Maybe step one for NBC would be to stop lying. This is getting silly with them and the doctored videos.
That transcript comes from a look at the session’s full, 17-minute video, which is below. MSNBC excerpted a short bite that starts with Heslin saying, “Why anybody in this room…” and ends with the appeal from officialdom to “clear the room.” Accordingly, it skips over Heslin’s initial challenge to the public seated behind him: “I ask if there’s anybody in this room that can give me one reason or challenge this question…”
Those 18 words of context are crucial to the alleged heckling. They show that Heslin made a pointed attempt to rope in members of the Hartford crowd. His was apparently not an idle or rhetorical question.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell votes in favor of the “heckling” interpretation. He said on last night’s show, “Heckling’s when you say something stupid from the audience. And when a speaker rhetorically or directly asks an audience why you need 30-round magazines and assault weapons, and you yell a response which is basically ‘I think the Second Amendment says I can have them,’ you have not answered the question about why you need them.”
Clever thing that O’Donnell has done here — redefine the term “heckling” to apply narrowly to what happened in that hearing room. In doing so, he bypasses a more common definition, one that doesn’t help his case quite as much.