A network television broadcaster apologized for broadcasting what many viewers believed to be a manipulated video of one of the nation’s top legal advisers.
NBC has confirmed its “Meet the Press” had heavily edited an interview with U.S. Attorney General William Barr to take his comments out of context and make them sound inappropriate.
Barr had intended to explain why the Department of Justice (DOJ) decided to drop its foreign interference case against former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who had been investigated for his dialogue with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
However, Barr’s response was cut short and made his conduct appear more questionable.
“Well, history is written by the winners so that largely depends on who is writing the history,” he said in the edited video that went viral on Twitter.
NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd used the confusing comments to criticize the attorney general for speaking inappropriately about the Flynn case.
“I was struck, Peggy [Noonan,] by the cynicism of the answer,” Todd said on the video. “It is the correct answer but he is the attorney general. He did not make the case that he was upholding the rule of law, he was almost admitting that yeah, this is a political job.”
The Daily Caller released Barr’s full and unedited response that carried a much more acceptable rationale behind the decision to drop the case.
“Well, history is written by the winners so that largely depends on who is writing the history but I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law,” Barr said. “It upheld the standards of the DOJ and it undid what was an injustice.”
Social media associate Greg Price described NBC’s reporting as a severe case of spreading misinformation.
“‘On Meet The Press,’ Chuck Todd wildly took context out of an answer AG Bill Barr gave about his decision to drop the case into Gen. Michael Flynn,” he said on Twitter. “I cut Todd’s segment along with Barr’s full answer together. Look at how blatantly dishonest this is.”
Further social media backlash forced the broadcaster to issue a correction.
“Earlier today we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis,” “Meet the Press” said in a Twitter post that has since been removed. “The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error.”