Mainstream Media Fakes “Heckling” of Newtown Victim’s Parent

Yesterday, a video was circulated that appeared to show a group of gun right supporters  at a hearing in Connecticut heckling the parent of one of the Newtown shooting victims. Naturally, every pro-gun control media outlet under the sun picked the story up and ran with it. And why not? For the anti-2A crowd, that kind of behavior is manna from heaven, an easy cudgel to use to make gun owners look like cruel bullies. Just one problem: there was no heckling. The video was intentionally edited to paint the People of the Gun in the most negative light possible . . .

And — surprise! —  there haven’t been any retractions that I can find.

David Frum tweeted, “What horrible human being heckles a grieving parent in such a way?”

Gawker picked up the story and ran with it, no retraction or update was issued.

CT Post was all over it. No retraction was issued.

And naturally Piers Morgan was as sensationalist as one can be: “SICKENING: Sandy Hook father Neil Heslin heckled as he pleads for ban on assault weapon that killed his son Jesse”

The HuffPo ran the headline”Neil Heslin, Father Of Newtown Victim, Heckled By Pro-Gun Activists.” There was no update to the story.

MSNBC cried, “Emotional father of Sandy Hook victim heckled by gun nuts”.

But  Twitchy, has the real story:

Except no. Not really. MSNBC is propping up its story with a blatantly edited video. In fact, Heslin was not heckled. Gun rights advocates in the audience indeed voiced their support for the Second Amendment — after he asked why anyone would need “assault-style weapons or high-capacity clips.” You’d never know based on the MSNBC version, which completely cut out the footage of Heslin’s question.

Twitchy went the extra mile to actually investigate the story instead of simply repeating the party line and found the original footage:

So it turns out that the father of the murdered child wasn’t really heckled. He just asked a question and engaged in dialogue with the audience. And he wasn’t upset at all when the session was over. Even the Washington Post agrees:

Man invites comment from audience; audience replies with comment; man comes away unperturbed. Does that qualify as a moment of heckling? Have a look at the definition of the term: “Interrupt (a public speaker) with derisive or aggressive comments or abuse.”

Since Heslin invited feedback, the audience response cannot qualify as an interruption. On that front alone, there is simply no heckling here. And there’s further evidence: After the back and forth, Heslin didn’t appear one bit bothered by the interaction. He said, “Anyway, we’re all entitled to our own opinion, and I respect their opinions and thoughts, but I wish they’d respect mine and give it a little bit of thought.”

He wasn’t heckled. But that doesn’t fit the narrative that gun owners are nuts and bullies. So this is what we’re up against. No tactic, no matter how dishonest, disingenuous or despicable, is too over-the-top when it comes to the larger goal of demonizing gun owners and de-legitimizing civilian firearms ownership. Got that?

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About Nick Leghorn

Nick Leghorn is a gun nerd living and working in San Antonio, Texas. In his free time, he's a competition shooter (USPSA, 3-gun and NRA High Power), aspiring pilot, and enjoys mixing statistics and science with firearms. Now on sale: Getting Started with Firearms by yours truly!

38 Responses to Mainstream Media Fakes “Heckling” of Newtown Victim’s Parent

  1. avatarMr aNINNYmouse says:

    Oh, that Martin Bashir…..

  2. avatargreat unknown says:

    It was so egregious that even MSNBC is “investigating” how this “honest mistake” could possibly have occured.

  3. avatarAharon says:

    The mass media’s news stories are as fake as our currency from the Federal Reserve.

  4. avatarAaronvanman says:

    We should all know its all about spin

    • avatarJeff the Griz says:

      lets hope they get some attorneys involved and sue the media for defamation of character. I also hope that NBC has to pay a crap ton for editing the 911 call regarding the Trevan Martin case, wether or not Zimmerman is guilty.

  5. avatarChris says:

    Which is why the counter argument needs to be repealing the NFA and GCA so worst case is we don’t lose any more ground. And every increase in control in one state needs to be met with more freedom in another.

    Hearing some good things from the Senate hearings today.

