Chuck Todd Blames CBS News for Using Out of Context Video to Criticize AG Bill Barr

Posted: May 13, 2020 10:35 AM
Chuck Todd Blames CBS News for Using Out of Context Video to Criticize AG Bill Barr

Source: AP Photo by/NBC, William B. Plowman

NBC News anchor Chuck Todd addressed the controversy from Sunday's episode on "Meet the Press," where Attorney General William Barr's answer on why the Department of Justice dropped its case against retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn was taken out of context, and said his network was not at fault for the video's editing.

Todd blamed CBS News for the sound bite they provided and that NBC News did not edit anything out.

"During the program, we had a sound bite from a CBS News interview with the Attorney General Bill Barr. In the bite that we aired and commented on, Mr. Barr was asked how he thinks the history of his decision to end the prosecution of the former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will be written. Mr. Barr answered, ‘History is written by the winner, so it largely depends on who’s writing the history.’ In the full version of the interview and transcript, he went on to say, ‘But I think a fair history would say that it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law.’ Now, we did not edit that out. That was not our edit. We didn’t include it because we only saw the shorter of two clips that CBS did air," Todd said.

"We should have looked at both and checked for a full transcript. A mistake that I wish we hadn’t made, and one that I wish I hadn’t made. The second part of the Attorney General’s answer would have put it in the proper context. And had I seen that part of the interview, I would not have framed the conversation the way I did. And I obviously am very sorry for that mistake. We strive to do better going forward," he added.

When it was pointed out that "Meet the Press" did not include Barr's full response to the question, their Twitter account stated, "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."

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John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" on HBO also made a similar error with Barr's answer. HBO declined to provide a statement on the record after it was pointed out that another network admitted to making the same mistake.

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