It’s an undisputed fact that the American people have a high level of distrust for the mainstream media — just look at the startling Gallup numbers released last week. A recent decision by CBS News to omit a portion of an interview with President Barack Obama in which he admitted mistakes and blunders in campaign ads is likely to add to the lack of public confidence in mainstream outlets.
In an interview for “60 Minutes,” Obama surprisingly contended that some of his campaign ads and contentions “go overboard” and have errors, but these admissions were omitted from the final interview that aired.
While the network left this portion of the president’s dialogue with Steve Kroft out, CBS did post it on its web site. Still, conservative critics are wondering why such a noteworthy admission was left out of the final interview.
After all, a candidate’s claim that he has put out misleading campaign advertisements that have “gone overboard” is certainly not something that would generally be cut from a broadcast interview — particularly when it’s a candidate who has prided himself on truth and transparency.
Titled, “False Advertising in the Presidential Race,” the clip appears on the CBS web site with an intriguing description: ”President Obama says some of his campaign ads might ‘go overboard’ or contain mistakes, but most of them simply highlight the differences between him and Gov. Romney.”
In this portion of the interview, Kroft tells Obama that fact-checkers have taken issue with both candidates’ ads. When explaining that some of Obama’s ads are misleading, the journalist also questioned whether these false statements to the American people are disturbing to the president. The response was fascinating.
“Do we see sometimes us going overboard in our campaign, are there mistakes that are made, areas where there is no doubt somebody could dispute how we are presenting things?,” Obama asked. “You know, that happens in politics.”
“Aren’t the American entitled to the truth? Or a better version of it?,” Kroft countered.
Perhaps realizing he had gone a bit too far in his admission, Obama steered away from the subject of campaign lies and turned the conversation back to a discussion about America’s future.
“The truth of the matter is, most of the time we’re having a vigorous debate about a vision for the country and, you know, there’s a lot at stake in this election,” Obama explained. “So is it going to be sharp sometimes? Absolutely. But will the American people ultimately have a good sense of where I want to take the country and where Gov. Romney takes the country? I think they will.”
Watch the un-aired clip, below:
UPDATE: CBS has essentially dismissed critiques, claiming that quite a bit of content was covered in the interview and that it couldn’t all be included in the network broadcast.
“We covered a lot of ground with both men and we’re happy to be able to put some of that material on our popular Web cast 60MinutesOvertime,“ ”60 Minutes” spokesperson told POLITICO.