For the latest example why much of the US population has lost trust in the mainstream media, consider today’s snafu in which CBS News was caught editing a video clip and transcript to remove a Bill Clinton comment that Hillary Clinton “frequently” fainted in the past.
Bill Clinton sat down with CBS’s Charlie Rose on Monday to try to clear the air around questions regarding his wife’s health after she collapsed while getting into a van at a 9/11 memorial ceremony on Sunday. It didn’t quite work out as desired.
As the Daily Caller reported first, when asked if there was any chance her faintness on Sunday could be a sign of some more “serious” illness, Clinton said he did not believe that was the case.
“Well if it is, it’s a mystery to me and all of her doctors, because frequently – well not frequently, rarely – but on more than one occasion, over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing happened to her when she got severely dehydrated, and she’s worked like a demon, as you know, as secretary of State, as a senator and in the year since.”
However, the final edit of the “CBS Evening News” version cut Clinton’s use of “frequently” out. Furthermore, according to a review by The Hill of the official transcript released by the network shows that Clinton saying “Frequently – well, not frequently,” is omitted as well.
Oddly, unlike the “CBS Evening News” version, Clinton’s use of “frequently” can be heard on a version played on “CBS This Morning.”
To be sure, the bolded “frequently” section was in itself a particularly embarrassing slip-up: how Clinton can mistake that Hillary “frequently” faints or collapses, before correcting himself to say it “rarely” happened, will remain a mystery. Perhaps the fragment’s deletion was the result of Bill realizing precisely this; and while we doubt that there was a subsequent 40 minutes “conversation about grandchildren” on a hot tarmac somwhere to rectify this mistake, what we do know is that when the segment aired, the bolded section was edited out, cutting to a reverse shot of Rose nodding to cover up the jump:
As The Hill notes, time constraints unlikely played a role, since it takes less than three seconds for Clinton to say “frequently — well, not frequently.”
The edited CBS transcript is shown below:
Below is the excerpt that will air tonight on “CBS EVENING NEWS” WITH SCOTT PELLEY:
BILL CLINTON: She’s doing fine. She was even better last night before she went to sleep. She had a good night’s sleep. She just got dehydrated yesterday.
CHARLIE ROSE: Is that what happened? She just got dehydrated. Because when you look at that collapse, that video that was taken, you wonder if it’s not more serious than dehydration.
BILL CLINTON: Well, if it is then it’s a mystery to me and all of her doctors. Rarely, on more than one occasion, over the last many, many years, the same sort of thing’s happened to her when she got severely dehydrated, and she’s worked like a demon, as you know, as secretary of State, as a senator and in the year since.
CHARLIE ROSE: But, more importantly, she’s on a grueling campaign. And you know what that’s like, and she’s older than you when you ran.
BILL CLINTON: And she had two and a half hard days before the day when she got dizzy. Today she made a decision, which I think was correct, to cancel her campaign day to take one more day to rest.
CHARLIE ROSE: Is it possible she’ll be away for weeks from the campaign trail?
BILL CLINTON: No, not a shot. I’ll be lucky to hold her back another day.
As Mediaite observes, it’s not at all uncommon for networks to edit down interviews to fit for broadcast or to clean up an interview subject’s response. But, as it points out, “it is interesting that they chose to edit out an error that could have very well been newsworthy by itself.”
Naturally, there would be no comment from either Clinton, and if anything it would be assigned to the “great alt right conspiracy theory” compost heap, along with everything else that has been said about the Clintons, only to be confirmed the not too distant future.