Capus to Gillespie: “No Effort to be ‘Deceptive'”

By Chris Ariens 

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Last night NBC News president Steve Capus fired off an email to Ed Gillespie, responding to Gillespie’s accusation that Richard Engel‘s interview with President Bush contained, in Gillespie’s words, “deceitful editing to further a media-manufactured storyline.” Gillespie says the Sunday Nightly News version of the story was edited, “to give viewers the impression that (Bush) agreed with (Engel’s) characterization of his remarks when he explicitly challenged it.” Gillespie has requested “that the network air the President’s responses to both initial questions in full on the two programs that used the excerpts.”

We’re told, though we did not see, that Countdown with Keith Olbermann aired the unedited interview last night.

> Update: HuffPo’s Rachel Sklar breaks down Gillespie’s arguments.

Click continued to read Capus’ letter to Gillespie…

Mr. Gillespie,

I’m in receipt of your email and want to assure you we take this matter very seriously.

We appreciated President Bush’s decision to do the interview with NBC News, and believe Mr. Engel’s reporting accurately reflects the discussion with the President.

Let me assure you, there was no effort to be “deceptive,” as you suggest. Furthermore, the notion this was, “deceitful editing to further a media-manufactured storyline,” is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

In fact, the entire interview was posted Sunday on our website,, thus allowing everyone to draw their own conclusions about it, the subject matter and our editing. In addition, the entire section in dispute has already aired, unedited, on NBC’s Today program and in edited form on other NBC News broadcasts.

Editing is a part of journalism. We take the collective body of information surrounding a story, distill it and produce a report. We strive in all cases to be fair and accurate. In some instances, where appropriate, we offer interviews in their entirety — in live broadcasts, or posted on our website.

Your letter goes on to address a series of issues beyond this matter. I think it wise to discuss those matters in a more appropriate forum.

We take our jobs and responsibilities seriously and respectfully suggest the interview was conducted in like manner.


Steve Capus