi! "The first thing she intends to do is to send me ..." he began.

He got so agitated with Charlie Rose -- ranting that reporters were "stenographers" for Obama -- that his aides tried to stop the interview.

From Clinton's interview with Rose, broadcast on the December 14 edition of PBS' The Charlie Rose Show:

ROSE: And when people say we don't need to go beyond looking back at the '60s, or even the '90s, then you -- you say, "I think a lot of good things happened in the '60s, and I think a lot of good things happened in the '70s, in the '80s, in the '90s."

CLINTON: Yeah, but the basic thing is that's irrelevant.

ROSE: Right.

CLINTON: Look at this decade. Look at this record. She has been a completely modern senator. She has sponsored -- she just passed the bill as a candidate for president, with [Sen.] Lindsey Graham [R-SC], who led my -- who was one of the impeachment managers --

ROSE: Impeachment managers -- right.

CLINTON: -- to extend the family and medical leave law to the families of veterans who were suffering physical or emotional trauma in Iraq or Afghanistan.

ROSE: All right. Let me -- let me close this one.

CLINTON: I mean, that's not nothing to do with the '90s. I mean, this -- that's sort of a superficial, you know, bigotry. That's like saying -- that's like ageism or something. You know, it's like -- if you fought and did good things, we've got to give you a gold watch and tell you goodbye.

ROSE: Let me -- let me just close with this, because it's important and fairly -- we're over and your people need to take you -- you need to go wherever you need to go.

I've said this to you before, because of your eight years of experience, because of your experience as a governor and because you have spent your time since doing good, but traveling around the world, sometimes with your friend President Bush 41. Tell me what you would put as the top five things for the next president if you were sliding a little letter into that Oval Office desk. You can make it as short or as long as you want from my point.

CLINTON: We have to restore America's standing in the world. We have to send a signal that we are going to get back in the cooperation business. And we're going to cooperate whenever we can, act alone only when we have to, including discontinuing our direct military involvement in Iraq as quickly as we can without making it worse.

We have to regain our economic momentum, to restore the middle class, which means we need more good jobs and significant changes in our education policy.

We have to have -- finally, we have to pass universal health care. Now what we're doing is costing us too much, doing too little, undermining our economic stability and our -- the moral fabric of our society.

We have to do something really significant on energy for reasons of national security, global warming, and most -- and our economic wellbeing. We have got to move back toward a clean, independent energy future. It will create millions of jobs and promote more equality.

And finally, we need to do this in a way that gives all Americans a chance to work together on it. One reason I like this whole idea of a clean independent energy future is it's inherently beyond politics. It gives people something to do across political lines, racial lines, income lines. It will benefit people in urban areas, suburban areas, small towns, rural areas.

We live in an interdependent world, where just a few people, as we found out on 9-11, or the British found out with their car bombings and their subway bombings, who don't feel part of the community, can do an enormous amount of damage. The only way to overcome our differences is not basically to try to erase the past, it's to get used to working together.

I mean, it's really kind of a metaphor for the Hillary argument. If you look at last Monday, the new --

ROSE: Your people are pushing me, so I want you to finish, but it's not my --

CLINTON: The new leaders of Northern Ireland came to Washington to see the president. They -- it represents a stunning change. I think everybody would admit, right? Stunning change in Northern Ireland.

ROSE: It's unbelievable.

Network/Outlet
The New York Times
Person
Maureen Dowd
Stories/Interests
Hillary Clinton, 2008 Elections
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