MSNBC pummeled for Sandy Hook video editing controversy

Even though this was cleared up, the damage was done.

MSNBC Airs Sandy Hook Father’s Unedited Testimony After Critics Complain (Video) – The Hollywood Reporter.

After finding itself embroiled in another controversy about edited video, NBC News has re-aired a clip its critics say was selectively edited.

On Monday, MSNBC’s Martin Bashir aired a video that seemed to show grief-stricken Neil Heslin being heckled by pro-gun lobbyists as he talked about his 6-year-old son, who was killed in Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. While making a plea for gun control at a legislative hearing, Heslin at one point he turned to the audience and said: “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.”

When the audience remains silent, Heslin adds, “Not one person can answer that question.” And that’s when a few people recited the Second Amendment in response.

The video that host Martin Bashir aired, though, clipped out Heslin’s question and pause in the audience’s direction. The resulting edit made it look like boisterous audience members interrupted Heslin’s testimony.

Here is the video:

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I have gotten called out here by a few saying that I show a bias against Fox News. I do, when they pull stunts like distorting the truth and hiding the rest of the story. I’ll do the same here. I don’t like this dishonesty. I don’t know if Bashir did it deliberately or if someone else edited it and that’s what he saw and assumed it happened that way. Regardless, MSNBC has aired the unedited video. Conservatives AND liberal outlets have attacked this scandal (as they should) but conservatives claim this is evidence for a “liberal bias”. All the news seems biased these days (we are science-biased here – some biases are more useful to general audiences than others) because it’s delivered by people who hold certain values. Those values are different than the next person. And some of these values are institutionalized. That’s the way it goes. So, conservatives, thanks for pointing this out. Make sure you do the same the next time YOUR favorite news network pulls the same crap.

  9 comments for “MSNBC pummeled for Sandy Hook video editing controversy

  1. Mr. Shreck
    February 1, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Whenever this kind of thing happens, all I can think of is the number of distortions that go by daily that due to lack of witnesses or generally low profile or limited interest in the story go unnoticed. It is unsurprising that people become paranoid and distrust a media that manipulates content to serve its agenda, which while broadly liberal politically (with the obvious exception of Fox, which is just serving its niche like any smart business) is mostly about inducing anxiety and selling comfort. fnord.

    An interesting commentary on the myth of objective media:

    (note lots of tinfoil hat and conservative religious view on the site writ large, but I think this article is pretty spot on)

  2. Chris Howard
    February 1, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    It’s amazing how selective skepticism can be. Liberals only applying their skepticism to “conservative” outlets, and Conservatives only skeptical of “liberal” sources.

    Seems a bit hypocritical?

    Disclaimer: C. S. Howard is a liberal, Texan and of “activist” P.Z. Myers school of Atheist/Skepticism.

    PS For what’s its worth, I’ve always considered Doubtful News “Fair and Balanced” but in the real sense. 😉

  3. LREKing
    February 1, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Anger will short-circuit clear thinking every time.

    Unfortunately, it seems to me that the MSM (on both sides) spend a lot of time trying to whip their viewers into a frenzy. I suppose this is just “smart business” trying to sell more advertising to their “niche”, but it does the country no good and plenty of harm.

  4. Chris Howard
    February 1, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    The “bottom line” will always skew perspective. I worked in advertising for years, and the arguments that would occur between producers, journalists, and general managers was often, infamous, and legendary. I always felt sorry for the editors, especially if they were salaried. All the edits, and re-edits, and same crappy pay!

    Part of the problem is that people confuse perspective with bias, and vice versa.

    A conservative will read “The Tennessee Democrat” and proclaim “BIAS!!!” or a liberal will read “The Conservative Review” and proclaim “FALSE!!!” Those are not a fair critiques, because the paper doesn’t try to hide its “democratic” perspective, and neither does the conservative periodical.
    Both publications are examining, and reporting from their different perspectives, and they are honest about their political leanings.

  5. One Eyed Jack
    February 1, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    What i find more interesting is the “hole” in our observation skills.

    When you pay attention to the original video, the editing is obvious. It wasn’t hidden. There was a clear transition that shows a time lapse.

    This technique is used frequently, especially in “Reality” shows. Our brains are geared to generally edit out these transitions and remember the entire episode as a single, continuous scene. Editors know this and use it all the time to twist the story to something more dramatic.

    I give a lot of credit to a high school English teacher that taught a unit on media awareness and advertising. It opened my eyes early on. As this clip illustrates, it’s not just advertisers using tricks to twist the message.

  6. AmSci
    February 1, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    This is messed up. It’s like the liberals watched Sean Hannity and said, “me, too!”

  7. Chris Howard
    February 1, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    They need to teach that class to all students. Media literacy is a must in this day and age.

  8. Kathy
    February 1, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Confirmation bias – it is a human frailty. I try to watch/read items from those I disagree with. And I try to look up facts too. But the world is such a big place and time is limited. Maybe try this: If something confirms your belief, try to go out of your way to fact-check it.

  9. Chris Howard
    February 1, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    I generally view any emotional discomfort that I have about any given statement as a probable sign of bias on my part.

    It’s also why I try to keep a diverse group of friends, sort of an informal “peer review” for everyday life.

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