On the June 28 edition of CNN's Inside Politics, senior political analyst Bill Schneider selectively quoted Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to eliminate explicit references to the White House and water down Hagel's criticism of its handling of the war in Iraq.
In a segment highlighting the decline in popular support for the war in Iraq, Schneider noted that even a "few of his [President Bush's] fellow Republicans are losing confidence." He then quoted Hagel:
SCHNEIDER: "Things aren't getting better, they're getting worse," Sen. Chuck Hagel recently told a newsmagazine. "The reality is that we're losing in Iraq."
Schneider then aired two clips of a recent CNN interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, who responded to Hagel's statement by saying the Iraq war will "be an enormous success story that will have a huge impact not only in Iraq, but throughout the region" and that Hagel was "wrong."
But Schneider truncated Hagel's original quote, excising his specific criticism of the White House. Hagel made the statement in a recent interview with U.S. News & World Report:
"Things aren't getting better; they're getting worse. The White House is completely disconnected from reality," he said. "It's like they're just making it up as they go along. The reality is, we're losing in Iraq."
CNN also reproduced the truncated quote in an on-screen graphic that appeared as Schneider read it.