MSNBC Caught Airing Edited Video….

The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple writes about MSNBC doing some creative editing…

MSNBC is reviewing its portrayal of the testimony of Neil Heslin, the father of a Sandy Hook victim, at a legislative hearing in Hartford on Monday. The 33-second video clip in question, embedded above, features a graphics box saying “Mocked and Loaded. Sandy Hook Victim’s Father Heckled by Gun Rights Advocates.”

“We’re reviewing the video in question,” says an MSNBC source.

Smart move, considering that Heslin wasn’t, in fact, heckled. Audience members merely answered a challenge that Heslin posed from the microphone.

Wemple says that MSNBC is “reviewing the video in question”. They better. And they better have a good explanation for why it happened and why it will not happen again.

Martin Bashir’s show, which is your basic partisan opinion show, aired the cut up clip. Other opinion shows, like Lawrence O’Donnell’s referenced the cut up clip and, as Wemple noted, made a weak attempt at redefining the issue by redefining the meaning of “heckled”. It may be time for a rewrite on that.

Ever since Phil Griffin all but gutted news in favor of political POV opinion analysis he’s been hammering home the point about how smart it is. This show is smart. That person is doing smart TV. Our analysis is smart. Regardless of whether you think it really is smart or not, it’s an interesting branding ploy that seems to be working…or at the very least not blowing up in the network’s face.

But incidents like this edited video undermine all the buzz that Griffin is trying to create. How can your network be smart, have smart hosts, have smart guests, have smart analysis, when your production staff is either doctoring video or using doctored video doctored elsewhere for subjects your smart team tackles? You can’t.

Griffin had better realize how this doctored video is a direct threat to his goal for MSNBC. It is why his network must not just pay lip service with “we’re investigating” and hope the ruckus just goes away but to really get to the bottom of this and put in place safegaurds that ensure that it doesn’t happen again. To not do so isn’t very smart.

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15 Responses to “MSNBC Caught Airing Edited Video….”

  1. A narrative is a terrible thing to waste.

  2. I would be tempted to ask whether MSNBC needs to rethink how Bashir’s program actually works. Compared to some of MSNBCs other opinion based hours, it regularly is much more harsh and abrasive, whether it was saying “Joy, there are so many flaccid bags of toxic waste on the Republican side at the moment…” or the other stack of posts one of the Mediaite folks have compiled, it’s a revolting hour and hearing this happened then isn’t surprising.

  3. This network is sh*t.

  4. lonestar77 Says:

    MSNBC.com didn’t even call them “gun advocates”. They labeled them “gun nuts”.

    MSNBC may have edited the video but they are far from the only guilty party. Piers Morgan and David Frum are two who won’t backdown from their original criticism.

  5. The way I see the Heslin incident is that he was speaking emotionally about the death of his son, not asking questions or wanting a response. That forum is used to let one speaker at a time, anyway.

    He wasn’t even asking something that was supposed to be answered… His question was clearly rhetorical and was stated to make a point to support his point about stricter gun laws. LOD made this point and its anything but a ‘weak attempt’.

  6. [...] Inside Cable News which has been closely monitoring MSNBC’s programming shift from news to opinion, has this take: [...]

  7. savefarris Says:

    How can your network be smart, have smart hosts, have smart guests, have smart analysis, when your production staff is either doctoring video or using doctored video doctored elsewhere for subjects your smart team tackles? You can’t.

    You can if your name is …

    …Andrea Mitchell (Wa Wa’s)
    …Ed Schultz (Black Cloud)
    …Contessa Brewer (Racist Gun-toting Tea Party)
    …Matt Lauer (He looks black!)

    This has been 30 Rock’s modus operandi since the beginning of time (and/or since they rigged a gas tank to explode).

    It’s on purpose.
    They’ll keep doing it.
    They won’t change.
    And they’ll keep getting away with it.

    At least until the other networks/interviewees hold them accountable (Isn’t that your entire reason for being, Mr. Kurtz?!?), call them out on their shenanigans and actually treat them like the propaganda machine they truly are.

  8. savefarris Says:

    He wasn’t even asking something that was supposed to be answered… His question was clearly rhetorical

    If he had JUST asked the question, fine. But you’re forgetting the next sentence in the transcript:

    “[Pause] Not one person can answer that question.”

    Heslin used people’s decorum against them by claiming their initial good manners was a tacit agreement to his political position. It was only AFTER he declared their silence to be supportive did those in attendance speak up.

  9. lonestar77 Says:

    Yeah, Sorry Kevin, but you’re dead wrong. As is Crazy Larry. The crowd was silent the first time he asked even though he began looking around the room. Then, he paused, looked around the room and asked again. It’s not a very big room, BTW. The usual suspects who used this to advance their partisan agenda just look like bigger a$$hats than they normally do.

  10. I’m so shocked… This is an outrage…

    I say meh, MSNBC is a crappy channel anyway.

  11. MSNBC: The Place For Propaganda With The Veneer of News!

  12. And, of course, Sean Hannity is saying that the edited clip was aired on “NBC News”. Was that aired on NBC, or just MSNBC? I’m guessing that it was just MS. He and O’Donnell are made for each other.

  13. Those who don’t learn history are doomed to repeat it.

    George Zimmerman 9-1-1 call last year,
    The GM pickup blowup from 20 years ago…

    Add Sandy Hook to their botched “news” story. I know that these three can’t be the only stuff they had doctored up.

  14. If he had JUST asked the question, fine. But you’re forgetting the next sentence in the transcript:

    “[Pause] Not one person can answer that question.”

    I didn’t forget anything… I know what he said in full context. When he said “not one person can answer that question”, he wasn’t referring to anyone in particular. He didn’t said “not one person [in this courtroom] can answer that question”.

    If you choose to make that conclusion on your own, just to create another faux controversy of sex, lies and edited tapes, with the fake illusion of the so-called “liberal media”, go right ahead. Take all the time you need.

    The bottom line is the man was interrupted mid-sentence while he was speaking (with or without a pause). He knows that forum of speaking is made for one at a time, not asking questions of the audience watching. So, the final conclusion for the people NOT paranoid about media bias, is he was interrupted. Period. Case closed.

  15. Re-post:

    If he had JUST asked the question, fine. But you’re forgetting the next sentence in the transcript:

    “[Pause] Not one person can answer that question.”

    I didn’t forget anything… I know what he said in full context. When he said “not one person can answer that question”, he wasn’t referring to anyone in particular. He didn’t said “not one person [in this courtroom] can answer that question”.

    If you choose to make that conclusion on your own, just to create another faux controversy of sex, lies and edited tapes, with the fake illusion of the so-called “liberal media”, go right ahead. Take all the time you need.

    The bottom line is the man was interrupted mid-sentence while he was speaking (with or without a pause). He knows that forum of speaking is made for one at a time, not asking questions of the audience watching. So, the final conclusion for the people NOT paranoid about media bias, is he was interrupted. Period. Case closed.

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