Patterico's Pontifications


Karl Rove, “Condensed and Edited”

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 5:35 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The online version of the New York Times published this interview with Karl Rove that is entertaining because it’s clear Rove has no affection for the questioner, Deborah Solomon. The article also contains these notices at the end:


A version of this article appeared in print on November 16, 2008, on page MM16 of the New York edition.”

Despite the use of the past tense, I assume this means the New York Times will publish some or all of this interview in print on Sunday. In addition, the online questions and/or answers have apparently been “condensed and edited” by the reporter.

There should be plenty of space to print the complete interview in an online version, and it doesn’t seem right to edit questions or answers after-the-fact. I know there are journalists who read this blog. What am I missing?


25 Responses to “Karl Rove, “Condensed and Edited””

  1. Hey, a post by DRJ! Awesome.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  2. You gotta love what he said about Biden:

    I think he has an odd combination of longevity and long-windedness that passes for wisdom in Washington.

    Steverino (db5760)

  3. The condensed and edited part is puzzling but I wonder if it had anything to do with what I perceived as a subtle snark to Ms. Solomon,

    Remember, attack politics are out. It’s a new age of civilized discourse.

    You’re the one who hurt my feelings by saying you didn’t trust me.

    Did I say that?

    Yes, you did. I’ve got it on tape. I’m going to transcribe this and send it to you.

    Biden: if I just keep babbling will they even notice I haven’t said a thing?

    Dana (79a78b)

  4. DRJ – Good to see you!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  5. Having had to suffer through Ms. Solomon’s tiresome interviews over the past 10 years in the Sunday print edition, you’re lucky if you get even 1/3 of the total interview. She slices and dices the text to fit her agenda, which is always rabidly partisan. Her worst performance was a nasty interview of McCain awhile back, and McCain literally tore her a new one – and she left that part in, thinking it would reflect badly on him. It didn’t, but she never apologized for her despicable behavior on that day.

    Dmac (e30284)

  6. “Condensed and Edited”

    Is that journo-speak for we sliced and diced everything he said to fit the story that we had already written, and really butchered a few quotes to paint him in the worst possible light?

    JD (94c827)

  7. What are you missing? Did you say it was the New York Times? What is there to miss? Its not a news outlet. Its a leftist rag.

    ccoffer (338141)

  8. Hey, DRJ.

    This Deborah Solomon’s usual column. She condenses all interviews into short, snappy back and forth that fits in the right half or so of a magazine page.

    nk (87c95e)

  9. What are you missing? I guess that you expected anything better from a MSM journalist and especially one from the New York Times.

    airedale (3a341b)

  10. C’mon, be glad at least that the NYT is admitting it sliced and diced the interview, instead of pretending that it’s an honest transcript.

    kishnevi (c9b193)

  11. Trust me, all who are interviewed by Deborah are aware of and expect this. They are not getting a “journalistic” interview, they are getting a “sketch drawing in words” which may or may not flatter them. So it is not dishonest or unethical in the same sense that a literal sketch is not dishonest or unethical because it is not a photograph.

    nk (87c95e)

  12. Keeping journalists honest…
    I am reminded of a conversation I had with a PIO with a major financial institution in San Diego, in the early 80’s. He had been contacted by Mike Wallace of 60-Minutes for an interview concerning a financial incident involving his employer.
    When Wallace showed up, the PIO was well prepared.
    As Wallace and his crew set up, the PIO asked Wallace if he would have any problem if the PIO had his own camaraman recording the interview?
    Wallace said OK!
    What he failed to tell Wallace was that his camera would not be turned off when Wallace called a break.
    Got some remarkable footage that forced Wallace to publicly appologize for the way the interview had been edited.
    Sharp fellow.
    Went on to be a Director of the USIA in the Reagan Administration.

    Another Drew (4f04a0)

  13. It’s better, I think, in this type of online preview, that it is disclosed that the reporter herself was the one to condense and edit the report.

    So I am missing the point.

