Ed Driscoll

Two CNNs In One

Back in April of 2012, as Tim Graham noted at Newsbusters, CNN walked back one misleading element of their initial reporting on George Zimmerman:

NBC isn’t the only network slinking away from overcooking the case against George Zimmerman’s alleged racism. On the March 21 edition of Anderson Cooper 360, a CNN audio expert enhanced Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call and suggested he had used a racial slur, “f–ing coon,” as he was following Trayvon Martin. Reporter Gary Tuchman asserted: “It certainly sounds like that word to me.”

Two weeks later on the same show on April 4, CNN re-assessed the tape with another CNN expert, and now felt it suggests George Zimmerman was just chilly, muttering the words “f–ing cold” under his breath. Tuchman explained: “The reason some say that would be relevant is because it was unseasonably cold in Florida that night and raining.” Oopsy. [Video and transcripts below]

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Once again, Cooper turned to Toobin, who said he, too, had changed his mind: “This is also a good example of why it’s important to take your time. I remember when Gary Tuchman did his first report on it and I sat here with Anderson and I thought I heard C-O-O-N. But this certainly sounds like cold. The FBI has the best enhancement facilities in the world. Again, everybody wants this case to be wrapped up tomorrow. This just shows why it’s important to say, let’s get all the best evidence we can.”

That’s what many Americans felt on March 21, that it’s important not to rush to judgment. It’s too bad CNN displayed such eagerness. At least now, they’re considering they were wrong.

On another CNN show that also aired in early April of last year, “CNN: Expert Reports George Zimmerman Said ‘Punks’, Not Racial Slur,” as left-leaning Mediaite reported at the time. For what it’s worth, Ace also heard “punks” in a post he wrote on the 9/11 call in late March of last year.

In any case, evidently Nancy Grace, an anchor on CNN’s sister network Headline News didn’t get either memo:

CNN’s retraction came  after the audiotape of the 911 call was enhanced and it was clear that what Zimmerman had said was “f**king cold,” not any kind of racial slur. In fact, there is nothing in this case or in Zimmerman’s past that points to any kind of racism whatsoever.

And yet, a full fifteen months after CNN’s audiotape enhancement debunked Zimmerman’s use of the word “coon,” Nancy Grace, the star and face of CNN’s sister network Headline News, is still falsely telling viewers that Zimmerman described Trayvon as a “f**king coon.” Moreover, HLN didn’t even bleep out the phrase.

Here is Grace inflaming racial tensions with falsehoods Saturday night:

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That’s from John Nolte at Big Journalism, who adds that “Apparently, the left-wing media site Mediaite is also unaware of the fact that Zimmerman did not say ‘f**king coon.'”

Even though Mediaite also reported that Zimmerman didn’t say “f**king coon” over a year ago. Too bad who ever wrote yesterday’s post didn’t bother to check his own Website’s archives first.