The PJ Tatler

NBC Tries Its Hand at Internet Airbrushing

Tom Maguire chases down NBC’s attempts to scrub the interwebs of its truncated Zimmerman call. Jim Treacher goes after two of the named print/web reporters who also used the bad edit under NBC mastheads.

The network’s defense may come down to incompetence — one bad edit led to repetitions of that same bad edit from Miami to New York. Which should make one wonder, what do all those layers and layers of fact checkers and editors at NBC do to earn their paychecks? They apparently take “groupthink” to an entirely new level.

NBC employs Al Sharpton, who is among the loudest partisans in this story. The network has leveraged its considerable broadcast and online resources to smear the man that Sharpton has publicly hounded, to the point that Sharpton’s target is the subject of thousands of death threats and a credible “dead or alive” bounty from the New Black Panthers. The Today show’s “hands on” executive producer either knowingly allowed a dishonest edit to air on his show, or he failed to do his job.

There are no suggestions of bias here on the part of NBC. The bias is obvious and it destroys NBC’s credibility, from Miami to New York. To honestly walk this story back now would be tantamount to NBC admitting that its entire network is fatally diseased. The network would have to fire Bell, it would have to publicly terminate its relationship with Al Sharpton, and it would have to clean house from one end to the other to get rid of so many zombie producers who don’t bother to fact check anything. These things, NBC will not do. The network won’t even directly admit that it fired anyone over any of this.

NBC has not yet learned that you can’t hide on the Internet. What you attempt to scrub, Google caches or savvy readers screencap and post. Others will test your claims that “mistakes were made” and destroy them.

Add NBC to the pile of dead dinosaurs. Its brand is dead now.