Face the Nation: Ted Cruz Interview Edits Not Politically Driven

CBS Sunday morning political talk show Face The Nation with Bob Schieffer is knocking down right-wing media claims that an interview with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was edited for political reasons, explaining that the one-on-one just went too long and was also shortened for breaking news on the Maryland mall shooting.

“This was not uncommon at all, this was a quick turnaround pre-tape,” a Face the Nation spokesperson told Media Matters Monday, explaining that the interview was slated for seven minutes and ran long. “That just happened to be at the end so it was easy to trim for turnaround. And we had breaking news of the [Maryland mall] shooter's name ... We had already gone overtime, that is pretty much the gist of it.”

But some on the right found conspiracy in the routine interview editing, suggesting that the cuts had been made to protect President Obama from attacks Cruz levied in the deleted portion.

Newsbusters posted an item after examining the full version of the interview posted on Cruz's YouTube page, claiming that Cruz “was the victim of editing by CBS” because “the senator's comments surrounding President Obama's 'abuse of power' were edited from the program.”

During the deleted segment, Cruz attacked President Obama's handling of the Benghazi attacks and promoted the conservative conspiracy that the administration had indicted conservative filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza because of his film that criticized the president.

While Newsbusters acknowledged that “it is certainly plausible that CBS edited out the ending of the Cruz interview for time,” they nonetheless called the editing “highly inappropriate and unusual” and wrote that the network “should explain why it felt it appropriate to edit out a high profile senator accusing the President of the United States of targeting his politcal [sic] enemies.”

The Newsbusters post was highlighted by The Drudge Report and several conservative blogs.

None of those sites, however, apparently sought to ask CBS or Face The Nation why the edit occurred. Asked if it was done to censor Cruz's Obama criticism, the spokesperson stated: “There was no editorial purpose.”

Face The Nation said editing such interviews is common.

“It just varies on topic and the availability of the person,” the spokesperson said. “We also had breaking news, too. There's a lot to get into that first half hour.”

Cruz's effort to turn the discussion to defense of D'Souza is another example of his practice of trying to push conspiracies and falsehoods concocted by the far-right media into the mainstream.