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.