ICYMI: HBO Sports seems to have misrepresented what arms designer said in segment about the AR-15 rifle

Another day, another possible instance of selective editing—this time by HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel over a segment on the AR-15 rifle. It aired on May 24, where Real Sports’ David Scott interviewed the rifle’s designer, Jim Sullivan, who appeared to say that the civilian AR-15 and the military-issue M16 were equivalent in their lethality. Apparently, that’s not the point he was conveying at the time, and wrote about his grievances over the interview conducted by HBO in The Federalist:

The anti-gun HBO sports interview misrepresented much of what I had said. They were apparently trying to make the AR-15 civilian model seem too dangerous for civilian sales. They didn’t lie about what I said, they just omitted key parts, which changed the meaning.

The examples I most object to are: 1) When I appear to say that the civilian-model AR-15 is just as effective or deadly as the military M16, they omitted that I had said “When firing semi-auto only” and that “the select fire M16 on full auto is of course more effective”; and 2) the interviewer pretended not to understand the relevance that, due to the Hague Convention, military bullets cannot be expanding hollow points like hunting bullets that give up all of their energy in the target body instead of passing through with minimum wound effect, with most of the energy still in the bullet and wasted.

Over at Newsbusters, Geoff Dickens clipped and transcribed the relevant portion of the interview:


DAVID SCOTT: Keane says the difference is clear, that military assault rifles are fully automatic, able to fire at speeds like this with a single pull of the trigger. While the AR-15 is semi-automatic, thus only able to fire at speeds like this. But the designer of the gun says the AR-15 is every bit as deadly as its military counterpart.

SCOTT TO JIM SULLIVAN The lethality of the AR-15.


SCOTT: Is that reduced in the civilian semi-automatic mode?


SCOTT: It’s not?

SULLIVAN: It’s the same.

SCOTT: The same?

SULLIVAN: In fact the gun is functioning exactly the way the military model is in semi-automatic.

SCOTT: And even the U.S. Army’s field manual advises soldiers to fire in semi-automatic mode during combat, because of its greater accuracy.

This comes after the Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski caught Couric and her entourage engaging in selective editing of an interview with gun owners. Couric asked them about background checks, which was followed by an eight-second pause. It was made to portray gun owners as morons, while the filmmakers content it was to allow viewers to ponder the question. No one bought it. Couric has since owned her mistake and provided the transcript of the audio that was omitted since those present during the interview actually responded to her question immediately. Who else as edited interviews to make gun owners, ownership, or the Second Amendment look bad? We’ll probably find out soon enough.

Editor’s Note: This  post first appeared on Townhall.com.