Like most media outlets, cable news channels make mistakes fairly routinely, but while most are the result of laziness (i.e. Fox News Channel lazily parroting false claims that the EPA was using spy drones to spy on farmers), the ones that are intentionally misleading are far worse.
MSNBC had one of those moments yesterday, when it used some creative editing to completely change the context of remarks made by likely GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Update: MSNBC says Mitchell will address the clip on her show today.
Upate 2: MSNBC released a statement regarding the clip: “MSNBC did not edit anything out of order or out of sequence and at no time did we intend to deceive our viewers.”
Politico has the details on the piece, which aired on one of MSNBC’s “news” programs (as opposed to commentary programs) “Andrea Mitchell Reports.”
To illustrate the advantages of competition in the private sector, Romney shared an anecdote from his visit to the local WaWa chain store. “I was at WaWas, I went in to order a sandwich. You press a little touchtone keypad — you touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier — there’s your sandwich. It’s amazing. People in the private sector have learned how to compete. It’s time to bring some competition to the federal government.”
But in the MSNBC clip, which first aired on Andrea Mitchell Reports, Romney’s remarks begin with the WaWa anecdote and end at “It’s amazing,” an edit — first noted by conservative blogger Sooper Mexican — that makes it seem as though Romney was expressing amazement at the advent of touchtone screens.
In other words, changing the context of Romney’s statement completely to make the clip fit into a preexisting narrative about the candidate.