    Would it be better for this to come out from the NYT Magazine website without a disclaimer that the reporter was the sole person responsible for it?

    Give the NYT credit for putting up stuff immediately on the web but also putting credit and blame on the reporter putting it up without a thorough fact checking or editorial pass, with an explicit disclaimer disclosing that fact. What actually is the complaint here? That the NYT reporters are going too far out in explaining and explicitly stating that what they are posting hasn’t undergone the review necessary to make sure it is fit for the printed page? I honestly don’t get it.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  14. nk,

    I accept what you are saying is true but, depending on how much editing is done, at some point it’s no longer an interview — it’s fiction.

    DRJ (a50047)

  15. Aplomb,

    It’s good she admits the interview is condensed and edited, but how do we know the editing didn’t change the meaning? I doubt you would like me to paraphrase your comments here. I bet you would much prefer that people read the post and comments and let your words speak for themselves. In addition, the flow of the questions/comments might also affect how we perceive an answer, so leaving questions and answers out or changing the order could certainly change the meaning. Finally, I understand condensing because of space limitations in print but I don’t see how that applies online.

    DRJ (a50047)

  16. Gotta love this interview w/Charles Murray revealing a bit more of Solomon’s journalistic style,

    What do you think of Sarah Palin?

    I’m in love. Truly and deeply in love.

    She attended five colleges in six years.

    So what?

    Why is the McCain clan so eager to advertise its anti-intellectualism?

    The last thing we need are more pointy-headed intellectuals running the government. Probably the smartest president we’ve had in terms of I.Q. in the last 50 years was Jimmy Carter, and I think he is the worst president of the last 50 years.

    Dana (79a78b)

  17. DRJ #14,

    Yes, kind of. Poetic license or would you say “prosaic license”? 😉

    Disclosure: We get the Sunday New York Times and nine times out of ten I enjoy Deborah’s column because it’s usually more about the person she has interviewed and less about her. For example, I thought her column with the late William F. Buckley could have been read as part of the eulogy at his funeral.

    nk (87c95e)

  18. If I may add, I think that although she “sketches” her subjects she honestly tries not to caricature them.

    nk (87c95e)

  19. It’s better / online / that it is / the reporter herself was / missing the point. — Aplomb?

    htom (412a17)

  20. htom 19: gonna need some help trying to figure out how to respond to that, unless you are expressing yourself through free form poetry, to which I respond . . . good effort? I don’t know.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  21. Dana #16,

    Don’t blame Deborah for Charles Murray’ idiocy. If it had been me:

    What do you think of Sarah Palin?

    She one tough cookie. She makes me look like a girl.

    She attended five colleges in six years.

    I wish I had been there with her.

    Why is the McCain clan so eager to advertise its anti-intellectualism?

    Why are you so eager to dive so deep in the tank for Obama? Is it the myth of some anatomical prodigies of black men?

    nk (87c95e)

  22. Yes, you did. I’ve got it on tape. I’m going to transcribe this and send it to you.

    Gee, I’d love to see that….

    My answers:

    She attended five colleges in six years.

    Say, how did Obama pay for his college education, anyway?

    Why is the McCain clan so eager to advertise its anti-intellectualism?

    Why is the Obama clan so eager to hide it’s anti-Americanism?

    Pious Agnostic (b2c3ab)

  23. I believe the notice at the end of Solomon’s column was added after a dispute with the late Tim Russert. The interviews were presented in such a way that readers were given the impression they were verbatim, until Russert complained of her distortion of what he said in the interview he gave her. The Times then added the notice that the interview is condensed and edited by Solomon.

    Mo (e1ebfb)

  24. Most interview subjects of Solomon’s have mentioned that the phone interviews have lasted approximately 2 – 3 hours. So when you consider that the interviews in the magazine usually are not more than one full page in length, that’s a hell of a editing job, no matter the person in question.

    Dmac (e30284)

  25. I’ve been stocking up on condensed Karl Rove.

    Dan Collins (4dc2da)

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