PBS Defends Cutting Footage of McCartney's Jab at Bush From Broadcast

Despite the furor over Paul McCartney's jab at former President George W. Bush last month following a taped performance at the White House, PBS has decided to let it be and drop the footage from its broadcast on Wednesday.

In June, McCartney mocked Bush's intellect after receiving the Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress, saying "after the last eight years, it's great to have a president who knows what a library is."

PBS defended cutting the comment, saying it came after the program concluded when President Obama appeared to have already left the room.

"It wasn't even in the body of the show so no, it wasn't difficult" to cut," Mary Stewart, vice president for external affairs for PBS affiliate WETA, told Fox News Radio's Mike Majchrowitz.

"What we did with this show is concentrate on what honors the musical legacy of Paul McCartney and the award itself, the Gershwin Prize, which is a wonderful prize that celebrates popular music in the country."

Stewart rejected any notion that PBS was censoring McCartney.

"With each program, you are looking at what happened in the concert room," she said. "Things that are not part of the concert itself are not censored. Those are the things that happened outside the boundaries of the concert and the room."

Stewart said there is no set prohibition against political speech on such broadcasts.

"There is an overall standard in wanting excellence and fair play in our performances," she said.

McCartney's comment infuriated former Bush administration officials who said the ex-Beatle should get back to where he once belonged.

"It was completely ungracious and undignified," former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino told FoxNews.com at the time. "And it showed how shallow people can be, and it was sad to me someone of Paul McCartney's stature can in one moment erase years of goodwill that he built up with so many people in America."

Fox News Radio's Mike Majchrowitz contributed to this report.