In an interview with CBS News last week, Attorney General William Barr was asked how history would judge the Justice Department’s decision to drop the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Barr, who has little patience for reporters with an obvious agenda, answered by noting, “Well, history is written by the winners, so it largely depends on who’s writing this history.” This answer not only showed faith in the DOJ’s decision, it slyly shot the question back at the liberal news media: Will you guys have your way with the Trump administration’s history…or will we ultimately see what a travesty the entire RussiaGate hoax actually was?
And, in a strange way, Barr’s suggestion of history’s biases was proven prescient only a day or two later. That’s when NBC’s Chuck Todd aired Barr’s truncated answer to say that he was “struck by the cynicism of the answer — it’s a correct answer, but he’s the attorney general. He didn’t make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. He was almost admitting that, yeah, this was a political job.”
Of course, Barr did not make the case that he was upholding the rule of law in Todd’s clip. That’s because Todd and NBC News cut the clip before Barr’s very next sentence.
“I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law,” Barr said in the interview. “It upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice.”
In other words, Barr did exactly what Todd accused him of not doing. But if Todd had played the whole clip, he wouldn’t have been able to nail Barr with that criticism. So, you know, just edit things to fit your narrative! What could go wrong?
“Very disappointed by the deceptive editing/commentary by @ChuckTodd on @MeetThePress on AG Barr’s CBS interview,” DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec wrote. “Compare the two transcripts below. Not only did the AG make the case in the VERY answer Chuck says he didn’t, he also did so multiple times throughout the interview.”
Shortly thereafter, the official “Meet the Press” Twitter account acknowledged the ruse.
“You’re correct,” they tweeted. “Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis. The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error.”
Whoopsie! We accidentally edited a clip so we could bash a Trump official for not saying…the exact thing that he said. Hate it when that happens.
Just another day in the annals of fake news.