“Another day, another deceptively edited video from NBC News,” Jim Treacher quips.
As Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, “Here’s an example of a story not only being too good to check but being so good — potentially — that it warranted a little ‘help’ from the media to reach that full potential”:
It has everything a fair-and-balanced gun-control advocate/reporter could want: An eminently sympathetic victim calmly making the case for more regulations while the ogres known as “gun-rights supporters” try to silence him by shouting him down. It’s a passion play, the supreme manifestation of what Obama was trying to achieve by having kids onstage when he signed his executive memoranda on gun control a few weeks ago. If you oppose new gun regs then you’re basically in favor of murdering children. Heckling the father of a boy killed in Newtown is simply the logical conclusion of that impulse.
Except that’s not what happened.
Here’s the clip that MSNBC has on their Website:
Here’s what actually happened (video should automatically begin at the 15:00 minute mark. If not, just slide the timebar there yourself):
And thus, the “Media’s Latest Hoax/Stupidity: Guy Who Demands an Answer and, After Waiting for an Answer for Five Seconds, Receives an Answer, was Monstrously ‘Heckled’ by Cruel Right-Wingers,” Ace writes:
The money shot of the video is at 15:20, when the guy — a grieving parent of a son murdered at Newtown — demands to know what possible reason anyone could offer that AR-15s should be legal.
At first you might think this is a rhetorical question; the audience in fact takes it as rhetorical, and doesn’t answer. Then he scans around the room, looking for someone to answer, and, as everyone’s silent, concludes, as he’d intended, that no one has a good answer.
At that point, people realize that their respectful silence is being taken for assent, and they begin chiming in “The second amendment.”
The media’s claim? he was callously “heckled” and interrupted while speaking.
More from Jim Treacher at the Daily Caller:
Mr. Heslin has every right to his grief and anger, and he has every right to ask that question. And those other people have every right to answer it, when an answer is demanded of them. None of them are well served by MSNBC deceptively editing the video to create an event that didn’t happen. It serves nothing but NBC’s own political ends. It’s absolutely disgusting.
Twitchy, which found the full 17 minute video, adds the transcript of the above segment, in addition to rounding up the expected freakout from the port side of the Twittersphere:
“I ask if there’s anybody in this room that can give me one reason or challenge this question … why anybody in this room needs to have one of these assault-style weapons or military weapons or high-capacity clips. [Pause, waiting for response.] Not one person can answer that question.”
Audience members: ”[Unintelligible] Second Amendment shall not be infringed”
Public official: “Please no comments while Mr. Heslin is speaking. Or we’ll clear the room. Mr. Heslin please continue.”
Heslin waited for a response. And when he got that response, it wasn’t Heslin who registered outrage — it was the media.
Let’s be clear: this wasn’t about having compassion for a man who tragically lost his son; this was strictly about pushing a political agenda. Out of more than 17 minutes of footage, the kneejerk media focused exclusively on the non-existent “heckling.” Not on Heslin’s plea for a change in gun control policy. Not on his sorrow over never being able to spend another moment with his beloved son and “best friend.” To the media, this was nothing more than a chance to exploit one man’s raw emotions in order to gin up outrage.
Which means that, as with George Zimmerman’s 9/11 call last year, somebody at NBC/MSNBC futzed with the timeline of the raw video to produce the result they wanted to see:
And note the headline (and corresponding URL) of the MSNBC story: “Emotional father of Sandy Hook victim heckled by gun nuts.” The story wasn’t written by Joe Scarborough, but it appears on his “Morning Joe” blog — the man whom MSNBC (and this past weekend, National Review, sadly) touts as MSNBC’s lone “conservative” host.
This is at least the fifth time in recent years that NBC or MSNBC has gotten caught cooking the books, John Nolte writes at Big Journalism:
1. During last year’s presidential election Andrea Mitchell was caught manufacturing a Romney gaffe where none existed.
2. During last year’s GOP primary, Ed Schultz edited video of Texas Governor Rick Perry to make him look racist.
3. In April of last year, the “Today Show” was caught editing audio of a 9-1-1 call to make George Zimmerman look racist.
4. In August of 2009, Contessa Brewer sliced and diced a photograph so it wouldn’t look like a black man attended a Tea Party carrying a firearm.
And just today, NBC was caught in yet another malicious edit, this time to make Second Amendment advocates look as though they did something as heinous as heckling the heartsick father of a child who lost his six-year-old son in the Sandy Hook massacre. You can watch the full video and NBC’s science fiction adaptation side-by-side here.
All of this has happened under the watch of Steve Capus (pictured above), who’s not only the president of NBC News, but also the “the arbiter of issues involving ethics, style, standards, safety and other matters that affect the Division’s journalistic bearing.”
John ponders if Capus will ever be called on the carpet by his superiors for what is the equivalent of multiple RatherGates, but again, Krauthammer’s Law answers that question:
To understand the workings of American politics, you have to understand this fundamental law: Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.
If you truly believe your ideological opponents aren’t just wrong, but evil (and insane, as the MSNBC headline above implies), then you’ve already cleared your conscience of any guilt, if your actions happen to go just a bit too far along the way.
Besides, what difference does it make, as our postmodern outgoing secretary of State would say?
Update: “Hours after heckling hoax was debunked, UPI posts selectively-edited video.” Perhaps they’re trying to woo Helen Thomas back.
Late Update (1/30/13 9:33 AM PST): “After Twitchy’s report, MSNBC is reportedly ‘reviewing’ video of Newtown dad’s testimony.” To build on John Nolte’s comments above, based on their past history, cheat, retreat and repeat certainly seems to be the motto inside NBC’s newsrooms. And note this:
So the Father doesn’t even think he was heckled. washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wem…
— Lee Doren (@LDoren) January 30, 2013
Which you can also see in the 17-minute video above.
Update (10:20 AM): Longtime video maker Bob Parks did a great job assembling the two clips side by side for Newsbusters, to illustrate where NBC cut out the long lag between the question Heslin asked the crowed and their eventual response, to create the appearance of “heckling:”