May 12, 2005

CBS--Can They Just Not Stop Themselves?

The rightie talk radio community and blogosphere is hopping mad today about a quote by Ken Starr used on CBS News. CBS interviewed Starr about the filibuster flap.

In what was apparently an in-context statement about the GOP's proposed use of the "nuclear option," Starr is shown on camera saying:
"This is a radical, radical departure from our history and from our traditions, and it amounts to an assault on the judicial branch of government."

The problem? Starr wasn't talking about the "nuclear option" at all. He was talking about the Democrat's refusing to let judges come up for a vote because of their judicial philosophy.

Starr later said:
The 'radical departure from our history' snippet was specifically addressed to the practice of invoking judicial philosophy as a grounds for voting against a qualified nominee of integrity and experience. I said in sharp language that that practice was wrong.

He apparently went on in the interview to compare the current flap with the Republican's voting for the confirmation of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court during the Clinton Administration.
I contrasted the current practice...with what occurred during Ruth Ginsburg's nomination process as numerous Republicans voted, rightly, to confirm a former ACLU staff worker. They disagreed with her positions as a lawyer but they voted -- again rightly -- to confirm her.

The broadcast that started the furor can be found here ("Filibuster Showdown"). CBS is refusing to release the complete tape of the Starr interview for review. And it wasn't even a Mary Mapes production.

[As always, cross-posted to Centerfield.]