MSNBC Caught Deceptively Editing Video Of Mitt Romney
In a manner reminiscent of what happened with one of George Zimmerman’s 911 calls, MSNBC has been caught editing a video of a Mitt Romney stump speech in a manner that makes Romney look slightly foolish:
MSNBC aired footage today that inaccurately portrayed Mitt Romney’s remarks at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania.
Discussing how the public sector suffers from a lack of competition, Romney told the audience about an optometrist who wanted to change his address and subsequently received 33 pages of paperwork from the federal government, which begat a months-long bureaucratic nightmare during which the optometrist in question wasn’t receiving his checks. “That’s how government works,” Romney said.
Then, to illustrate the advantages of competition in the private sector, Romney shared an anecdote from his visit to the local WaWa chain store. “I was at WaWas, I went in to order a sandwich. You press a little touchtone keypad – you touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier — there’s your sandwich. It’s amazing. People in the private sector have learned how to compete. It’s time to bring some competition to the federal government.”
But in the MSNBC clip, which first aired on Andrea Mitchell Reports, Romney’s remarks begin with the WaWa anecdote and end at “It’s amazing,” an edit – first noted by conservative blogger Sooper Mexican — that makes it seem as though Romney was expressing amazement at the advent of touchtone screens.
The MSNBC clip feeds into the narrative, beloved by some on the left, that Romney is a 1950’s throwback. After the clip cut, Mitchell and MSNBC contributor Chris Cillizza broke out into laughter — which is understandable, given that they both had been led to believe that Romney was wowed by a simple machine. In fact, what Romney found so “amazing” was the discord between private sector innovation and public sector bureaucracy.
Here’s the raw video of Romney’s remarks:
And here’s what played on Mitchell’s show yesterday:
There’s no doubt what was done here, and if it had been done to President Obama by Fox News there would be outrage coming from all the appropriate corners. The same should happen here. This is bad journalism, guys, simply bad journalism.
Yes it is bad journalism. Being someone who thinks along many of the same lines as the generalized `liberal`, I found that many many `liberal` and `progressive` blogs and `news outlets` have gone down this ridiculous path as well. It seems like after W left office, many needed the constant crap that he provided… even if it wasn’t there. It really dilutes the value of these outlets and frustrates me to no end. I used to think it was only conservatives who did that – I was mistaken.
The Medicaid change of address form is two pages long. So he was only off by 31 pages. But of course, “both sides do it”.
Yes.. Bad journalism, totoally agree. However, I believe part of the unbalanced outrage focused towards Fox has to do with the frequency of which this happens.
He didn’t say it was just a Medicaid form, but that’s hardly relevant to MSNBC playing deceptive editing games.
So … the accuracy of MSNBC is more important than the accuracy of Mitt Romney?
Other than that little Mediaite link I don’t know that Romney was untruthful.
Yes, it was deceptive editing. The real story is that Romney was lying again. Instead they played the part where he tried to explain to ordinary citizens that something they experience every day is somehow magical because he’s never had to deal with one before.
But I don’t think that’s what you’re complaining about. I mean, the fact that they didn’t point out that Romney was lying again.
So what exactly was deceptive about this? He was acting astonished by the touch screen. The fact that he thought it was a miracle of the free market — “Look, Ann, smart capitalists have found another way to kill jobs for low income people!” — was in addition to that astonishment.
NBC edited George Zimmerman’s 911 call and now MSNBC edited Romney’s remarks. Are these isolated incidents or trends?
Lying? Do you know for certain that he mis-stated what this optometrist told him?
Here’s the link to a 28-page Medicaid Form. You have to complete this form if: “Currently enrolled in Medicare and need to make changes to your enrollment information (e.g., you have added or changed a practice location).”
It was BS in the classic definition. It doesn’t give us details. It doesn’t want us to learn or to understand. We are just supposed to believe that “optometrists” get 33 pages of paperwork from the federal government
No, obviously sole-proprietor optometrists, without government contracts, would not. Just as you or I would not.
Start layering things like incorporation and various government programs in which he might be enrolled, then it can go as high as you want. Maybe our optometrist is getting paid not to plant rice on his hobby farm. Who knows?
Thanks Dean. I can read that form and see that for changing information it says “complete only those sections that are changed.”
Yes it’s obvious that someone running for president is going to embellish and exaggerate to make their case. That is not a newsflash. It would be nice if it didn’t happen, but it has since… well a long time ago. Our journalists should be stepping up to the plate to make sure the public is well aware of how it was embellished and what the truth really is. The journalists most people see are not doing that, instead they’re playing partisan games like the example Doug posted.
This post was about those partisan games and not about Romney’s expected exaggerations. Two different subjects.
If anyone prefers the MSNBC story, as the meme to push, I can push back on that.
