CNN's American Morning deceptively cropped Clark interview

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

CNN's American Morning deceptively cropped Wesley Clark's Face the Nation interview, airing a video of Clark saying of Sen. John McCain, "That large squadron in the Air -- in the Navy that he commanded, it wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall," after which Clark was immediately shown saying: "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." But CNN edited out the portion of the exchange indicating that, in making the latter statement, Clark was responding to host Bob Schieffer's statement that, unlike McCain, Sen. Barack Obama has not "ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down."

On the June 30 edition of CNN's American Morning, co-anchor Kiran Chetry reported that "Senator John McCain's campaign is calling on [Sen.] Barack Obama to condemn these comments made by his supporter, retired General Wesley Clark," and aired video of Clark saying on the June 29 edition of CBS' Face the Nation: "That large squadron in the Air -- in the Navy that he commanded, it wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall." Clark was then immediately shown saying: "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." However, CNN edited out of the video the exchange Clark had with Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer just prior to that latter comment, which indicated that Clark was repeating Schieffer's words. Indeed, Clark's assertion -- "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president" -- was in response to Schieffer's statement that, unlike McCain, Obama has not "ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down."

From the June 29 edition of CBS' Face the Nation; the portion of the interview CNN edited out is bolded:

CLARK: That large squadron in the Air -- in the Navy that he commanded, it wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn't seen what it's like when diplomats come in and say, "I don't know whether we're going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle it" --

SCHIEFFER: Well --

CLARK: -- "publicly?" He hasn't made those calls, Bob.

SCHIEFFER: Well -- well, General, maybe he --

CLARK: So --

SCHIEFFER: Could I just interrupt you? If --

CLARK: Sure.

SCHIEFFER: I have to say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down. I mean --

CLARK: Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.

Shortly before that exchange, Clark had said of McCain: "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands of millions of others in the Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he has traveled all over the world."

From the June 30 edition of CNN's American Morning:

CHETRY: Well, this morning, Senator John McCain's campaign is calling on Barack Obama to condemn these comments made by his supporter, retired General Wesley Clark.

CLARK [video clip]: That large squadron in the Air -- in the Navy that he commanded, it wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall. ... I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.

CHETRY: Joining us now on the phone is Senator McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, live from Arlington, Virginia. Rick, thanks for talking with us this morning.

DAVIS: Well, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

CHETRY: What do you make of General Clark's comments?

DAVIS: Well, you know, I think it's kind of sad. I think, you know, all the promise that Barack Obama made about trying to change the political dynamic and run a different kind of campaign is evidenced by the fact that he's completely changed his political stripes and has become sort of a partisan hack. You know, sending Wesley Clark out as a surrogate for your campaign and attacking John McCain and his war record and his military experience and his service is, I think, just the lowest form of politics.

Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Kiran Chetry
Show/Publication
American Morning
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
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