Ed Driscoll

The Zimmerman Tapes: NBC Regrets the 'Error'

Nahh, not really, as Tommy De Seno writes at Ricochet:

When NBC’s “Today” show aired George Zimmerman’s 911 call to police, here is what the audience heard:

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

Wow.  “Looks up to no good” followed by “He looks black” sounds like Zimmerman made a conclusion of “no good” based upon an observation of being “black.”  That would lend credence to the racism angle.

The problem is the conversation was edited by NBC to look that way.  Here is the unedited version:

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.

So the assertion “He looks black” was in direct response to a question about what color Trayvon appears to be.  Zimmerman was right – he looks black.   Zimmerman was not making any connection between skin color and being good or bad.

Here is NBC’s faux apology:

During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret. We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers.

An “error.”  Errors are simple and they happen fast.  Queuing up the wrong photo or misspelling a name on the teleprompter is an “error.”  On the contrary, opening editing software, downloading the 911 call, hitting he “edit” tab, using the cut tool to take out portions of the 911 call, sliding the two unconnected sentences together so there is no time gap and hitting “save as” is no error.  It’s a very intentional act that took time and effort.


I concur with Brent Bozell, who writes, “We reject this fraudulent apology:”

We reject this fraudulent apology. We’re not surprised. After all, NBC “investigated” itself. We again call on Comcast, not NBC, to investigate this matter — thoroughly, honestly, and professionally.

It is unclear to me if NBC is laughing, or spitting in the face of the public with that “apology.” The “investigation” apparently was as thorough and honest as the explanation: two whole sentences of nothing.

NBC just calls it an “error” which was “made in the production process,” as if someone hit the wrong key on a machine. Or maybe it’s the machine itself that is responsible.

Comcast needs to come clean with the public: Who was responsible for doing this? Who knew about this? Why was this done? What disciplinary measures will be taken? How can the public ever trust this”‘news” network again?

That final question is the most important. With this farce of an “apology” NBC has lost its credibility — completely.

As with RatherGate during an earlier election year, which ultimately resulted in Dan Rather retiring to HD-Net (channel 306 on your DirecTV dial), at Big Journalism, Ben Shapiro writes, “So the question becomes: whose head should roll?”


The answer is obvious: Brian Williams.

Williams has been, since 2004, the managing editor of NBC News. And this was no mistake. It was a purposeful attempt to drive the narrative against Zimmerman. It is Williams’ job to see that the facts are reported rather than skewed. And the buck stops with him.

This is no isolated incident for Williams. He’s an ardent leftist who began his career by interning for Jimmy Carter. When Williams moderated a Republican debate in September 2011, he asked Rick Perry how he could sleep at night while implementing the death penalty as governor of Texas. After September 11, he implied that America’s “military swagger” provided the impetus for the attacks. He compared the bombing of Iraq to the U.S. military bombing of Japan in its indiscriminateness.

Williams once explained, “[NBC News has an] inordinate number of editors. Every word I write, before it goes on air, goes through all kinds of traps and filters, and it’s read by all kind of different people who point out bias.” He’s at the top of that food chain. And it’s his news department that helped ratchet up the Trayvon Martin story to the point of violence.

Naturally, the Washington Post is eager to play along and diminish the severity of this incident. Or as Ace writes, “NBC Calls Its Deliberate, Frame-Up Editing of George Zimmerman an ‘Error;’ Washington Post Then Calls It A ‘Screw-Up.'” Whoops! Move along, nothing to see here. Ace adds, “Oh: And NBC won’t name the ‘error’ prone editor, nor will it say if any punishment has attached to this error. And they do not apologize to George Zimmerman for defaming him.”


Meanwhile, a similar edit appears in the newspaper that previously made the word “Dowdify” a Blogosphere meme: “NYT Zimmerman Edit Even Worse in Print Edition.”

Hey, it’s not like news about a racial incident has ever been fabricated before. Oh wait:

OK, it’s not like NBC has ever fabricated news before.

Oh, wait.

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