The PJ Tatler

Third NBC Employee Fired For False Zimmerman Edit

TV Newser reports that a third NBC employee has been fired for dishonestly editing George Zimmerman’s 911 call. The fired employee’s name is Lilia Luciano. The edit that she created is, if anything, even more deceptive than the NBC edit that stirred racial angles in the story of Trayvon Martin’s fatal shooting, and which has resulted in the firing of two other NBC employees.

In a story for the “Today” show on March 20, Luciano used part of the George Zimmerman 911 call in which an entire phrase (italicized below) was taken from a later part of the conversation:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good or on drugs or something. He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male.
Dispatcher: Are you following him?
Zimmerman: Yeah.
Dispatcher: Okay, we don’t need you to do that.

But here is how Zimmerman’s conversation with the 911 dispatcher actually went:

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 white, black, or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.

Luciano’s firing makes three employees fired for dishonest edits in this story at NBC; Lilia Luciano, who joined NBC from Univision 18 months ago; Jeff Burnside, the reporter and environmental activist at NBC’s Miami owned-and-operated affiliate; and another producer at NBC whom the network has not named. Their edits consistently played up race as the driving motive in George Zimmerman’s actions.

Like the previously known bad edit, Luciano’s edit makes Zimmerman’s read on Martin’s race a more prominent part of his his 911 call than it actually was. The possibility that any of these edits were accidental has already vanished. Luciano’s edit makes it quite clear that NBC’s producers from Miami to New York were building and propagating a racial narrative in the Martin shooting.

NBC’s initial story was that the misleading edits that aired on the Today show were “mistakes.” That was never plausible, but it is impossible that three producers working independently on the same story all drove the same narrative via the same or similar deceptive edits by mistake. Their edits are evidence of an agenda to use source material, in this case source material that will probably be evidence in a criminal trial, to create narratives out of the news. NBC has a major editorial problem on its hands, but is either in denial about it, or hopes that firing a producer here and there will make it appear that the network is rooting that problem out.

h/t The Blaze