CNN’s Anderson Cooper Confronts DNC Chair on “Selective Editing”
By Dave Andrusko
Whew, it’s hard to keep pace with the distortions, misrepresentations, and taken out of context remarks flying out of the Obama re-election machinery. We’ve already discussed two; here’s a third, courtesy of Democratic party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Kudos are rightly going out to CNN’s Anderson Cooper who ever-so-respectfully refused to back away from the obvious fact that Wasserman misquoted the Los Angeles Times in order to clobber pro-life Mitt Romney in a fundraising letter on the abortion issue. There are so many layers to this story it would take an hour to do justice to them all, but here are a few key points.
1. Wasserman Schultz truncated a sentence from a story written by the Los Angeles Times’ Paul West. The story had nothing—zero—to do with abortion. It had to do with the usual jostling over a party’s platform.
2. Wasserman Schultz refused to admit that she had sliced out a section of the sentence in West’s story to (“selective editing,” as Cooper put it) push her agenda. When pressed repeatedly, she continually retreated to, “It doesn’t matter” or “the bottom line is.” Cooper kept insisting truth does matter.
3. In order to attack Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan. Wasserman Schultz not only misquoted West to say that the platform was “’written at the direction of Romney’s campaign,” she also mischaracterized the Republican abortion plank to say it included a ban on all abortions, including rape and incest. There is nothing about exceptions one way or the other. Factcheck.org agrees, calling that characterization “Another blatant abortion falsehood from Team Obama.”
4. Moreover, the 2012 abortion language “hardly differs from the 2008 language and the 2004 language in the platform,” Cooper told his “Keeping them Honest” audience, prior to his exchange with Wasserman Schultz. “That language obviously wasn’t written by the Romney campaign.” Cooper then said, “Now in addition, our own correspondent Peter Hamby was in the room while the platform was being debated or being drafted. He says Romney’s advisers made any number of suggestions, but not on the abortion plank.”
5. Wasserman Schultz repeatedly evaded directly responding to Cooper’s question, “You do acknowledge that Mitt Romney supports abortion in the cases of rape, incest and the life of the mother [long pause], don’t you?” To be truthful would be to concede her fundraising letter was not truthful—that she had unfairly and inaccurately ascribed a position to Romney he doesn’t hold. Instead, Wasserman responded with variations of “Well I think women need to know the dramatic difference between President Obama’s position on a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices, as well as the Democratic Party’s position, and Mitt Romney and the Republican Party.“
Don’t forget. The Republican National Convention begins next week. Talk to you Monday.