Since we posted the Mediate clip showing the broadcast version of the Gloria Borger/Ron Paul interview, in which it seemed that Paul walked away after being asked about his newsletters from the 1980s and 1990s, it’s fair to look at the full, unedited version to determine whether CNN fairly characterized Paul’s actions. The entire interview lasts about eight and a half minutes, and as can be seen in the YouTube from Ron Paul’s campaign, Paul spoke more about the newsletters than CNN first showed, as my friend John Ziegler guessed when he first saw the clip:
The commentary overlay from the Paul campaign notes in the upper left hand corner the portions that CNN didn’t air, including a large part in the beginning about the payroll-tax holiday. For the most part, this is a silly gripe; most news organizations boil down interviews with politicians to the most interesting or news-making portions, and anyone who doesn’t know that before getting into a taped interview is either naive or willfully obtuse. Sticking a “LIAR!” label over Borger at one point seems rather immature for a presidential campaign, too, especially since, er, she wasn’t lying about the newsletters claiming that the Mossad may have had a hand in the 1993 WTC bombing.
However, the campaign has a point when it comes to Paul’s answers on the newsletters, given the context of CNN’s claim that Paul walked away after getting just a couple of questions about the newsletters. That portion of the interview went on for quite a bit longer than CNN implied. Paul spoke with Borger for two and a half minutes about the newsletters, about 30% of the entire interview. He still takes off the microphone, and still tells Borger that the only reason the newsletters are incendiary are “because of people like you,” but it’s clear that Paul didn’t just take off the microphone as soon as Borger asked a follow-up question.
I’d say that Paul’s supporters have a legitimate gripe with CNN, but that it still appears Paul still walked off before the interview was concluded, even if it looked like Borger was running out of gas. Whether or not it was appropriate for Paul to end the interview will probably depend on your view of the newsletter controversy and whether one thinks Paul actually addressed it honestly and fully in those two and a half minutes.