Patterico's Pontifications

1/30/2013

List of People Who Claimed Invited Comments Were “Heckling”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:27 am



This is a follow-up to JD’s post from last night, with more detail, and naming names.

So a bereaved father made this statement advocating the ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines:

At the 15 minute mark, the father says:

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 one of these assault-style weapons or military weapons or high-capacity clips.

At this point, he pauses for effect, as if inviting people in the room to comment. When nobody says anything, he says: “And not one person can answer that question.” As if people’s silence proved he was right.

Then a few people say — not yell — things about the Second Amendment, some quoting the part about how the right to bear arms “shall not be infringed.” In this way, he was disallowed from arguing that the silence of people in the room signaled agreement with his position.

Then an official threatened to remove the people whose comments had been solicited, for the offense of responding to the father’s request for comment: “Please no comments while Mr. Heslin is speaking. Or we’ll clear the room. Mr. Heslin please continue.”

This was described as “heckling” by a number of people. You can watch the video above to confirm my description of the account, and reach your own conclusion about whether this constitutes “heckling.” Once you’ve reached your conclusion, you’ll probably want a list of people who described this as “heckling,” so you can factor this episode into your decisionmaking about whether to trust these people in the future.

Luckily, in a post that JD linked last night, Twitchy has compiled tweets from many of these people. I think they should be named. They include Eric Boehlert, Charles Johnson, David Frum, Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed, John Marshall, Piers Morgan, Raw Story, Gawker, Slate, the Daily Beast, and HuffPo, among others.

Each used the word “heckled” to describe people a) giving comments that had been invited, and b) refusing to have their silence falsely portrayed as agreement with an opinion they rejected.

Allahpundit has the details on how Slate, Piers Morgan, and others retracted (Morgan acted the ass in his apology, as you would expect). Larry O’Donnell doubled down, pretending to ignore the fact that the father was calling for the BAN of these weapons, and that the father was falsely portraying silence as agreement.

Message to Eric Boehlert, Charles Johnson, David Frum, Andrew Kaczynski of BuzzFeed, John Marshall, Piers Morgan, Raw Story, Gawker, Slate, the Daily Beast, and HuffPo:

This is a good example of why we don’t trust you.

UPDATE: It’s a neat little Catch 22, isn’t it? If you speak out, even if invited to, you’re a jerk, because they are the parents of victims. If you are silent, you agree with them. Either you are for gun control or you’re an insensitive, terrible person. Now there’s a narrative Big Media can love.


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