For the third time in the past year, NBC News has been caught selectively editing video for political gain, with the most recent instance coming on the Monday, January 28 Martin Bashir program. Bashir ran heavily edited video showing Neil Helsin, whose 6-year-old son was killed in the Newtown shooting, appearing to be heckled by audience members during a legislative hearing on gun control. The chorus of criticism from media critics on the right and left forced MSNBC to backtrack, but not apologize.
On the Wednesday, January 30 Bashir program, liberal fill-in host Ari Melber of The Nation magazine offered this ridiculous explanation:
Martin 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.
Had Mr. Bashir really wanted his audience to hear the complete video in full, wouldn’t he have done so in the first place? And why was Bashir himself unavailable to face up to his poor judgment? Melber failed to state why he was filling in for Bashir? Was Bashir on assignment elsewhere? Did he call in sick? Suspended?