The liberal media cost me a friend the other day.
Well not a real one, but a Facebook “friend”.
Last week a certain ex-Democratic elected official of diminished public standing took to his Facebook page to deliver the following rant: “The NRA scum that heckled the father of a 6 year old Newtown victim should be shot. Multiple times. Asshats.”
I took issue with his statement not because I am a fan of the NRA (which has misled voters about candidates’ positions on the Second Amendment in order to advance their “favorites”), but because this person had fallen for a canard advanced by leftist media outlets and was doing his part to spew it further.
It started on January 29th when the Huffington Post ran an online story with the headline “Neil Heslin, Father of Newtown Victim, Heckled By Pro-Gun Activists”.
Now headlines can be dangerous tools used to spread misinformation in today’s “click here” virtual media world as they are intended to entice people to read the story (and thus be exposed to banner ads that generate revenue) or in the case of an ideology-driven media entity, spread half-truths if not outright lies. After all, many people just read the headlines, don’t bother reading the article and imagine the rest of the story.
Though I have great contempt for the Huffington Post’s unprofessional biased reporting, I took the bait and clicked on the story if only to satisfy how they spun an event into something totally different.
Arianna’s media minions did not disappoint.
The HuffPost proclaimed that Heslin “stoically faced down pro-gun activists” but was “interrupted by dozens of audience members.” It should be noted that this NEWS article was grafted from reports from stories actually reported by USA Today, the Connecticut Post and the Los Angeles Times. In other words, the Huffington Post didn’t perform actual reporting at the hearing but choose to slap together convenient parts that fit their narrative, slapped an incendiary headline at the top and called it news.
What was really interesting about the Huffington Post’s “story” was that it included at the time video footage from a local news station that showed not just the entire exchange between Heslin and his “hecklers”, but testimony from Mark Mattioli, whose son James was killed in the school massacre and was present to testify against over-reaching new gun control measures.
Mr. Mattioli was not mentioned in that article. You would think that someone whose child was murdered in the school shooting but was present to argue against stricter gun control legislation would be newsworthy. Yet if you were to search his name on the Huffington Post’s site, you’ll primarily find him referenced as father of a victim and not an opponent of the exploitative machinations of the gun control crowd.
In unsurprising contrast, article results for the politically more agreeable Heslin are bountiful when typing his name in the HuffPost’s search engine.
But it gets better…or worse pending the depths of your cynicism about the Fourth Estate.
The HuffPost took down the comprehensive local news video on the committee testimony that day and replaced it with footage from MSNBC’s coverage on the story.
Gone from the posted footage is Mattioli’s testimony, however the new MSNBC video does show the exchange between Heslin and pro-Second Amendment advocates present at the committee hearing, which contradicts the headline and the cooked write-up attempts to convey.
In the thirty three seconds of video, Heslin makes an emotional argument initially phrased rhetorically why anyone would need to own “military style” weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. After a moment of silence (and not a peep of heckle), Heslin then shifts from rhetorical to literal in his address by using the silence in the room to declare that not one person can answer the question, thus challenging those present in the room who oppose infringements on our Second Amendment rights.
The response of these pro-gun right supporters? Not catcalls, boos, taunts or what the media deemed heckling, but murmurs that constitutional rights should not be stripped by a state legislative committee.
Any objective person (key term) who watched the video would see the headline and the story were written to mislead people, not inform them.
It should also be noted that MSNBC had put out an edited video that selectively cut out the part where Heslin directed his remarks to the Second Amendment supporters in the room and spliced in the comments of the very folks he challenged.
After MSNBC host Martin Bashir’s tainted news story got questioned by conservatives and even CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the network sheepishly replaced the doctored footage.
Back to the ex-politician who called for executions of NRA members. When presented with video evidence that he got his facts wrong, the Democrat promptly pulled down the facts that ran contrary to his narrative on what he wanted to believe how things played out in the Connecticut legislative committee meeting and severed Facebook ties with yours truly.
Democrats do not want to have a discussion on guns; they want to deliver a hysteria-filled lecture where inconvenient facts are ignored, opponents are demonized and liberties for most are eroded under the guise of security while the privileges of the empowered/responsible/liberal class are preserved.