Alan K. Henderson's Weblog


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Thursday, May 12, 2005

From Fake Documents To Fake Statements

In a CBS Evening News interview by Gloria Borger, Ken Starr said that he opposed the "nuclear option" that would eliminate the use of Senate filibusters to obstruct voting on judicial nominees.

Or did he?

Here's the CBS News website's original reporting of the interview:

Many conservatives consider the fight over judges their political Armageddon, but conservative icon and former federal judge Ken Starr says it has gotten out of control, reports CBS News correspondent Gloria Borger.

"The confirmation process has not only become ugly and has become a shouting match," he said. "This is a radical, radical departure from our history and our traditions and it amounts to an assault on the judicial branch of government."

Starr, who prosecuted the Monica Lewinsky case against President Clinton, said the Republican plan to end the filibuster may be unwise.

"It may prove to have the kind of long term boomerang effect damage on the institution of the Senate that thoughtful senators may come to regret," he said.

There's a problem here. What Starr called a "radical departure" was NOT the "nuclear option." Rush Limbaugh has the scoop (emphasis added):

I am in receipt of an e-mail written by Ken Starr in which he clarifies this, because they've been inundated at his office from people all over the place who are perplexed, curious, outraged. They don't understand. "Why in the world would you say this about the nuclear option?" Starr said, "I didn't say that about the nuclear option. I was talking about something else." Let me share with you some details. This is an excerpt of the Starr e-mail: "I have now seen the CBS report. Attached is an exchange with Steve Engle, who alerted me earlier today to the other dimensions of the wild misconstruction of what I said in the Gloria Borger interview. Here's a brief background. I sat on Saturday with Gloria Borger for 20 minutes approximately, had a wide ranging, on-camera discussion. In the piece that I have now seen, and which I gather has been lavishly quoted, CBS employed two snippets. 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. I contrasted the current practice and that employed viciously against your father with what occurred..."

Update: PowerLine Blog also has the story.

Update: Glib & Superficial warns us not to blame the interviewer - someone other than Gloria Borger did the editing.

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