During a discussion on civil rights leader Rev. Joseph Lowery's address at Coretta Scott King's funeral, CNN aired a video clip of part of Lowery's remarks, in which he mentioned the failure to find WMDs, cropping out 18 seconds of applause and the standing ovation he received without indicating that the clip had been doctored.
The February 8 edition of CNN's The Situation Room featured a video clip of part of civil rights leader Rev. Joseph Lowery's address at the February 7 funeral of civil rights activist Coretta Scott King, during which Lowery mentioned the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Lowery's WMD remarks were greeted with 23 seconds of applause and a standing ovation. But during the CNN segment, in which host Wolf Blitzer asked his panelists -- Democratic strategist Paul Begala and former Bush administration official Victoria Clarke -- whether they thought Lowery's remarks were appropriate, CNN played the clip of Lowery, but cropped 18 seconds of applause -- more than three fourths of the time -- and footage of the standing ovation, without any indication that the clip had been doctored. Viewers who were watching Lowery's remarks for the first time would not have known that they actually drew a standing ovation -- not the perfunctory five seconds of applause CNN's edited clip conveyed -- and that the 23 seconds of applause prevented Lowery from continuing his eulogy.
Lowery's comments, as broadcast by CNN on February 7:
LOWERY: We know, now, there were no weapons of mass destruction over there --
[23-second standing ovation]
LOWERY: -- but Coretta knew, and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here.
The edited clip featured only five seconds of applause, showing footage of the very end of Lowery's standing ovation, after most in attendance had already sat down.
Blitzer introduced the discussion about Lowery's comments as follows:
BLITZER: Let's talk about the funeral yesterday. The Reverend Joseph Lowery was among those eulogizing Coretta Scott King. Among other things, he said this.
[edited footage of Lowery's comments]
BLITZER: I don't know if that was a direct reference to the president of the United States, who was there, but was it appropriate?