January 9, 2006

NBC Alters Transcript Regarding Bush Administration Spying On Reporter Christiane Amanpour

Posted by Eric Jaffa
Thursday January 05th 2006, 12:46 am
Filed under: Government, Media Watch, Free Press

New York Times reporter James Risen has a new book out, State of War, about spying by the Bush Administration.

Andrea Mitchell interviewed him for the January 3 edition of “NBC Nightly News.” The interview was longer then the video which NBC aired. NBC put the transcript of the full interview online, but then took out part of it.

The deleted portion:

Andrea Mitchell: You don’t have any information, for instance, that a very prominent journalist, Christiane Amanpour, might have been eavesdropped upon?

James Risen: No, no I hadn’t heard that.

How NBC explains the deletion:

Unfortunately this transcript was released prematurely. It was a topic on which we had not completed our reporting, and it was not broadcast on ‘NBC Nightly News’ nor on any other NBC News program. We removed that section of the transcript so that we may further continue our inquiry.

Christiane Amanpour is a reporter for CNN.

She was critical of the Iraq War reporting of CNN and other news network:

CNN’s top war correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, says that the press muzzled itself during the Iraq war. And, she says CNN “was intimidated” by the Bush administration and Fox News, which “put a climate of fear and self-censorship.”

It isn’t clear yet if the Bush Administration spied on Christiane Amanpour, let alone if her more critical attitude towards the Iraq War caused them to decide to spy on her.

Let’s assume for a moment that the Bush Administration didn’t spy on her or any other reporters. The problem remains with warrant-less wiretapping that they can spy on whomever they want with no oversight. Then they expect us to take their word on the only targets being known terrorists. George W. Bush has admitted ordering warrant-less wiretapping.

To anyone who hold the position that warrant-less wiretapping for national security is desirable: an administration’s definition of “national security” may not match your own. An administration may define “national security” in terms of its own interests, since they regard themselves as the ones protecting the nation.

Hence, the reason warrants are required by law; warrants can be obtained for national security purposes up to 72 hours after the eavesdropping begins.

Note: The changed transcript was noticed by the blogger Atrios.

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2 Comments so far

Good catch! I wish I could say I was surprised…

Not sure if you’re familiar with a freelance investigative reporter named Wayne Madsen. He is claiming that the Bush administration launched an extensive spy program that specifically targeted members of Congress, and another that targeted journalists, including James Risen. I put the links in here http://blog.reidreport.com/2006/01/trust-us-were-only-listening-to.html or you can go to his website, waynemadsen.com.


Comment by ReidBlog 01.05.06 @ 8:25 am


I didn’t personally notice the change to the NBC transcript. The blogger Atrios noticed.

Regarding Wayne Madsen, I’m uncomfortable with the idea of an investigative reporter publishing without an editor. Editors can make sure the facts are supported by evidence.

I have the same issue with Doug Thompson’s writings at “Capitol Hill Blue:” I want an editor to fact-check, not for an investigative reporter to be his own editor.

Comment by Eric Jaffa 01.05.06 @ 9:10 am

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