Conservative bloggers and talk radio hosts have noticed the rash of gaffes — some goofy, some more serious — emanating from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama lately, but the mainstream media’s coverage of Obama’s bouts with foot-in-mouth disease has been sparse, to say the least. In the case of one of Obama’s more recent gaffes, however, a CNN reporter did Obama the favor of editing the gaffe right out of his story.
On Monday, Obama weirdly talked about honoring the nation’s “unbroken line of fallen heroes — and I see many of them in the audience today.” In a report on Tuesday night’s CNN’s Election Center, correspondent Joe Johns used that Obama soundbite in a piece on the candidate’s “polling problem on patriotism” — but snipped out the part where Obama seemed to be seeing ghosts:
JOHN JOHNS: This is Barack Obama doing what you would expect a guy running for president to do on Memorial Day. He's honoring those who sacrificed everything.
BARACK OBAMA: On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes, our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.
Watching the video, you’ll see a brief flash where CNN removed the part where Obama inexplicably says “and I see many of them in the audience today.” Either Johns really needed to cut an extra two seconds out of his story, or he wanted to aid the candidate by removing his most bizarre comment of the day.
According to Nexis, Johns’ story aired twice more the next day — during the 11am hour and again at 3pm. But CNN did at least once air the full clip of Obama’s quote, in an earlier segment on the 8pm ET Election Center program hosted by Campbell Brown, but she drew no attention to its silliness:
CAMPBELL BROWN: Over the holiday, both Obama and McCain surrounded themselves with flags and rubbed elbows with veterans. It was all about patriotism.
BARACK OBAMA: On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes — and I see many of them in the audience today — our sense of patriotism is particularly strong.
JOHN MCCAIN: I have had the good fortune to know personally a great many brave and selfless patriots who sacrificed and shed blood to defend America. But I have known none braver and none better than those who do so today.
BROWN: Many of those sacrificing and shedding blood now are in Iraq. Today, an anti-war heckler provoked a dramatic response from McCain, the kind that will no doubt stick to him for a long time.
MCCAIN: I will never surrender in Iraq, my friends.
Oddly, while CNN did cover Obama’s speech live during the 3pm hour on Memorial Day, they joined it in progress a few moments after Obama made his “I see dead people” gaffe.