  6. avatarMichael F. says:

    Three people were commenting on Facebook about how disgusting gun owners are because of this yesterday. I went back and commented how easily mislead the general public is when stuff is presented to them. I don’t understand how people aren’t angrier on a regular basis about how little truth there is anymore in the news anymore.

  7. avatarJoshinGA says:

    On several news outlets that ran this story, I saw many pro-gun control minded liberals suggesting physical violence against gun owners because bullying people is wrong. The irony of this must have missed most of these people. Also, sound like a bad idea to anyone else?

  8. avatarJohn Boch says:

    Gun control advocates are physically afraid of gun owners, particularly NRA members.

    As for this father, while he’s grieving, he shouldn’t make a fool of himself on national TV.

    No right-thinking adult would think that by disarming the meek will result in predators and evil men from preying on them.

    John

    • avatargreat unknown says:

      I suggest that you do not criticize this performance, rooting as it is in overwhelming emotional distress.

      I also suggest that you not attribute any practical significance to it, for the same reason. Unfortunately, this will be ignored by the anti-2As.

  9. This is just the most recent in a long list of incidents where MSNBC has selectively edited a video clip to fit their chosen narrative. I defer to the article referenced in last night’s daily digest which cites several examples.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/01/29/msnbc-caught-selectively-editing-another-clip-this-time-of-sandy-hook-victims-father/

  10. avatardarkstar says:

    Not surprised at all. The MSM has been fabricating stuff for years. The Washington Post reporter who made up the story about the child crack head, the NY Times reporter(s) that completely fabricated stories, it goes on and on. Sadly this is what professional “journalism” has become. Does anyone really think they would play fair and be objective?

    • avatarBobby says:

      Growing up (and still registered Dem), I never believed this “MSM conspiracy” bs until it came to my 2nd amendment rights. Does NO ONE look at the full videos anymore? I would look at a full, unedited source for any horrific story before passing judgement, even when the original asserted my position. Too many folks hop on the tribal bandwagon and take anything from HuffPo, or Rawstory, or Infowars or Fox News as truth without doing any friggin research on their own. Google ain’t hard to use. But this takes the cake. Yeah, those guys really heckled that poor father like Iraq had WMDs. MSNBC oughta be investigated for fraud for this one.

  11. I watched this live. He was not heckled. This is complete BS. It blows me away they would doctor the video. It’s disgusting.

  12. avatarMark N. says:

    I was surprised that this video and the resulting outrage didn’t appear on Newsvine, where there have been a lot f threads on guns and gun rights (negative mostly, with valiant defenses of the 2A)

  13. avatarGreat Lenin's Ghost says:

    he was interrupted during testimony. That is heckling. You guys aren’t really smart but you are lunatics lol

    • avatarBrad says:

      You’d like to think so Comrade but if you had wathced the unedited version, he clearly pauses and invites a response.

      heck·le (hkl)
      tr.v. heck·led, heck·ling, heck·les
      1. To try to embarrass and annoy (someone speaking or performing in public) by questions, gibes, or objections; badger.
      2. To comb (flax or hemp) with a hatchel.

      After posing the question, the crowd answered. They ceased responding after being told. I don’t think what I hear in the video classifies as heckiling by the definition above, unless you are implying they came at him with a hatchel.

      For a good example of heckling, liberal, left wing style please see this video of how the left treats someone with a different view.

      http://tpartyus2010.ning.com/video/romney-heckled-by-obamaniacs-in-ohio-crowd-responds-beautifully

      See the difference? I thought you probably wouldn’t.

    • avatarTTACer says:

      Learn to read.

    • avatartwelve.gauge says:

      Let me preface this by saying I feel for this man’s unthinkable loss, but he was not heckled. I too watched it live in its entirety. He asked a question repeatedly, turned around towards the attendees and seemed surprised that several people actually answered him. It’s an emotional topic, I get it. If you don’t want a response, don’t actively engage the audience.

    • avatarJoey says:

      I’ve discussed this with facebook friends already. They argue he was interrupted because it was a rhetorical question. The only problem is, a rhetorical question is one that tries to prove a point without expecting an answer. He asks the question to the audience, and when he doesn’t get a reply, he uses the silence to make his point “not one person here can give a reason…” That is not rhetorical, and if answering his question is interrupting, I wish Hillary Clinton would’ve interrupted Rand Paul more during the hearings.

