On Monday, MSNBC aired a deceptively edited video on "Bashir Live" of testimony given by the father of a Sandy Hook victim. On Tuesday, several outlets, including Twitchy and TheBlaze called out MSNBC for the obvious discrepancy in the video. And on Wednesday, MSNBC finally addressed the controversy -- but issued no apology or correction.
"On Monday on our program, we aired a portion of a hearing where we heard from Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School," fill-in host and MSNBC contributor Ari Melber said. "We have received a number of comments over the past two days, so we are going to play the relevant portion of that testimony in full."
After playing the unedited video of Heslin's testimony, Martin Bashir's fill-in host still did not issue a correction or apology.
"Martin [Bashir] and many others who saw Mr. Heslin's testimony have called that interruption 'heckling,' some disagree. He wanted you to hear it in full so you can draw your own conclusion," Melber added.
Bashir was out sick on Wednesday. According to previous reports, he has been dealing with some health issues related to a brain tumor. We certainly hope he is in good health.
In the video aired on Bashir's show Monday, an audience member can be heard shouting, "the Second Amendment shall not be infringed" as Neil Heslin, the father of victim Jesse Lewis, advocates for a ban on semi-automatic rifles. Bashir made it appear as if the father was "heckled" by pro-gun advocates for no reason whatsoever.
Neil Heslin, holding a picture of himself with his son Jesse, testifies at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, Conn., Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis was one of the 20 first-graders killed in the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre. (AP)
However, once the full context of the video became available, it became evident that the so-called "hecklers" were actually responding to a question posed by Heslin. He wanted to know "why anybody in this room needs to have one of these assault-style weapons or military weapons or high-capacity clips." After pausing, he added, “Not one person can answer the question," prompting a couple of audience members to respond.
While some have argued that the audience members were out of line either way for speaking out of turn during the hearing, MSNBC didn't even give its viewers a chance to make up their own minds by airing such an unfairly edited clip.
To watch and compare both videos, click here.
An MSNBC source reportedly told The Washington Post that the network was "reviewing the video in question," TheBlaze's Madeleine Morgenstern reported.