Heckle-Gate: Dana Milbank Goes Full-Orwell

Heckle-Gate: Dana Milbank Goes Full-Orwell

Just when I’m pretty sure I couldn’t be happier with the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple and his righteous refusal to let the media off the hook for lying about Heckle-Gate, Wemple calls out one of his own, the Post’s Dana Milbank:

The Post’s Dana Milbank rules against the audience. Citing reporting by the Connecticut Post and the “full” video clip, he concluded, “That looks like heckling to me.”

Wemple then restates the obvious for the gajillionth time; that answering a question is not “heckling.”  

Later in the day, Milbank responded:

My colleague Erik Wemple has a curious item in his blog this morning with the headline “Milbank affirms ‘heckling’ at Newtown meeting.” This was quite a surprise, because I offered no such affirmation. …

[N]either Wemple nor I was in the room. Neither of us is in a position to affirm anything. I didn’t, and he is mistaken to state that I did.

So, according to Milbank, him saying on a national cable news outlet, “Looks like heckling to me.” Is not affirmation.

Here’s the full CNN quote:

I was on MSNBC the next day. They played the full clip for me. I said that looks like heckling to me. Now, you can argue about whether it’s heckling or whether he was being shouted at. Whatever it was, it was bad manners and it was inappropriate for this guy who lost his son, shot in the head, a month ago, to be doing that. But in terms of the editing, I think we can agree – it would have been a better picture to have the whole thing.

On CNN, Milbank says “looks like heckling to me,” “bad manners,” and “inappropriate.” But after he’s called on it, Milbank says he said no such thing. You see, that wasn’t affirmation, that was what real journalists say when they’re speaking about something they don’t feel they have a full picture of.

In summation: Milbank spreads a provably false libel on CNN, then says he didn’t do it, then tells Wemple to shut up because no one can’t possibly know what happened — even though there’s raw, uncut video of the entire incident.

This is what becomes of the media when they fear no accountability.


Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC