- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

One of the original designers of the AR-15 has accused HBO of deceptively editing a recent interview he gave on “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”

In the episode, titled “AR15: Modern Sporting Rifle,” correspondent David Scott interviewed Jim Sullivan, one of the original designers of the M-16, which fires in semi-automatic and full-automatic modes, and its civilian counterpart, the semi-automatic AR-15, The Federalist reported.

“The anti-gun HBO sports interview misrepresented much of what I had said,” Mr. Sullivan wrote Tuesday for The Federalist. “They were apparently trying to make the AR-15 civilian model seem too dangerous for civilian sales. They didn’t lie about what I said; they just omitted key parts, which changed the meaning.

“When I appear to say that the civilian-model AR-15 is just as effective or deadly as the military M16, they omitted that I had said ‘When firing semi-auto only’ and that ‘the select fire M16 on full auto is of course more effective,’” he wrote.

“That doesn’t mean I’m not pleased to see AR-15s sell on the civilian market. It just means I didn’t realize they would 57 years ago,” he said.

Mr. Sullivan also criticized the interviewer for “pretending” to not understand the difference between hunting rounds and military rounds.

SEE ALSO: Stephanie Soechtig, ‘Under the Gun’ director, apologizes for misleading edit

His editorial was written after pro-gun blogs criticized his interview.

HBO spokesman Ray Stallone said in a statement that Real Sports “fairly and accurately represented Mr. Sullivan’s interview.”

“Mr. Sullivan says that we ‘omitted key parts’ of his comments on the lethality of the civilian AR-15 as compared to that of the fully-automatic military version. That claim is untrue,” Mr. Stallone said.

According to a transcript provided by HBO, Mr. Scott asked Mr. Sullivan, The lethality of the AR-15, is— is that reduced in the civilian semi-automatic mode?

“No. … Same effectiveness,” Mr. Sullivan replied. “I mean— in fact, the— the gun is functioning exactly the way— the military model is— in semi-automatic.”

HBO’s statement added, “Mr. Sullivan’s comments in the interview were in line with those he had made in phone conversations with HBO producers in the weeks prior to the on-camera interview.”

The controversy comes amid backlash over a statement Monday by Katie Couric, Mr. Gumbel’s former “Today” show co-anchor, in which she acknowledged she didn’t “vigorously” protest misleading edits made to an interview between her and gun rights activists in her recent Epix documentary “Under the Gun.”


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