We don’t have to worry about MSNBC being President, and we can see their story arc on this edit pretty easily. They’ll apologize, and lose come credibility, but in the long run they will be more or less where they are … a network whose shows span slightly left of right (Morning Joe) to far left (The Ed Show).
And you expect him to put in every little tiny detail in every campaign stop?
That’s a bit much, don’t you think?
I mean jeez, do you want me to think MSNBC is more important to my future than Mitt?
You forgot the show hosted by the outright racist and fabricator of crimes, Al Sharpton
Yes, it’s deceptive and shameful editing. Romney provides enough honest material to criticize, as people have pointed out here regarding this case.
If MSNBC loses credibility with edits, surely Romney loses (or should lose) credibility with claims that depend on you not knowing the details.
I mean, if you actually know that it isn’t a “doctor moving” it’s a medicare vendor moving, and if you know that it isn’t “33 pages” to fill out, but that the designers weren’t complete idiots and let you skip to sections that matter … what then happens to the whole claim?
Heh, I give Al a pass because he’s so damn old.
@Dean: This is become common for MSNBC. It is a shame that this once great news network has sunk this low. Where is the integrity that was their hallmark for so many years when Brinkley was there? They have sunk lower than CBS ever was.
It is just a media branch for the Democrat Party. It should be changed to the PBC: “Propaganda Broadcasting Corporation.”
Deceptively? C’mon, man. Only in the Youtube era is not showing the whole thing considered to be “deceptive.”
So Mitt Romney had a point at the end of that bizarre WaWa’s thing. Why do you think MSNBC should be obligated to help him make it?
(Seriously “touch tone?” Touch tone, Mitt? More like “out of touch” tone.)
It’s poor journalism and part of why I don’t wath MSNBC any more. But then I don’t watch Fox News any more either in part for the exact same reason.
@Dean: “NBC edited George Zimmerman’s 911 call and now MSNBC edited Romney’s remarks. Are these isolated incidents or trends?”
Yes, Dean. It’s a trend. Until a month ago, no news program had ever edited a single quote from any person any time in history. If someone started speaking, every word he or she uttered was included in the report.
You’ve really uncovered a scandal here.
Was it a 28-page form? Yes. Did you have read the whole thing to make sure there was nothing else you had to do? Yes. Was Romney’s point accurate? Yes.
At the end of the day, Doug’s point was MSNBC deceptively edited Romney’s remarks. It was the network that created the lie, not Romney.
John I don’t disagree with you about what is more important. But you’re fighting the wrong battle. If you don’t want to comment on MSNBC then don’t post on a thread about MSNBC. There are plenty of other topics concerning Romney and they are ripe for posting.
But I’m getting up-votes and feedback, right?
And actually there probably could be a case made for the importance of our news outlets accuracy. I mean how do you end up picking your candidate? From personal one on one experience with the person?
Too many of these channels flat out distort the truth, most people hear it and buy it hook line and sinker… and then a few days later they’ll quickly apologize and correct and only a fraction of the people who originally heard it will hear that it’s not true. It’s dangerous and there’s little accountability at present… Just like the `drones` flying over america’s farmlands… sheesh
Sure, but note that I’m not saying news outlets should be inaccurate, or that MSNBC should be let off the hook. I consider that part of the story a gimmie. MSNBC will take their lumps, engage in self-criticism, etc.
Part of my boredom with that part of the story is that it’s too easy.
Do really not know what I meant?
Yeah, it’s a trend of people who don’t watch MNSBC hearing internet chatter about how edit-y they are, then joining the pile-on.
Doug’s Sharpton comment is revealing. Presumably, Sharpton was not involved in the segment or even capable of operating the editing bay. And yet he’s somehow relevant?
One might conclude that MSNBC’s real crime here isn’t editing, but the hiring Al Sharpton or the failure to carry water for Mitt Romney. Which would be a valid point of view if there were not also this effort to point fingers at MSNBC as being the “real” biased ones.
I mean, guy’s going to use a spiffy truck stop as an example of the power of the private sector (ooh, a “touch-tone” screen!) but never mentions the highway system that created the need for truck stops in the first place. Last I checked, no one in the private sector made it to the moon or liberated a country. Hell, you can’t even convince an industrialist to open a factory without shoveling them tax breaks these days. But WaWa is a testament to our industrial prowess? A fancy way to get hoagies that’s not even really new?
It reminds me of when John McCain was touting Crocs in 08.
These guys are supposed to be the “business” guys and yet they can’t tell the difference between a company that’s actually innovative and one with a half-competent marketing department.
Seriously….WaWa’s touch screen? What a joke. From a technology stand-point, the only innovation here is getting the customer to key in the order. Put enough bells and whistles on it though and it’ll be enough to impress a sucker like Romney, I guess.
