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CBS Distorts Quote By Ken Starr To Attack GOP On Filibusters

What if you could get a noted conservative, like former former Federal Appeals Court Judge and Whitewater Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr, to say that Senate Republican plans to address the Democratic filibusters of judicial nominations was "an assault on the judicial branch of government?" That's just what this CBS video clip from the Monday edition of the CBS Evening News shows.

Here's how the AP reported the second quote in the interview:

Kenneth Starr - an appeals court judge on the D.C. circuit from 1983-1989 - came out against the Republican plan to ban judicial filibusters on Monday. He told CBS Evening News that it is a "radical, radical departure from our history and our traditions, and it amounts to an assault on the judicial branch of government."
Predictably that quote was added to the stack of quotes used in op-eds (mostly from Democrats), predicting dire consequences to a change in Senate rules. Of course since Starr is a noted conservative, his quote will get heavy play.

In case you're thinking it all sounds too conveniently good to be true (much like a set of Texas Air National Guard documents magically appearing prior to the election), you're right!

Ramesh Ponnuru at National Review Online though that was an odd thing for Starr to say, so he contacted him directly about the quote. Here's part of the reply he received:

"In the piece that I have now seen, and which I gather is being lavishly quoted, CBS employed two snippets. The 'radical departure' snippet was specifically addressed -- although this is not evidenced whatever from the clip -- 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 . . . with what occurred during Ruth Ginsburg's nomination process, as numerous Republicans voted (rightly) to confirm a former ACLU staff lawyer. They disagreed with her positions as a lawyer, but they voted (again, rightly) to confirm her. Why? Because elections, like ideas, have consequences. . . . In the interview, I did indeed suggest, and have suggested elsewhere, that caution and prudence be exercised (Burkean that I am) in shifting/modifying rules (that's the second snippet), but I likewise made clear that the 'filibuster' represents an entirely new use (and misuse) of a venerable tradition. . . .

"[O]ur friends are way off base in assuming that the CBS snippets, as used, represent (a) my views, or (b) what I in fact said."

Rush Limbaugh contacted Starr about his interview and relates this information about the second quote, from Starr:
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.
If this is true, Gloria Borger, her segment producer, and anyone else associated with CBS's deliberate mis-characterization of Starr's remarks should be terminated.


CBS Lied: Ken Starr Taken Out of Context - [Rush Limbaugh]
A Primer On Filibusters - [CBS News]
See B.S Does It Again! - [RedState]
Where's That Video Tape? - [Powerline]
The Corner - [NRO]
Filibuster Showdown - [CBS Video]


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference CBS Distorts Quote By Ken Starr To Attack GOP On Filibusters:

» ASVS Headline News linked with CBS News, a Glutton for Punishment

» Joust The Facts linked with Just The Facts I

» RightPundit linked with And the Heat Begins

» Iowa Voice linked with Friday Blog Round-Up

» JackLewis.net linked with CBS twists the news again

» Patterico's Pontifications linked with Response to Kaus re CBS Distortion of Starr Remarks

» The Mighty Righty linked with You'd think CBS would have learned by now

» linked with CBSing Again

Comments (10)

Watch for the next edition ... (Below threshold)

Watch for the next edition of "Survivor," featuring Les Moonves, Andrew Heyward and Sumner Redstone.

WTF? I mean, really! WT F-i... (Below threshold)

WTF? I mean, really! WT F-ing F? Did they think that Starr wouldn't notice or something? This makes the whole Memogate thing seem sane by comparison!

It's getting to the point w... (Below threshold)

It's getting to the point where I just about wouldn't expect anything less from these "lying, liars"

I just wish the Repubs would actually make them truly fillibuster. Make them do the work and let the American public see what they are really doing.

The Dem's don't have the balls to really do it and they know that in the meantime their cronies will keep on spitting out this twisted crap to confuse the issue.

If we make them take this out the right way -- they will fall flat on their faces.

Frist and the rest are really not that stupid, they know how this will play out in the long run.

The MSMedia is literally 'i... (Below threshold)

The MSMedia is literally 'in-the-bag' with the DNC... it's not subconscience or unintentional... it's full-blown, talking-points propaganda.

To watch/listen to CBS, CNN, ANC, MSNBC, the NYTimes, WAPost, LATimes, SFChronicle, HOUChronicle, BOSGlobe, is to get a daily dose of news censorship and Democrat-spin.

Time has come for more than just a raised eyebrow or a lamentful tsk-tsk... anybody got any gasoline?

All those younger years, al... (Below threshold)

All those younger years, all those nights from those years, Cronkite's stories...I continue to wonder what ELSE (there has to be much there, is my point) has been distorted to us by MainstreamMedia over our lifetimes, inorder to attempt to recreate reality into what a certain political perspective would prefer.

Not to single out Walter Cronkite but, yes, to include him among those who we now realize with greater awareness about sources for media content, particularly given Cronkite's recent revealing of his 'real' positions on issues present. Seems he wasn't the grandfatherly reliable source most of us were led to believe. I'm just saying, it's gotten to the point where I now question a greater part of how I've been told what about what over my lifetime, what with so many among MM quite so liberal.

So CBS has refused to relea... (Below threshold)

So CBS has refused to release the entire videotape? Heh. Nice attempt at stonewalling. Did Summer Redstone and Les Moonves learn nothing from Rathergate?

<a href="http://intherightp... (Below threshold)


Thanks for the link to my Red State Diary entry! More now available at trackback link.

You guys get so upset when ... (Below threshold)

You guys get so upset when people are misqouted, why aren't you as upset when the memo from Blaires office shows Bush lied and conspired to massage data to invade Iraq, not for wmd's not for removal of a dictator but for its natural resources.
There are so many scandals in this administration it is hard to know where to start.
We should have known there would be classified material being spread around as a few of Bushs' administration picks were fired from the Reagan administration for national security leaks.

Interesting how the Democra... (Below threshold)

Interesting how the Democrats forget that in 1985 Tom Harkin and Joe Lieberman attempted to make the same reduction in votes required for cloture. They had 19 supporters at the time.

Conservatives should definitely highlight the hypocricy of the Democrats using thier failed 1985 attempt, against their fight to PREVENT such a change under this administration.

I work in audio/video. Bel... (Below threshold)

I work in audio/video. Believe me, these things are not slapped together thoughtlessly. they are reviewed time and time again-asking not only the question "will I convey my intended message" but also "how could it be misconstrued?" These people are professionals. They know exactly what they are doing. They are blinded by thier ivory tower view that the masses below them are ignorant peasants who do not understand a little slight of hand...






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