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Another MSNBC Scandal? Blaze Readers at Campaign Event Claim Network Misled in Video of Rally Chant (With Audio Comparison)


Furthering the narrative. -- UPDATE: Scarborough stands by MSNBC's version of events

On Wednesday, MSNBC aired a clip of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney leading what looks like a failed "Romney-Ryan" chant at a campaign stop in Ohio on Tuesday, prompting an embarrassed Joe Scarborough to mutter "Oh, sweet Jesus" and a purse-lipped Mika Brzezinski to ask "What’s wrong with those people?"

You can see our coverage of Scarborough's outburst here, but we've included the clip as a refresher:

One day later, while continuing the conversation on how Rep. Paul Ryan overshadows the former Massachusetts governor, MSNBC host Martin Bashir played the same clip (minus the graphic). Although the clip Bashir aired differs slightly from the one aired during "Morning Joe," the message was the same.

But now things are getting interesting.

If you listen closely, it's obvious the audio in the clip has been adjusted. But that's not uncommon. Sound technicians usually cut out the audience to ensure speakers aren't drowned out (which you can do by simply turning the mics up and down -- or you can do after the fact). However, where the controversy comes in is in the caption on the screen quoting the audience as chanting "Ryan!" Why is that controversial? Because people who attended the event say that's not what happened, and that the MSNBC caption grossly misrepresents what actually occurred.

During Thursday's edition of TheBlaze TV's "Pat & Stu," one caller gives her account of the campaign rally.

"The crowd was yelling," caller Sherry recounts, "the crowd was screaming 'Romney! Romney!' and Romney, being the gentleman [he is], we can't get in his head because he's so stinking nice, he stopped us to add 'Romney-Ryan.'"

"And if you watch the clip again, Ryan throws up his hand like 'oh, you don't have to add me to the chant,'" she adds.

And Sherry isn't the only one who remembers it happening this way.

"I … [was] near the front of the crowd and Paul Ryan had just finished speaking," Michele Jewett of Carlisle, Ohio, told TheBlaze in an email.

"He introduced Governor Romney and handed the microphone to him. Gov. Romney said, 'What about that Paul Ryan' and the crowd immediately started chanting, 'Romney, Romney' not 'Ryan, Ryan' like the closed captioning on the MSNBC video stated," she adds.

Indeed, the MSNBC closed captions claims the was crowd chanting "Ryan!" when attendees say they were actually chanting "Romney!" Obviously, this changes a lot about the situation. Instead of awkwardly inserting his name into what sounds like a failed chant, Gov. Romney was actually including his running mate in a crowd chant of his own name.

"Mitt said, 'Let's try this, Romney/Ryan, Romney/Ryan, I like that better!' Jewett's email continues. "I thought to myself 'what a humble guy to include Ryan in our chant.'"

In fact, footage from C-SPAN's archives would seem back up this claim [listen carefully]:

"I even mentioned this to my friends as we left the rally. I could not believe the MSNBC coverage, trying to validate a news article by completely misleading the public about what really happened," she adds.

Another attendee, Tamra Craycraft of Middletown, Ohio, tells a similar story.

"At one point, the crowd started to enthusiastically chant, 'Romney, Romney, Romney.' We were NOT saying, 'Ryan' as MSNBC's video and closed captioning suggests," Craycraft told TheBlaze in an email.

"Being the humble man that he is, Romney stopped the crowd, then suggested that we add Ryan's name. The crowd then began chanting, 'Romney/Ryan,'" Craycraft adds.

One more attendee told TheBlaze the exact same thing.

"There was a lot of energy at the Rally, especially when Paul Ryan was introducing Mitt Romney. The crowd spontaneously began chanting… 'Romney,' 'Romney,' 'Romney.' However, when Governor Romney took the stand he immediately said, 'Romney/Ryan,' 'Romney/Ryan,' 'Romney/Ryan!'" Ohioan Sarah Holden also told TheBlaze in an email.

"The crowd quickly joined in on the 'Romney/Ryan' chant," Holden adds.

Perhaps from now on America's favorite kinda' Republican Joe Scarborough should apply the same type of scrutiny to clips of Gov. Romney that Andrea Mitchell applies to old audio of President Obama.

Final Thought -- If you believe the firsthand accounts, the question then remains: did MSNBC intentionally mislead the audience into thinking the crowd was chanting "Ryan!" in order to make Romney look foolish and further the narrative that his running mate overshadows him, or did they misinterpret it on accident?

If you believe the former, MSNBC's recent history would help justify that theory. This wouldn't be the first time someone over there has pulled this type of stunt. Indeed, if there’s one thing the Andrea Mitchell Wawa edit taught us, it's that MSNBC is not above airing video that helps further the "he's so rich, he doesn’t get us" narrative. And there's also all that Trayvon Martin stuff.

UPDATE -- We thought it'd be fun to include NBC News' own words regarding its vetting standards [emphasis added]:

In any instance like this — regardless of the source or topic — NBC News Standards will issue guidance instructing broadcasts to not air content unless or until we can determine that it is authentic, unedited, and not taken out of context.

We also thought it'd be fun to include some firsthand accounts from reporters who were at the event. Via

@3:36 p.m.: Mitt Romney begins speaking to the crowd. Asks them to chant, "Romney, Ryan; Romney, Ryan; Romney, Ryan …"

@3:35 p.m.: Ryan pauses for a moment while the crowd begins to chant, "Romney, Romney, Romney …"

And here's how The New York Times reported the event:

After Mr. Ryan whooped up the crowd in Vandalia on Tuesday, Mr. Romney moved to the front of the stage. As the crowd began chanting “Romney! Romney!” he cut them off.“Wait a second,” Mr. Romney said, instructing the audience to cheer for "Romney-Ryan! Romney-Ryan!" They did.

"There we go," he said, pleased.

Once more, from NBC News:

In any instance like this — regardless of the source or topic — NBC News Standards will issue guidance instructing broadcasts to not air content unless or until we can determine that it is authentic, unedited, and not taken out of context.

UPDATE II -- Joe Scarborough on Friday responded to reports that MSNBC's aired a misleading video:

We wait with bated breath.

UPDATE III -- When asked about the video, "Morning Joe" spokeswoman Lauren Skowronski emailed BuzzFeed's McKay Coppins the following statement:

This story is an attempt to generate a false controversy. The tape clip was untouched and was played as it was recorded. The panel was responding to Romney's playful response and having fun with it. Joe and the gang apologize for making people laugh in the morning.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

Front page photo courtesy the AP. The story has been updated to include a link to MSNBC's video source.

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