Yeah it’s too easy – yet nothing has changed. Maybe even gotten a tad more blatant – but that’s just conjecture, idk.
I suppose that’s the problem – There is absolutely no repercussions for the partisan channels that do this stuff. Their viewership is fairly entrenched in what they spout off and will take falsehoods in stride. FOX has been doing it for years and they just became more and more popular. Something needs to be done –
@Dean: I knew what you meant and treated it with the respect I thought it deserved.
This is a non-story, an attempt to divert attention from Romney’s continual lying. So of course Doug parrots it.
plus, it is WaWa, not WaWas.
Sure wr, if all the stories on here aren’t about Romney lying then it’s an obvious attempt to distract us all from the REAL issue of him and his hyperbole.
No matter how trivial the subject matter a media organization distorts actually is, the fact that they are distorting things is of the utmost importance.
If we all got factual and accurate news in context… I highly doubt we would have elected half the people we did and I doubt even more some of the major world events in the last 10-20 years would have happened either – or they would have at least been handled differently.
BTW, looking around now … while Dean’s long form did not need to be filled out in full … it wasn’t actually the right form. The right form was actually two pages long.
So what MSNBC should have done is (a) better editing, and then (b) better research to call BS on the actual claim.
Mate seriously. So does Fox.
If you honestly start to take the doofus applause for being snide and off-topic as proof positive that you made a good point, it’s time to take a step back and re-evaluate the discussion after a short rest imho.
I did separate up-votes from feedback. I’m happy to respond to feedback, such as your own.
That said, I don’t think our little community is totally off in its voting. You might get 1-2 cranks to up or down vote anything, but bigger numbers start to represent something.
It’s actually kind of interesting that my “MSNBC more important than Mitt” comment is currently running 7 pro 5 against. That’s kind of an active tally.
Do you think they are wrong, and that this edit is more important than the candidates themselves? Remember, you can add any fact to the thread, as I did above. If you think anyone is inaccurate, you have the power to link in more facts.
Guys, the voting system says “Helpful or Unhelpful.” It doesn’t say “Approve or Disapprove.” I can’t remember the original wording when the system was first implemented, but I do remember it was deliberately changed to make this clear and avoid tit-for-tat popularity wars.
My own view on the rating system is….use it sparingly. Not because it’s useless or anything, but because using it sparingly is how it becomes useful.
So which federal government department or agency was it? Or was it 33 pages in total from a variety of government departments or agencies that he had to register a change of address with? There is a distinction, I think.
No, but I consider it a false dichotomy. The edit is representative for a larger trend in media reporting where cheap gotchas are hyped because they guarantee big ratings/retweets and low production costs. Real fact checks are comparatively boring and expensive.
As such I think everyone “on my side” who peddles in this destruction of intelligent discourse should be taken to task, and hard at that. Otherwise we won’t get more focus on “the candidates themselves” but rather more trivia.
This is not only bad for the society as a whole but also, if you want to talk tactics, gives preference to the right who are simply better at this kind of zero-to-outrage-in-five-seconds reporting than the left is ever likely to become.
I want more Colbert, not more Levin in my reporting thank you very much.
Again, the weird thing is that I’ve never defended MSNBC above.
I’ve said that I expect that “MSNBC will take their lumps, engage in self-criticism, etc.”
So I’ve never offered a dichotomy. I’ve offered a different emphasis. This 33 pages thing gets under my skin because it is the sort of BS candidates offer, as red meat, for people to get angry … but based on thin air.
Remember, the change of address form is 2 pages.
Man, you must have been ticked when Obama was comparing the state of the private sector to that of the public sector and his speech was edited to make it look like he thought the private sector was hunky dory. I’ll bet you even blogged about it.
Of course, the truly hilarious thing here is that there was NO deceptive editing. Unless you take as a given that it’s the job of a news network to parrot the candidate’s message. Romney said this stupid thing. Yes, he said it while he was making a spectacularly mendacious point, but he chose to express his astonishment at this great invention. MSNBC played him expressing that.
Now Romney — and his chief surrogate Doug — are saying that MSNBC is being dishonest because that’s not the message Romney wanted people to take away from his speech. Well, it’s not the media’s job to simply repeat whatever the candidate wants people to hear.
But in RNC-world — and increasingly in Doug-world — it’s now considered deceptive to provide a view of a Republican politician other than the one the party wants you to see.
You essentially said that the time spent on taking MSNBC to task would be better spent criticizing Romney’s point.
I see where you are going with this but for the reasons outlined above I consider it short-sighted. Both should be a target for criticism. Where else should the “take their lumps, engage in self-criticism, etc” come from?
If I expect a “mea culpa” from MSNBC, that will shape my thinking, sure. It becomes how much time to you spend on something that will resolve itself?
As opposed to .. what do you think the story arc on “33 pages” will be?
