NBC Faces Lawsuit from George Zimmerman
October 4, 2012 - 3:27 pm
Well, this caps a pretty good day in a pretty good way.
We hear Zimmerman’s attorneys are about to file a complaint against NBC and its top executives, naming news president Steve Capus and correspondent Ron Allen, who was the reporter on the scene for the broadcast on “Today” on March 27. He also remained the reporter for the story on “NBC Nightly News.”
A source tells us, “The suit will be filed imminently against NBC and its news executives. The network’s legal department has put everybody in the news department involved with this incident on notice, telling them not to comment.”
At issue, of course: The Tape.
George Zimmerman was not a public figure when NBC editors snipped his 9-11 call, making it sound as if he was racially profiling 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. As we showed here at PJM/PJTV, the odds of NBC’s deceptive edit happening by accident were vanishingly small.
Those of us in media make mistakes all the time in good faith. But NBCs Zimmerman edit was an internal edit that cut out relevant information between two segments of audio, done with no noise or pops that are the usual telltale signs of an accidental cut. The network doubled down on the bad edit by airing it on its Today show.
The edit, Zimmerman is likely to argue, created a narrative pitting an older man (presumed to be white because of his name) against a younger black man because of the latter’s race. NBC did the edit before the world knew that Zimmerman is not white but Hispanic, and with a very mixed racial background that includes black family members.
NBC’s edit destroyed Zimmerman’s life by building up a racial motive in what now looks like a self-defense killing. He now awaits trial because of that edit. It’s too much to hope that he can destroy NBC with this lawsuit, but here’s to hoping anyway.