MSNBC’s anti-gun Martin Bashir posted a video on his website Tuesday night titled “Emotional father of Sandy Hook victim heckled by gun nuts.” It has come to light, however, that the video was selectively edited and the father wasn’t heckled at all.
The video’s title has since been changed to exclude “gun nuts,” and an MSNBC source said the cable channel is “reviewing the video in question.”
The unedited video of the incident shows Neil Heslin at a legislative hearing in Hartford, Conn., on Monday, at whcih he asks the other attendees, “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.”
The question was not rhetorical, and he looked around the silent room waiting for an answer.
“Not one person can answer that question,” he concluded.
That’s when the crowd, or the alleged hecklers, answered, “The Second Amendment shall not be infringed!”
A public official jumped in and silenced the crowd: “Please no comments while Mr. Heslin is speaking. Or we’ll clear the room.”
The edited video that Mr. Bashir aired on his show completely skips Mr. Heslin’s initial challenge to the attendees, making it appear that Second Amendment advocates interrupted, or “heckled,” the grief-stricken father.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell defended the interpretation of heckling.
“Heckling’s when you say something stupid from the audience,” he said Tuesday night.
Mr. Heslin told CNN’s Piers Morgan the interchange didn’t bother him.
“It wasn’t the answer to my question. It was a response,” he said.