John McCain may mock the media's love affair with Barack Obama, but CBS attempted to give him a generous pass by editing out McCain's incorrect account of crucial events in Iraq. Last night CBS replaced the plainly wrong assertion that the "surge" prompted the Sunni (Anbar) Awakening, which happened before the idea of a surge even existed, with a completely different answer.
Here's how it actually went down:
Katie Couric: Senator Obama says, while the increased number of US troops contributed to increased security in Iraq, he also credits the Sunni awakening and the Shiite government going after militias. And says that there might have been improved security even without the surge. What's your response to that?
McCain: I don't know how you respond to something that is as — such a false depiction of what actually happened. Colonel MacFarland was contacted by one of the major Sunni sheiks. Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar Awakening. I mean, that's just a matter of history.
The record overwhelmingly shows that McCain was wrong. For example, the military official cited by McCain actually discussed the Anbar Awakening four months before the surge was even announced. To see how McCain's camp responded,
McCain's spokesman issued a quick response: "Democrats can debate whether the awakening would have survived without the surge . . . but that is nothing more than a transparent effort to minimize the role of our commanders and our troops in defeating the enemy, because to credit them would be to disparage the judgment of Barack Obama and praise the leadership of John McCain."
Despite the fact that McCain demonstrated a lack of basic understanding of Iraq, an issue considered to be his strength, the mainstream media (not counting Keith Olbermann) has yet to pick up this story. Was CBS wrong to hide this mistake from the American people?