The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion TV network cops to ‘error’ in blurring Trump T-shirt of New Jersey good Samaritan

No, we shouldn’t have blurred the “Trump 2016” T-shirt of a man who rescued an infant from a car in a New Jersey parking lot.

That’s what cable channel HLN is saying today. “We blurred the logo and shouldn’t have; it was done in error,” reads a just-released statement from the network.

Not just an error, a towering error. Steven Eckel, 53, a retired New Jersey police officer, used a sledgehammer on Monday to break the glass on a sweltering car parked at a shopping center in Howell, after 30-year-old Sara Mazzone spotted the child. The two then pulled the infant girl from the car and attended to her. She “started to look better,” according to the New York Daily News.

Like any good cable-news outlet, HLN wanted to hear from Eckel himself. Host Christi Paul went through the whole event with Eckel, who was dressed in a blue T-shirt beaming “Trump 2016.” “We were like, ‘Oh my God,’ the baby was sweating, her hair was all wet,” said Eckel in the interview.

Follow Erik Wemple's opinionsFollow

So far, so good. Until HLN ran a subsequent piece on this act of heroism, that is. This time, the segment used footage from Paul’s interview with Eckel, with one very important edit. To fully appreciate the difference — reported yesterday by the Daily Caller — here’s a screenshot from the original:

And here’s a screenshot from the subsequent report:

See that? Someone at HLN made the effort to rub out the “Trump 2016” from the T-shirt of an outstanding Samaritan who rescued an infant from a sweltering automobile! The network is telling Steven Eckel, in effect: Hey, good job saving a baby’s life, but we won’t let you wear your Trump T-shirt unfettered on the air. Not allowed. HLN executives should strain their vocal cords in issuing apologies to Eckel.

Loading...