NBC Apologizes For Editing Zimmerman Tape

NBC has apologized after being criticized for an editing of the tape of George Zimmerman’s 911 call — an editing that made his comments sound more incriminating and racist. The editing was substantial and the network has said that it is investigating the matter, which constitutes a serious journalist ethical question.

The “Today” Show segment played this version of the call:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.

However, here is the actual conversation:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.

That is a considerable difference in how race was referenced in the call. One makes it sound like Zimmerman raised race when it was the dispatcher who raised race as an identification element in the call.

This does not mean that race was not a motivation or critical element in the shooting. However, as we have previously discussed, there is a growing concern over the objective reporting of the case. The NBC editing has served to reaffirm that concern for some. However, we do not know how or why the tape was edited. NBC should commit to the fullest possible disclosure on the progress of its investigation. With tensions so high, it is important for the media to present an objective and accurate account of such underlying evidence in the case.

Source: Washington Post

49 thoughts on “NBC Apologizes For Editing Zimmerman Tape”

  1. Ah… here we are on September 4, 2012. What can I say except this is the most bizarre case I have ever had the DISPLEASURE to observe. (And during the OJ murder trial I had then-CourtTV cable fed to my office, where I could watch every moment of that circus and witness the spectacle.)

    Anyway, I thought this NBC filth was the worst it could get. Then Angela Corey-Nifong called Harvard Law School and spent 40 minutes on the phone threatening the School with a defamation lawsuit, and to attempt having Alan Dershowitz disbarred. All of this because she did not like Alan talking smack about her and the State’s bogus 2nd degree murder charging document.

    Not to disappoint a gawking audience and stunned legal community, Judge Lester decides to reenact the legend of Judge Roy Bean, not in a school drama as a favor to his kids, but from the bench on the Zimmerman case.

    Oy vey! Well, at least I was right on one thing, that the FL appeals court would try to salvage the remaining pieces of Florida’s trashed reputation by kicking Judge Lester off the case.

    *end update*

  2. NBC Fires Producer of Misleading Zimmerman Tape

    NBC News has fired a producer who was involved in the production of a misleading segment about the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

    The person was fired on Thursday, according to two people with direct knowledge of the disciplinary action who declined to be identified discussing internal company matters. They also declined to name the fired producer. A spokeswoman for NBC News declined to comment.


  3. We have a certain expectation that major networks, at least, would get the story right. What can we believe now that we know they doctor the news to get a certain response from their viewing audience? Edward R. Murrow has just rolled over in his grave.

  4. This does not mean that race was not a motivation or critical element in the shooting.

    No it doesn’t. However no evidence has shown that race was any motivation or critical element. Race has only been an element of the reaction to the shooting.

  5. oh yeah screw NBC. race baiting sensationalists, wonder what Edwin Newman or Chet Huntley would think

  6. rippleton: Had his head wound indicated any amount of severe trauma, paramedics would have routinely taken him to the hospital to be monitored for possible concussion. That didn’t happen.

    right, any head wound, no matter how minor is treated as possible trauma, the fact that whatever treatment he received, he received in the back of a squad car should tell anyone with common sense that there was no head wound at all unless it was a scratch or something else minor.

    I’ve had head wounds before

    why, yes that may explain some things why do you ask?

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