Er, yes. That was precisely the problem. So lame that it barely qualifies as spin:
Following the shot of the African American man focusing specifically on the gun, MSNBC host Contessa Brewer said that “you have a man of color in the presidency and white people showing up with guns strapped to their waists or to their legs.”…
[B]y raising the racial issue in this context, bloggers claimed that MSNBC was purposely misleading viewers by not showing that at least one African-American man has also carried a gun to an event.
An MSNBC spokesperson responded to POLITICO: “Contessa was speaking generally and not about that specific person with the automatic weapon.”
Indeed she was, even though the presence at the rally of that specific person — which was withheld from MSNBC viewers — undercut her general thesis that the gun display was motivated by racial paranoia rather than libertarian principle. This is really just an extreme version of the media “forgetting” to mention who’s really responsible for those Obama/Hitler signs at town halls. The sin in that case is one of omission in order to further the “Republican mob” narrative; in this case, they went a step further and actually trimmed the video to support their race-war storyline. And the best defense MSNBC can offer for it is a Larger Truth/fake-but-accurate non-answer. It’s one thing when the media doesn’t report things that should be reported, but when they’re actually doctoring facts to better tailor them to their ideological agenda? I don’t know where we go from here.
Update: Oh my:
On behalf of the nearly half million members of Americans for Limited Government — and tens of millions of other equally appalled Americans of all races nationwide — I hereby demand the immediate termination of Contessa Brewer, Toure, Dylan Ratigan and any and all others involved in any way with the fraudulent “news” that ran in the 10:45AM segment of your August 18 broadcast.
You network has besmirched the dignity and honor of American people. You have endangered the life of the President of the United States. You have purposely fanned racial tensions. And you have deliberately lied to your own audience.
Update (Ed): I agree with ALG on this one. We complain about Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, but they engage in opinion journalism, so we expect to get wild arguments and leg tingles. What they don’t do is deliberately distort source material in a manner this blatantly dishonest in order to artificially inflame racial tensions. Opinion journalism is legitimate; this is nothing but propaganda.
MS-NBC should fire everyone involved in this deception, in front of the camera and behind it. It has a decision to make as to whether it is a news and opinion channel, or a propaganda outlet for the Left. There is a difference, and this segment crossed it.
Update (Ed): My friend Tommy Christopher says that our silence on the allegation that a conservative talk-show host “put him up” to carrying the gun makes us the equal of MS-NBC on this point. I strongly disagree. The man made up his own mind to carry the weapon to the town-hall forum, and his motivation was rather obviously not race. The entire point of the Brewer segment was that the guns were an explicit representation of racism in America as a significant part of the opposition to Obama, an argument which the uncut footage would have rendered ridiculous. This is about MS-NBC lying about their footage to make a point that simply isn’t true; how does the talk-show host have anything to do with that? It’s a red herring.