Referencing an interview former President Bill Clinton gave on PBS' The Charlie Rose Show, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter wrote, "During a December taping with PBS's Charlie Rose, a frustrated Clinton called [Sen. Barack] Obama 'a roll of the dice,' as aides tried to end the interview." However, Alter omitted Rose's on-air comments in which he indicated why Clinton's aides wanted to "end the interview."
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In a column published in the January 28 issue of Newsweek, columnist and Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter wrote that "[d]uring a December taping with PBS's Charlie Rose, a frustrated [former President Bill] Clinton called [Sen. Barack] Obama [D-IL] 'a roll of the dice,' as aides tried to end the interview." However, Alter omitted on-air comments by Rose during the December 14 edition of PBS' The Charlie Rose Show in which Rose indicated why Clinton's aides wanted to "end the interview." During the interview, Rose said to Clinton: "Let me -- let me just close with this, because it's important and fairly -- we're over and your people need to take you -- you need to go wherever you need to go." The interview then continued for several more minutes, at which point Rose added: "Your people are pushing me, so I want you to finish, but it's not my -- ."
In omitting the comments, Alter joined New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and New York Times reporter Patrick Healy in publishing a misleading account of Clinton's interview with Rose. Dowd claimed, "He [Clinton] got so agitated with Charlie Rose -- ranting that reporters were 'stenographers' for Obama -- that his aides tried to stop the interview"; Healy wrote that "[a]t one point, Mr. Rose said that, in his control room, aides to Mr. Clinton were trying to persuade the show's producers to end the interview." Like Alter, neither Dowd nor Healy noted Rose's on-air comments about why Clinton's aides wanted to end the interview.
From the January 28 issue of Newsweek:
On balance, aides to both Bill and Hillary [Clinton] still see Bill as a huge net plus in fund-raising, attracting large crowds and providing a megaphone to raise doubts about Obama -- even if some of those doubts are distortions. But there's concern that in hatcheting the Illinois senator and losing his temper with the news media (last week he thrashed a San Francisco TV reporter for asking about a lawsuit filed by Clinton-backing teachers union members to limit the number of Nevada caucuses), Clinton is drawing down his political capital and harming his role as a global statesman. "This is excruciating," says a member of the Clintons' circle, who asked for anonymity. "But the stakes couldn't be higher. It's worth it to tarnish himself a bit now to win the presidency."
During a December taping with PBS's Charlie Rose, a frustrated Clinton called Obama "a roll of the dice," as aides tried to end the interview.
From Clinton's interview with Rose, broadcast on December 14 on PBS' The Charlie Rose Show:
ROSE: And when people say we don't need to go beyond looking back at the '60s, or even the '90s, then you -- you say, "I think a lot of good things happened in the '60s, and I think a lot of good things happened in the '70s, in the '80s, in the '90s."
CLINTON: Yeah, but the basic thing is that's irrelevant.
CLINTON: Look at this decade. Look at this record. She has been a completely modern senator. She has sponsored -- she just passed the bill as a candidate for president, with [Sen.] Lindsey Graham [R-SC], who led my -- who was one of the impeachment managers --
ROSE: Impeachment managers -- right.
CLINTON: -- to extend the family and medical leave law to the families of veterans who were suffering physical or emotional trauma in Iraq or Afghanistan.
ROSE: All right. Let me -- let me close this one.
CLINTON: I mean, that's not nothing to do with the '90s. I mean, this -- that's sort of a superficial, you know, bigotry. That's like saying -- that's like ageism or something. You know, it's like -- if you fought and did good things, we've got to give you a gold watch and tell you goodbye.
ROSE: Let me -- let me just close with this, because it's important and fairly -- we're over and your people need to take you -- you need to go wherever you need to go.
I've said this to you before, because of your eight years of experience, because of your experience as a governor and because you have spent your time since doing good, but traveling around the world, sometimes with your friend President Bush 41. Tell me what you would put as the top five things for the next president if you were sliding a little letter into that Oval Office desk. You can make it as short or as long as you want from my point.
CLINTON: We have to restore America's standing in the world. We have to send a signal that we are going to get back in the cooperation business. And we're going to cooperate whenever we can, act alone only when we have to, including discontinuing our direct military involvement in Iraq as quickly as we can without making it worse.
We have to regain our economic momentum, to restore the middle class, which means we need more good jobs and significant changes in our education policy.
We have to have -- finally, we have to pass universal health care. Now what we're doing is costing us too much, doing too little, undermining our economic stability and our -- the moral fabric of our society.
We have to do something really significant on energy for reasons of national security, global warming, and most -- and our economic wellbeing. We have got to move back toward a clean, independent energy future. It will create millions of jobs and promote more equality.
And finally, we need to do this in a way that gives all Americans a chance to work together on it. One reason I like this whole idea of a clean independent energy future is it's inherently beyond politics. It gives people something to do across political lines, racial lines, income lines. It will benefit people in urban areas, suburban areas, small towns, rural areas.
We live in an interdependent world, where just a few people, as we found out on 9-11, or the British found out with their car bombings and their subway bombings, who don't feel part of the community, can do an enormous amount of damage. The only way to overcome our differences is not basically to try to erase the past, it's to get used to working together.
I mean, it's really kind of a metaphor for the Hillary argument. If you look at last Monday, the new --
ROSE: Your people are pushing me, so I want you to finish, but it's not my --
CLINTON: The new leaders of Northern Ireland came to Washington to see the president. They -- it represents a stunning change. I think everybody would admit, right? Stunning change in Northern Ireland.
ROSE: It's unbelievable.