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Bryan Preston

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April 20, 2012 - 6:48 am

ABC News has posted a photo taken three minutes after Zimmerman’s deadly confrontation with Trayvon Martin:

The exclusive image shows blood trickling down the back of Zimmerman’s head from two cuts. It also shows a possible contusion forming on the crown of his head. The original police report that night notes that the back of Zimmerman’s head was wet, and that he was bleeding from the nose and head.

Zimmerman told police that night that he shot and killed the teenager in self-defense after Martin punched him and pounced on him. Zimmerman told police that Martin then bashed his head into the concrete sidewalk during the altercation that took place in the tidy middle-class development of the Retreat at Twin Lakes in Sanford, Fla.

Zimmerman was treated at the scene by paramedics, then cuffed and driven in a police cruiser to the Sanford police station. He was questioned for hours and later released. In police surveillance video obtained last month by ABC News, Zimmerman’s wounds are not apparent, and there were no bandages on his head.

Right, that was the lossy version that ABC first posted. The network later published a clearer version that shows Zimmerman’s head wounds.

About that lossy version of the surveillance video. I think ABC isn’t being entirely honest about it. It’s not as much of a lock as the dishonest NBC edit of Zimmerman’s 911 call, but the fact is, the details apparent in the “enhanced” version are almost certainly visible in the master file of that video. The question is, did ABC obtain that master file or a lossy version of it? When either ABC or its source compressed that clip to post on the web, the clip lost some crucial detail. That’s part of the process of compression, but it’s not unavoidable anymore thanks to improvements that have been made in the compression process over the past couple of years. The loss of detail in ABC’s original clip could have been the result of an inexperienced web producer botching the job, or the file that ABC obtained from its Sanford police source may have already been compressed in a lossy way. Or of course ABC could have intentionally compressed it to lose some detail. The network centered its story about that clip on the lack of visible wounds, wounds which we now know were visible. So someone at some point in the process of ABC obtaining and posting that video handled it in a less than honest manner.

Whatever was the case then, there’s no excuse now for ABC to include this sentence in its story about the new Zimmerman photo (linked here, and warning: It’s graphic):

In police surveillance video obtained last month by ABC News, Zimmerman’s wounds are not apparent, and there were no bandages on his head.

Fact-check yourself, ABC. The part about Zimmerman’s wounds not being apparent in that video is no longer operative.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.
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