  14. avatarrangered says:

    But wait a minute…..I thought the President said that all the problems were because of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh….hey, what gives?

    Its like they don’t even pretend to try anymore and why should they? They have their President insuring their access to him and his administration and making sure that their parent corporations keep getting those tax breaks.

  15. avatar32x20 says:

    If a commercial is unrealistically edited without some ‘dramatization’ disclaimer the company can be sued/sanctioned for false advertising, right? Seems like the same should happen to ‘news’ organizations.

  16. avatarRoll says:

    Again, the main stream media is trying to MAKE news rather than REPORT it…what a bunch of worthless a-holes

  17. avatarSGC says:

    Another classic example of the media trimming and spinning the news the way they want it to appear.

  18. avatargreat unknown says:

    The primary beneficiary of this episode is George Zimmerman, as more and more evidence accumulates that NBCs defamatory editing of the his 911 call was not an accident but part of a deliberate policy. His lawyers must be licking their chops over this – and the WaPo article pointing out what the unedited truth was.

    Reckless disregard for the truth pales in comparison to deliberate falsehood.

    But this is what happens when MSM realizes that the Obama campaign is neverending, and goosesteps along.

  19. avatarAharon says:

    my comment is missing

  20. avatarSilver says:

    Further proof that in the face of a purely evil enemy and a stupid, drooling, lemming-like public, those few of us remaining who are true, honest, decent Americans are pretty much screwed. Hate to say it, but there’s no possible future in which things come out okay. We’re simply up against far too much overwhelming stupidity and evil. The only thing we should be doing is preparing.

  21. avatarready,fire,aim says:

    the left is running a “no huddle” 2 minute offence drill on us

  22. avatarRon says:

    Actually not only was he not heckled or interrupted at any time, but if you watch the video again carefully, you will see that when Mr. Heslin ask if anyone could give him a reason they would need assult weapons no one answers.
    It is not until he challenges the audience with the statement,” Not one person can answer that question.” (15:29) Only when confronted with answering or being forced to appear to be unable to answer does anyone speak. He then raises his hand in the direction of an unseen person and says “all right.” When that person responds with ” shall not infringe our rights”,the audience is asked to refrain from commenting until Mr Heslin is finished. Even though it was Mr. Heslin who asked for comments, no one in the audience protests.
    Comments ceased as instructed.
    Could not have been more orderly.

  23. avatarMike Z says:

    He asked a serious and thoughtful question to the crowd and got a respectful and intelligent answer. No heckling.

    By the way Yahoo has a story on its front page questioning the validity of the heckling claim and how eager the left wing gun grabbers were to use it. Hopefully it gets picked up

    • avatargreat unknown says:

      Could Yahoo’s sudden discovery of honesty in journalism be a reason for their showing a profit for the first time in years?

  24. avatarBruce says:

    I was surprised, the clip was played on CNN’s Anderson Cooper show. Cooper commented that it did not look like heckling to him.

  25. avatarChas says:

    What?? You mean the MSM would fake a video??

    I’m shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you!

  26. avatarensitu says:

    Is it not odd that anyone or org. that takes a position of standing for integrity and truth inevitably finds itself described as part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Stingy White Folks, Bitter Clingers, et al. Yet the very PPL that label them so are the true enemies of egalitarianism, Truth and Justice?
    I hope Mr. Fargo and Co. are steeled for what is about to engulf them, their familys, and friends (as will befall us all) in the very near future.

  27. avatarMatt in FL says:

    The actual interaction occurs very late in the second video, if you start at 15:00 you can see the whole thing.

    Clearly the people didn’t initially answer the question (“If there’s anybody in this room that can give me one reason…”) because they were respecting the rules of the forum, but on the second challenge (“… and not one person can answer that question.”) it became clear that he was more or less legitimately asking for a response. It still wasn’t appropriate under the rules of the forum to answer then, the appropriate time would be to answer during your speaking period, but it wasn’t heckling. It was just simply people misunderstanding the rules.

  28. avatarpat says:

    Ah, the evil libtard media. Edit footage to further leftist ideological propaganda.

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