Now, if MSNBC digs in, and says they were fair, I’ll have to come back at them, won’t I? I’ve made my line in the sand.
FWIW, I think Andrea Mitchell was being mean, and making fun of Romney, which isn’t something that should be on a news show.
(Maybe she thought she was on Morning Joe, which is looser, and where they make fun of people all the time.)
Uh, wasn’t Romney talking about a provider of medical care and not a recipient of medical care?
@sam: “Uh, wasn’t Romney talking about a provider of medical care and not a recipient of medical care?”
Yes, he was. And the purpose of all this terrible, horrible, burdensome paperwork is to help stop Medicare fraud, which costs taxpayers untold millions.
Yes, it’s a drag that a doctor who provides services and is reimbursed under Medicare has to fill out a few pages of information when his practice moves. But if he’s accepting money from the government, I think the government has the right to make sure it’s legit.
Or do Republicans now disagree with that?
This is as close to a non-story as you can get and still be a story.
I mean why is the inference that Romney is amazed by a touch-tone screen so outrageous – this is pretty damned funny because conservatives are constantly amazed and intrigued by Obama’s use of tele-prompter technology.
@bk: Serial chump Tommy Christopher? Dishonest hack Tommy Christopher?@john personna: Greg Sargent?
Please, lads. You’re both better than that.
And the second page is relevant only if you have multiple locations. This person apparently has one location, which means he needed to deal with this number of pages: one. So Mitt’s statement (“the form he gets to change addresses is 33 pages long”) is only wrong by a factor of 33.
The latter issue isn’t too newsworthy, since Mitt lies routinely. No news there.
Romney wrote the book on “deceptive editing games.” That’s why Joyner said this:
Politifact rated that Pants on Fire.
This is classic. English translation: ‘it’s OK if Mitt was, once again, promoting baloney, as long as he can claim he heard the baloney from somebody else.’ This sounds familiar. It reminds me of when Bachmann said this:
In Doug’s world, candidates can repeat any crap they hear, as if it’s fact, because this lame defense is always available: that we don’t “know for certain that he mis-stated what” some nut told him.
By the way, this is the same concept GWB exploited when his famous 16 words referenced “The British Government.” English translation: ‘don’t hold me responsible; I’m only repeating something I heard somewhere.’
I haven’t seen anyone mention the obvious reason Mitt was impressed: a key concept driving his career was to increase corporate profits by cutting jobs, and that’s the purpose of this device.
And I’m not saying this kind of change is bad. I’m saying that it creates winners and losers, and the GOP is all about glossing over this issue.
These issues were discussed on a Joyner thread last year: “Supermarket Self-Checkouts Being Replaced With People.”
The perfect response from one of this site’s perfect leftist apologist.
MSNBC is so effective in winning your arguments – fake but
Where was the outrage from the right when Fox & Friends recently told us that American’s had lost 40% of their wealth in the last three years? It was either a purposeful lie or raging ignorance. Romney was being interviewed at the time and he certainly did not set the record straight.
We hates us FNC, MSNBC always tells true…
Links showing otherwise would be appreciated for such a statement – and not that I expect FnF to be entirely correct – however underlying your comment is that Americans have not lost a good portion of their wealth under Obama.
Afterall, the raw footage shows that MSNBC obviously edited the shown video to push a narrative. They lied, and apparently you would like that lie to take root. Speaks volumes towards your intellectual reach. You should be glad you have a comfortable home here at OTB.
Comment caught in spam filter. Apparently you can’t call Doug a Republican anymore.
@wr: Which is actually a point in Doug’s favor…
@bains: Could you define the “lie”? I mean, aside from not pushing the message Romney wanted to push.
Well, 31 pages or not, anyone who has dealt with the federal government and forms can sympathize. I worked for the federal government and experienced it full force when I assisted employees in submitting their workers comp claims to the Department of Labor. They spent most of their time at sea and didn’t have comms to sit on hold for hours on end.
The forms were relatively straightforward except for the hidden “rules.” They’d return the claim if there was not some entry in every space whether it applied to the employee or not. Such as the box for Dependents. It was a list of check boxes, “spouse, children, other” Notice what’s missing? Notice what might cause someone not to mark the space? Here’s a hint, “NONE”. But if that box went unmarked, the claim would be returned as incomplete. But they never told anyone that, you had to learn by experience.
BTW, here’s the top google link for “Medicaid provider change of address” Not directly on point but look at how helpful the provider enrollment page is. Why anyone who worked at the agency could understand it, providers, citizens, not so much.
But they’ve got their acronyms and form numbers so it does a bureaucrat’s heart good.
Spam filtered and with no links or profanity even….
This post must be getting hammered by the bots.
Watching TV news at all is like watching the Jerry Springer show. What’s the point?
Print-media (like this blog) is so much better for getting news.
TV is almost entirely garbage.