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CBS News’s Katie Couric Interviews Senator John McCain about Iraq — Would a media that is liberal do this?, Part 2

News

CBS News’s Katie Couric Interviews Senator John McCain about Iraq — Would a media that is liberal do this?, Part 2

CBS Couric McCain

On the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, July 22, 2008, CBS News anchor Katie Couric interviewed Sen. John McCain while he was in New Hampshire and she was reporting from Amman, Jordan. Republican Sen. John McCain in answering a question tried to say his Democratic presidential opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, didn’t understand the Iraq situation. In delivering his answer, Sen. McCain instead showed he was the one who is fuzzy about Iraq.

Col Sean MacFarland

Col Sean MacFarland (mil)

DOD Photograph

He was commander of the Ready First Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, U.S. Army, in Al Anbar province, during the Anbar Awakening which started in late 2005.
Read Colonel MacFarland military biography.

President George W. Bush

20070110 George W. Bush

White House photo by Eric Draper

President George W. Bush concludes his address to the nation about New Way Forward, "The Surge" Wednesday evening, Jan. 10, 2007, from the White House Library, where President Bush outlined a new strategy on Iraq.
Read President Bush White House biography .

Background

Anbar Awakening

  • What is meant by the term awakening movements?
    • Awakening movements are coalitions between tribal Sheikhs that form to ensure security in a particular province.
  • When did the Anbar Awakening movement begin?
    • Colonel Sean MacFarland and Major Niel Smith said in their article "Anbar Awakens: The Tipping Point" that appeared in the March-April 2008 issue of Military Review that the Anbar Awakening movement began in late 2005.
    • Here’s the excerpt from their article:
      • "In late 2005, the sunni tribes around Ramadi attempted to expel Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQIZ) after growing weary of the terrorist group’s heavy-handed, indiscriminate murder and intimidation campaign. A group calling itself the Al Anbar People’s Council formed from a coalition of local Sunni sheiks and Sunni nationalist groups."

The New Way Forward or "The Surge"

  • When was the Surge announced?
    • President George W. Bush announced the surge on January 10, 2007 during a national television speech broadcast.
    • President Bush describe the surge saying, "I’ve committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq. The vast majority of them — five brigades — will be deployed to Baghdad. These troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations. Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighborhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs."
  • When did the first troops arrive in Iraq?
    • The surge started the week of January 14, 2007 with the arrival of the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, in Baghdad. Full deployment was reached in mid-June 2007.
    • On Jan 22, 2007 Sgt. Mike Pryor of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division published "82nd Airborne’s 2nd BCT Steps Up Security in Baghdad" at the online site ARMY.MIL/NEWS. He started the article with, "The 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team arrived in Baghdad last week as part of the first wave of a planned escalation of forces in Iraq’s capital city. "

Video of President Bush Speech (20:19)

Watch President Bush Address to the Nation about the new direction on the global war on terror and the Surge.

President Bush 20070120
From the White House
(This will open in a new window.)

Situational Timeline

CODEL Slide #2

DOD Graph

Weekly Iraq Attack Trends with additional information on the Anbar Awakening and the New Way Forward (The Surge), as submitted by General Petraeus to Congress on Sept. 10, 2007. The the Surge started one year after the Anbar Awakening started and a noticeable drop in violence occurs almost two years after the start of the Anbar Awakening.

Katie Couric

Katie Couric

CBS News Publicity Photo

Anchor and Managing Editor of CBS Evening News with Katie Couric; Correspondent for 60 Minutes
Read Katie Couric CBS News biography.

Senator John McCain

John McCain

Official Senate Photo

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain
Read Sen. John McCain United States Congress biography.

The Interview

Sen. John McCain’s Befuddlement

Katie Couric’s asked for Sen. McCain response to Barack Obama’s statement that as a result of the increased security caused by the awakening, the surge may not have been necessary.

Sen. McCain said the surge is what allowed the awakening to happen. As shown in the situational timeline graph the awakening happened before the surge by two years and not the other way!. Only in Star Trek can the future happen before the past! And foreign policy is supposed to be Sen. McCain strong suit.

Original Interview Transcript

Katie Couric: Sen. McCain, Prime Minister Maliki and Sen. Obama seem to be on the same page when it comes to a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops by 2010. Are you feeling like the odd man out here?

Sen. John McCain: Prime Minister Maliki, General Petraeus, Admiral Mullen and the other leaders in Iraq have all agreed that it’s conditioned-based. Sen. Obama said the surge would fail. He said that it couldn’t succeed. He was wrong. He said he still doesn’t agree that surge has succeeded now that everybody knows that it has succeeded. I said at the time that I supported the surge. I would much rather lose a campaign than lose a war. Sen. Obama has indicated that by his failure to acknowledge the success of the surge, that he would rather lose a war than lose a campaign.

Video of the Katie Couric’s first question to Sen. John McCain (00:51)

Watch the video of the first question that contained the portion that CBS News used to adulterate Sen. McCain’s answer.


From Media Matters of America

          […]

Katie Couric: Senator McCain, Sen. Obama says, while the increased number of U.S. troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What’s your response to that?

John McCain: I don’t know how you respond to something that is such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel McFarlane (phonetic) was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that’s just a matter of history. Thanks to General Petraeus, our leadership, and the sacrifice of brave young Americans. I mean, to deny that their sacrifice didn’t make possible the success of the surge in Iraq, I think, does a great disservice to young men and women who are serving and have sacrificed.

They were out there. They were protecting these sheiks. We had the Anbar awakening. We now have a government that’s effective. We have a legal system that’s working, although poorly. And we have progress on all fronts, including an incredible measure of security for the people of Iraq. There will still be attacks. Al Qaeda’s not defeated. But the progress has been immense. And to not recognize that, and why it happened, and how it happened, I think is really quite a commentary.

Video of the Katie Couric’s second question to Sen. John McCain (01:30)

Watch the video of the second question with Sen. McCain real answer.


From Media Matters of America

Edited Broadcast Transcript

And here is how the interview was aired by CBS News after editing.

Katie Couric: Senator McCain, Sen. Obama says, while the increased number of U.S. troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What’s your response to that?

John McCain: Sen. Obama has indicated that by his failure to acknowledge the success of the surge, that he would rather lose a war than lose a campaign.

Thanks to General Petraeus, our leadership, and the sacrifice of brave young Americans. I mean, to deny that their sacrifice didn’t make possible the success of the surge in Iraq, I think, does a great disservice to young men and women who are serving and have sacrificed.

There will still be attacks. Al Qaeda’s not defeated. But the progress has been immense. And to not recognize that, and why it happened, and how it happened, I think is really quite a commentary.

Video of Sen. John McCain’s adulterated answer (00:58)

Now watch Sen. McCain’s answer for the second question after CBS News worked their magic to transform it into an more acceptable one.


From Media Matters of America

Watch the full video of the original CBS News Katie Couric/Sen. John McCain interview (14:07)

Watch CBS News anchor Katie Couric July 22, 2008 interview with Sen. John McCain.

From CBS News
This will open in a new window.

The CBS News Coverup

Note the part in red that CBS News excise that made it apparent that Sen. John McCain isn’t very knowledgeable about his supposed area of expertise.

Also note CBS News not only made Sen. McCain look better, but they took a portion of a previous answer, the text in green, and substituted it into the question under discussion for the part they excised. A journalism crime, an act that would cause a journalism student to flunk a course, yet the professional journalists at CBS News made a "mistake."

You can read the in-depth article "CBS splices McCain interview clip, expunging his false claim on surge timeline and falsely suggesting he gave different answer" over at Media Matters for America and watch the Media Matters composite video.

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