MSNBC Gets Heat for Edited Clip of Gun Rights Zealots, Sandy Hook Dad

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 03:34 PM

By Megan Anderle

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For the third time in 12 months, MSNBC has sparked controversy by selectively editing a video clip in favor of their Democratic agenda, misleading viewers.

MSNBC’s Martin Bashir aired a 30-second video clip on Monday of Neil Heslin, father of Sandy Hook victim Jesse Lewis.

In the video, Heslin appears to be heckled by Second Amendment advocates while giving testimony before the Connecticut Legislature earlier that day.

In the clip, Heslin said rhetorically, "Why, anybody in this room needs to have one of these assault style weapons, or military weapons."

The clip then cuts to several presumed gun rights advocates in the background yelling, "The second amendment should not be infringed," among other remarks.

Bashir, a British journalist who anchors an afternoon show on the left-leaning network, then gave his commentary.

"A father's grief interrupted by the cries of a heckler," he said. "That was the scene today in Hartford, Connecticut, where the parents of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary testified before an audience that wasn't always friendly."

On Tuesday, the unedited clip appeared online. Twitchy.com showed a much different scenario from what MSNBC aired.

(http://twitchy.com/2013/01/29/outrageous-how-the-left-wing-media-lied-about-newtown-hecklers/)

In the unedited version, Heslin turns around to address the audience.

"I ask, if there's anyone in this room that can give me one reason and challenge this question. (pause) Why, anybody in this room needs to have one of these assault style weapons, or military weapons or high capacity clips?" he said.

Heslin then paused, looking over his should at the audience for a moment and added, "And no one person can answer that question."

At this point, several individuals yell out in defense of the Second Amendment.

The unedited clip clearly shows that Heslin's question was not rhetorical, but rather an attempt to engage the audience behind him, as noted by The Washington Post's opinion blogger Erik Wemple.

In response to the controversy, network officials said they will review the footage in question.

During an appearance on CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight," Heslin said he wasn't fazed by the exchange.

"It wasn’t the answer to my question. It was a response," he told the host.

This isn't the first time MSNBC has been criticized for selectively editing videos. In June, MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell aired an edited clip that showed then Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney talking about WaWa convenience stores in a way that made him appear out of touch to most Americans.

One of the major criticisms from Obama supporters during the 2012 presidential campaign was that Romney was a wealthy elitist who could not identify with the concerns of average Americans.

In March of last year, MSNBC aired an audio recording of George Zimmerman, the community watchman who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida last February.

The edited video made Zimmerman look like he voluntarily told police that Martin "looks black." The unedited version of the video showed Zimmerman answering a direct question from police about Martin's race.

Zimmerman had been accused by many of targeting Martin because of his race, especially in wake of the clip.

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