CBS Spokesman Distorts Standard Of Editing On Couric-McCain Interview. Here's The Proof

As I reported earlier, CBS violated their own Standards when it aired the heavily edited interview of John McCain with Katie Couric. A CBS spokesman

As I reported earlier, CBS violated their own Standards when it aired the heavily edited interview of John McCain with Katie Couric. A CBS spokesman tried to defend their behavior and told TV Newser:

Of the 14-minute interview, a little less than three minutes was used on the Evening News. A CBS spokesperson tells TVNewser, "As all news organizations do with extended interviews, last night's Obama and McCain interviews were edited to fit the available time and to give viewers a fair expression of the candidates' major differences. The full transcript and video were and still are available at CBSNews.com."

OK, so this person is saying that they edited these segments to ' give viewers a fair expression of the candidates' major differences'.

I'm sorry that is not what CBS did in this case and maybe the spokesman should look at their own standards in editing and then get back to me. Here's what CBS has to actually say about it: CBS manuel---CBS NEWS STANDARDS....SEC111-5....EDITING:

Editing is essential to the practice of journalism. We must make every effort to ensure that our editing reflects fairly, honestly and without distortion what was seen and heard by our reporters and recorded by our cameras and microphones. The editing process requires careful news judgments geared to the individual facts of each situation.

Interviews are to be edited in a straightforward manner, preserving the sense of the interview. Even a short sound bite should accurately reflect the spirit of the entire interview. An answer may not be taken out of context if the result is to distort the original meaning. If a question to an interview subject is used, the answer must be to that specific question. The question and the answer may be edited, but not in a way that would distort the meaning of either. Answers to different questions may not be combined to give the impression of one continuous response. In short, we cannot create an answer merely because we wish the subject had said it better.

In the editing of an interview, cutaway shots may be used (see Section II-3 for shooting cutaways in the field). But the cutaways must not distort what actually occurred. The correspondent may register appropriate visual expressions, such as smiling at a joke. In all cases, however, the correspondent must be careful that casual expressions do not convey approval or disapproval of what is being said.


↓ Story continues below ↓

The narration leading to a sound bite must reflect the question that elicited the response. For example, we cannot say, in leading into an expert on explosives, "We asked Dr. Doe how the bomb that killed eight people was constructed," when the original question was, "How do you make a homemade bomb?

Let's repeat what CBS says is their Standard.

Answers to different questions may not be combined to give the impression of one continuous response. In short, we cannot create an answer merely because we wish the subject had said it better.

This is exactly what CBS did in the segment and I'm not even including the important McCain gaffe that they left out. How can CBS defend the Couric/McCain interview after we read their own guidelines? It's outrageous behavior. I'm contacting TV Newser for comment now. Contact CBS again and ask for a correction.

UPDATE: I got a call from CBS. They are getting hit with a ton of calls about this story. I'm waiting for a direct response from the Nightly News now.

TV Show CBS Evening News with Katie Couric

(212) 975-3247

evening@cbsnews.com

http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/eveningnews/main3420.shtml (212) 975-3691, (212) 975-1893

About John Amato

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.