During the 11 a.m. ET hour of the November 1 edition of MSNBC News Live, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell aired a portion of comments made by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) on that day's edition of Imus in the Morning, but left out the part in which he said he was “sorry.”
As noted by the weblog Think Progress, Kerry said that he was “sorry about a botched joke” that Republicans and some in the media have misrepresented in asserting that Kerry denigrated U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Mitchell aired part of Kerry's appearance on Imus, during an interview with Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, in which the onscreen text read: “Lynne Cheney Reacts to Sen. Kerry's Refusal to Apologize.”
As Media Matters for America noted, during the October 31 edition of MSNBC News Live, Mitchell also said that it is “hard to imagine” Kerry's explanation for the remark he made during an October 30 appearance at Pasadena City College in California is true.
From the 11 a.m. hour of MSNBC News Live:
MITCHELL: John Kerry called into Imus today, and I wanted to play a little bit of what he had to say -- his explanation for this, quote, “botched joke.” Let's give a listen.
KERRY [audio clip]: This comment couldn't have been directed at them because you can't get into the military by doing badly at school. This was directed at the people who didn't do their homework, didn't listen to history, didn't listen to their own advice; and they owe the American people an apology.
Now, I'm going to, you know, I'm coming back to Washington today so that I'm not a distraction, because I don't want to be a distraction to these campaigns.
MITCHEL: Lynne Cheney: Clearly, he's getting off the campaign trail because he has become a distraction -- Democrats are not that happy about it. But that was a shot at, among other people, your husband, who didn't serve in Vietnam. How do you react to that?
From the November 1 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning:
DON IMUS (host): I was talking to Charles last night about this, and it was my inclination to try to defend you in this, and I said, “I think I know what he meant. I mean, it's clear what he meant.” But I had to acknowledge, in my conversation with Charles, that that's not what you said, so --
KERRY: Of course it isn't what I said. I left out one word -- I left out the word “us.” They got “us” stuck. Instead of that, I said they got stuck. And they're taking advantage of it. And here's what's wrong.
IMUS: Why not apologize for the misunderstanding?
KERRY: Well, I did. I said it was a botched joke. Of course I'm sorry about a botched joke. You think I love botched jokes? I mean, you know, it's pretty stupid.