Today’s hottest media story relates to a CBS News report on the judicial filibuster by Gloria Borger that aired Monday night. The segment included an interview with Ken Starr, in which Starr, seemingly in reference to the Republicans’ effort to end the filibuster, said: “This is a radical, radical departure from our history and from our traditions, and it amounts to an assault on the judicial branch of government.” You can watch the CBS report here. The two Starr quotes are the main feature of the segment; what is most interesting to me is Bob Schieffer’s reaction: he clearly understood Starr to be talking about the Republican effort in the above quote.
Only he wasn’t. Starr learned of how CBS had edited his interview, and has made public an email in which he wrote:
I sat on Saturday with Gloria Borger for 20 minutes approximately, had a wide ranging, on-camera discussion. In the piece that I have now seen, and which I gather has been lavishly quoted, CBS employed two snippets. The ‘radical departure from our history’ snippet was specifically addressed to the practice of invoking judicial philosophy as a grounds for voting against a qualified nominee of integrity and experience. I said in sharp language that that practice was wrong. I contrasted the current practice and that employed viciously against your father with what occurred during Ruth Ginsburg’s nomination process as numerous Republicans voted, rightly, to confirm a former ACLU staff worker. They disagreed with her positions as a lawyer but they voted — again rightly — to confirm her.
As we have noted repeatedly, the mainstream media have pulled out all the stops to support the Democrats on the filibuster. This, though, would appear to be over the line. It is also being reported that Starr has asked for a copy of the video of his interview and been turned down by CBS, but I haven’t yet seen that in writing anywhere. I don’t know, maybe there is an innocent reason why CBS wouldn’t want to give up the tape; maybe they sent it to Davos for safekeeping.