POLITICS

ABC defends editing Michelle Obama’s ‘automatic weapon’ claim

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Politics Digest,Michal Conger

ABC is defending its decision to edit out an apparently erroneous claim by Michelle Obama in its broadcast of the first lady’s interview on Good Morning America today, saying it made the changes “solely” for the sake of time.

As The Washington Examiner reported this morning, the first lady claimed during an interview with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts that 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed in Chicago shortly after performing during the President’s Inauguration, was shot because “some kids had some automatic weapons they didn’t need.”

In fact, Chicago Police reported Pendleton was shot by a man who “opened fire with a handgun before fleeing in a waiting car,” according to the Associated Press.

For the broadcast, ABC’s Good Morning America producers edited out the first lady’s “automatic weapon” line.

“She was standing out in a park with her friends in a neighborhood blocks away from where my kids grow – grew – up, where our house is. And she was caught in the line of fireI just don’t want to keep disappointing our kids in this country. I want them to know that we put them first.”

In the web edition of the story, however, Michelle Obama appears to be quoted in full:

“She was standing out in a park with her friends in a neighborhood blocks away from where my kids…grew up, where our house is. She had just taken a chemistry test. And she was caught in the line of fire because some kids had some automatic weapons they didn’t need,” she said. “I just don’t want to keep disappointing our kids in this country. I want them to know that we put them first.”

ABC News commented on its editing choice this afternoon, telling Mediaite, “The full story was posted to our website in advance of the interview being broadcast. The edits made to Robin’s interview with the First Lady were made solely for time.”

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