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Jewish World Review
Feb. 4, 2013/ 24 Shevat, 5773
Heckling Second Amendment Supporters
Beginning last Monday, Americans were once again subjected to a barrage of overt media propaganda presented as news. On Monday in Hartford, Connecticut, a hearing about gun control took place before a state legislative panel. At least 1,300 people showed up and public testimony was allowed to be given, including some by parents of children who were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. One of those parents was Neil Heslin. One of the first stories regarding his testimony appeared in the Connecticut Post. It was entitled "Father of Newtown victim heckled at hearing." Numerous other media sources took up that theme and ran with it--despite the fact that it was an abject lie.
As the entire
of Mr. Heslin's testimony, reveals no one heckled him. They responded to a question he himself
posed. Here is the exchange:
Heslin: I don't know how many people have young children or children. But just try putting yourself in the place that I'm in or these other parents that are here. Having a child that you lost. It's not a good feeling; not a good feeling to look at your child laying in a casket or looking at your child with a bullet wound to the forehead. 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 an, one of these assault-style weapons or military weapons or high-capacity clips…..Not one person can answer that question. (italic mine)
Crowd/Alleged Hecklers: Second Amendment shall not be infringed.
Heslin: Oh, right.
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Public official: Please no comments while Mr. Heslin is speaking. Or we'll clear the room. Mr. Heslin, please continue.
MSNBC led the propaganda charge. On the Monday edition of the "Martin Bashir" program, an edited video of the exchange cut out
the critical parts italicized above. the Bashir added his two cents. "A father's grief interrupted by the cries of a heckler," he said.
On Tuesday, the Huffington Post
echoed the theme in a story entitled "Neil Heslin, Father Of Newtown Victim, Heckled By Pro-Gun Activists." In a video embedded
with the column, "Newsy" reporter Logan Tittle added another bit leftist of propaganda to the mix as well. "Gun activists are making headlines after a gun control panel in Hartford got heated Monday Activists heckled Neil Heslin, a father of six year old Sandy Hook victim," she said. "Activists yelled about the Second Amendment During Heslin's emotional speech about his son." Note that those who support the Second Amendment are "activists," and that the response Heslin elicited is characterized as "yelling."
British newspaper The Telegraph, ran
the story with the headline and sub-headline, "Gun activists heckle father of child killed at Sandy Hook," "The grieving father of a six-year-old boy killed during the Sandy Hook massacre was heckled by gun activists as he begged for tighter firearms restrictions in the wake of the tragedy." They also had an embedded video that completely omitted
any part of the testimony leading up to the exchange. Instead it shows tearful testimony by Heslin, as he remembers his son, the last part of which was, "the worst day of my life was the day I had to bury him" followed immediately by the response from the crowd, followed by more emotional testimony.
In fact there was a remarkable symmetry of irresponsible, herd-like reporting. "Gun rights advocates heckle father of 6-year-old Newtown victim at Connecticut hearing," reported
the NY Daily News,
presenting an Associated Press (AP) version of the event that once again characterized "advocates for gun rights shouting at the father of one 6-year-old victim." "Sandy Hook victim's father heckled at legislative hearing," reported
the Examiner. "Gun Activists Heckled A Sandy Hook Victim's Father While He Argued For An Assault Weapons Ban" reported
Business Insider. "Father of boy killed in Newtown school shooting heckled during legislative hearing as he begs for stricter gun control," contended
the Daily Mail.
"Father or Newtown Victim Heckled At Hearing," reported
the Daily Beast. "Father of 6-Year-Old Newtown Victim Heckled by Pro-Gun Activists," Gawker.com reported.
The feeding frenzy continued unabated until the full video became available
, thanks to Michelle Malkin's website twitchy.com
, which also included a barrage of self-righteous tweets from leftists who couldn't be bothered to find out the truth before regurgitating the word "heckled" ad nauseam.
At that point, the retreat began. Some people, such as Slate Magazine's
Josh Voorhees, demonstrated
a modicum of class and honesty. "It's certainly worth pointing out that the audience members aren't supposed to interrupt a witness--a lawmaker running the hearing can be heard asking for the crowd to be quiet--and it's possible that Heslin's question was a rhetorical one, and his pause was simply for dramatic effect," he writes. "But regardless, it also appears as though those gun-rights advocates who spoke up were doing so in response to what they heard as a question. Even if such actions represent an interruption they nonetheless appear to fall well short of heckling, an act that most often comes with an air of harassment associated with it."
Others had far less class. CNN's Anderson Cooper took the Orwellian route, deleting
a tweet saying Heslin was "shouted down." Later he relented. "#SandyHook parent wasn't 'shouted down' as I said in previous tweet. He asked for response and audiences members gave it and were admonished," Cooper belatedly tweeted. The Daily Beast's David Frum offered up a typically leftist non-apology
apology. "And those in the wider public who use the new media of blogs and Twitter to condone and justify the people who shouted at Neil Heslin - those who'd represent the shouters as the true victims of the encounter--those who suggest that the most important part of the Newtown story is one more tedious replay of the debate over 'media bias'--they do very nearly as wrong." Sorry, Dave. Nobody shouted, and there were no victims--with the exception of those who trust people like you to get the story right. And those who busted you for your rush to judgment are the people you choose to beat up? Priceless.
And then there were the totally classless. "
AN APOLOGY: No, those gun supporters didn't 'heckle' Neil Heslin - they just shamed themselves with their disgusting behaviour. My mistake," tweeted
Piers Morgan. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell still refuses to admit
the obvious. "Yes gun nuts did heckle the father of S
andy Hook victim. See the video and definition of heckling @TheLastWord at 10pm." O'Donnell doubled down
Tuesday night. "Heckling's when you say something stupid from the audience," he said. Or perhaps in front of a TV audience, Mr. O'Donnell.
MSNBC is ostensibly "reviewing" the video shown on Martin Bashir's program. But considering
the track record of MSNBC, NBC, and its parent company NBC Universal, it is nothing more than business as usual. NBC and NBC Universal are already being sued by George Zimmerman for their selective editing
of his conversation with a 9-1-1 operator in an attempt to make him look like a racist. they also selectively edited
a video of Mitt Romney in an attempt to make him appear technologically inept. And it 2011, NBC was forced to apologize for editing
"under God" out of the Pledge of Allegiance, during a broadcast of golf's U.S. Open.
The coverage of this story was both pathetic and predictable. It is pathetic due to the willingness of so many so-called professionals to follow the herd, without bother to check if the original characterization of "heckling" articulated by the Connecticut Post
was accurate. It is predictable because, as the Journo-list scandal
of 2008 reveals, media progressives are more than willing to coordinate their "reporting" if it accrues to their agenda.
The public should be appalled by such behavior. But in order to be appalled they have to be aware. The sad truth is that most Americans have neither the time or the inclination to ferret out the truth. The truth here is simple: the media perpetrated a hoax, deliberately in some cases, and carelessly in others. But the overall intent is clear: as far as progressives are concerned, there is only one side in the debate surrounding gun control. Those who dare to defend the Second Amendment or resist being exploited by emotional appeals--even as 20 dead children at Newtown have been shamelessly exploited by leftists over and over again--must first be slandered, and then silenced, by the weight of ginned-up public disapproval.
In short, as long as the progressive agenda is served, the lie repeated often enough becomes the truth--even if it takes a bit of coordination or "creative editing" to get there.
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© 2012, Arnold Ahlert