In June, John Podesta appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio program and confronted him with a Center for American Progress document detailing 15 distortions that Hannity had made on the air. Hannity, true to form, changed the subject, instead accusing Podesta of lying. When a New York Observer reporter this week raised the subject again, Hannity was forced to do a little cutting and splicing in order to “prove” that Podesta had lied on his program. This heavily-edited clip now appears on his Web site. It’s missing critical audio from the Podesta interview.
Transcript of Hannity’s doctored clip:
HANNITY: When Howard Dean advances the theory that George Bush knew about 9/11 ahead of time, I can’t find you on record condemning that.
JDP: Howard Dean never said that, Sean.
HANNITY: Howard Dean advanced the theory. He said it was an interesting theory.
JDP: He never said that, Sean.
HANNITY: He advanced the theory, John. John, don’t lie. He said—
JDP: Don’t call me a liar. Sean, you said that I called you a liar during the whole front hour…
HANNITY: He advanced the theory…
JDP: I never called you a liar. I said you get distant from the facts.
[7 MINUTES, 10 SECONDS OF AUDIO CUT]
DEAN: The most interesting theory that I’ve heard so far…
[4 SECONDS OF AUDIO FROM MIDDLE OF DEAN SENTENCE CUT]
…is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis. Now who knows what the real situation is.
[50 SECONDS OF AUDIO CUT]
HANNITY: He advanced the theory. Why would he say it if he wasn’t advancing it?
JDP: Get him on the air and ask him that.
[8 SECONDS OF AUDIO CUT]
JDP: I just said that I disagreed with him if that’s what he meant.
1. Dean said the theory was nothing more than a theory.
Missing from the Dean clip is the crucial middle clause of his sentence. Of the theory, he said, it “is nothing more than a theory, it can’t be proved.” Also missing from the Hannitized version of the interview: Dean said, “No, I don’t believe that. I can’t imagine the president of the United States doing that.”
2. Podesta knew Dean’s quotes didn’t add up to supporting the theory.
Podesta said both, “I don’t think that’s what those statements implicate,” and, “It didn’t sound to me like that’s what he said.”
3. Podesta called the theory in question “dead wrong.”
Podesta disclaimed it completely, saying, “If Howard Dean was suggesting that the President knew about 9/11 and did nothing about it, then I think he’s dead wrong.”