May 20th, 2008
11:48 AM ET
13 years ago

White House step up criticism of NBC

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="The White House is upset with NBC"](CNN) - The White House has stepped up its criticism of NBC News for its handling of an interview with President Bush, releasing a letter Monday claiming the network had used "deceitful editing to further a media-manufactured story line is utterly misleading and irresponsible."

In his speech before the Knesset earlier this week, Bush had mentioned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad, telling Israeli lawmakers that "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along."

Obama and many other Democrats have interpreted that statement as a swipe at the Democratic frontrunner. The White House has publicly denied that charge.

During an NBC interview this week, correspondent Richard Engel asked Bush if he had been directing an attack at the Illinois senator.

Bush's response as aired on NBC was: "You know, my policies haven't changed, but evidently the political calendar has. . . . And when, you know, a leader of Iran says that they want to destroy Israel, you've got to take those words seriously."

The network did not include the following comment, which fell between the two statements: "People need to read the speech. You didn't get it exactly right, either. What I said was that we need to take the words of people seriously."

During Monday’s broadcast of NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams reported that the White House had raised objections to the interview as aired.

NBC has said that the broadcast fairly reflected Bush’s comments, and noted that the unedited interview is available in full on the network’s Web site. But in his Monday letter, White House Counsel Ed Gillespie said it was "simply absurd” that the only way to get “accurate information from NBC News” was to check the Internet for a video stream.

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. larry

    this is nothing more than Bush trying to change the subject form the economy. lets not get tricked. its the dems year if they focus on the economy. we simply don't believe in the boogie man any more.

    May 20, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. JC

    This clown should have never had a second term in office period!!!

    May 20, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    Oh.... shutup!

    May 20, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. raf

    While I strongly believe the media in general shuold be careful editing quotes, I think it's ridiculous that the White House is arguing this.

    The bottom line is that they clearly were talking about Obama and the Democrats. Two White House aides have privately confirmed this, as reported by CNN.

    They're grasping onto a technicality to divert attention from the comments and keep this stupid lie going.

    May 20, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Ratgurl

    Did anybody hear that? Did somebody say something? Hmm. I must be hearing things. It sounded like a wounded cat.

    May 20, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Bill in Illinois

    Ya know – it seems like the politicos think that it is ok to put a spin on whatever they want if it serves their purpose but if they think that they are on the recieving end they go off the deep end and complain that they aren't being treated fairly.

    Sorry folks – no sympathy here!

    May 20, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  7. David

    NBC's ratings are almost as low as Bush's!!!!!!!!

    May 20, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. Danielle for Obama

    really, let's blame the news,
    let's blame it on the man in the moon,
    let's blame in on my leaky shoes,
    let's blame it on the rain when it falls in April instead of June

    The news netweroks are doing thier jobs,
    No one cares about you anyway!
    so keep dancing over in Africa, and staying out of the news,
    you gave us four years of heart ache and pain!
    Karma is not fun is it!

    Blame it on yourself bush!

    Obama '08

    May 20, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  9. mark

    This is another example of the Bush hipocracy machine since 2000. Bush really wants to control the press in his favor. We have been very close to a fascist state.

    May 20, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. taylor richmond virginia

    Look inward Mr. Bush...............Look inward.

    May 20, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. bridgette

    I think that this administration had a free past for about 5 1/2 years. People did not begin to start questioning anything they did until after hurricane Katrina. Before that whatever they did the media found a way to justify it and that is why we are in the mess we are in now.

    May 20, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Moderates unite

    MSNBC and NBC are liberal hack jobs

    I want to vomit every time I watch Keith Olberman and his leftist spin machine.

    May 20, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Griff

    You poor Soul George.. You set out with the best intention...
    Now you never get a Mention.... Of respect.... All because you're Dad wanted you to be another Reagan.... You took all the fall's, because your Dad didn't have the ....... in 1991-2...........

    May 20, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Dems Unite!!!

    It's called Freedom of the Press. Mr. Bush you and your entire administrations IQ has got to be lower than my pet rocks!!!

    May 20, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Samantha

    I thought only MSNBC was sickening in its bias. But now NBC News is trying to compete. I don't agree with Bush on a lot of things but the President should be heard for what he said in an interview.

    May 20, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. sue

    My immediate response is "don't get your news from the tv." All stations, including cable, esp. MSNBC which is owned by one of Clinton's buddies, are biased one way or another. Reading and radio interviews expose much more of a candidate and his/her view/s.

    May 20, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. Kevin

    NBC should listen to Bush. The White House knows a thing or two about being misleading and deceitful.

    May 20, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Kevin

    NBC had better pay attention. Bush and his whole administration know a thing or two about being misleading and irresponsible.

    May 20, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  19. Sue, Bloomington, IN

    The White House is starting to sound like Putin dictating what the media can and can't report.

    May 20, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. taylor richmond virginia

    after watching the entire interview, I must say that Bush only came off looking worse..............maybe NBC is part of the right wing media?

    Come on people, the interview is what it is. Redudancy was the only thing edited. The White House should have just left things alone.

    May 20, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  21. tigerakabj

    I don't care if NBC made up his comment. This man deserves what's coming to him. He bad-mouthed Americans on foreign soil.

    I see from his family history that (i.e. Prescott Bush giving money to the Nazis) that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Bush, get your ho-downs done now. The next party I'll be wanting to hear about is the Nuremberg trials round 2.

    May 20, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  22. Jo Ann

    NBC did not make the President look any less like a president Bush has don this all on his on. The cowboy or rambo do what I tell you no
    negotations. Shut up

    May 20, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Ed

    If MSNBC backs off O'Reilly, then the president will back off of NBC.

    May 20, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
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