NBC Calls Their Fabrication an “Error”

 

When we hear news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation. – Voltaire

An “error” evokes thoughts of negligence – something done without purpose. Crashing my car or spilling my milk would be an “error.” What NBC’s “Today” show did by editing the George Zimmerman 911 call was no accident. They did it on purpose. Calling it an “error” is to avoid responsibility for an intentional tort.

NBC has a history of fabricating stories. Recall their 1993 “Dateline” show. In an attempt to prove that GM trucks explode on impact, they aired a video of a GM truck exploding on impact. The reporter stated the crash caused a hole in the gas tank.

What the reporter didn’t tell the audience was that NBC planted incendiary devices in the truck and blew it up on impact, making it look like the truck exploded due to the crash.

Apparently hoping that time heals all wounds and that memories are short, NBC is up to fabricating news again.

The Trayvon Martin shooting has at its center the question (unanswered with certainty at this time) about whether George Zimmerman shot Trayvon due to his race. That being the question, evidence touching on the issue will be very important and its integrity should be held sacrosanct by media.

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.

How liberals can assert bias regarding a certain cable news channel when NBC maintains a corporate policy of fabrication is frustrating, but considering their motivations, not unexpected.

There are 29 comments.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @nutjob9

    They lied and in my opinion are guilty of inciting racial tension. I posted something similar on the members page but not as elequently. As a news organisation they are a disgrace!

    • #1
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    @tabularasa

    The MSM commits “errors.” [Which they own up to only after being caught “erring”]. But Fox lies.

    • #2
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    @MelFoil

    It reminds me of the time someone took my bicycle by error, after they cut the chain around it with a hacksaw.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill

    Because of the First Amendment, journalism is the only “trade” or “profession” that completely free of oversight. It is one of the great costs of a free society.

    Malpractice, sensationalism and partisanship have long been a feature of the trade, not a bug. The Justice System has wrestled with for a long time. As technology made media truly mass in the 20th Century the press has long endangered the concept of a fair trial – fair for both the accused and the victims. 

    Doubts remain to this day on the outcome of the Lindbergh kidnapping trial, the OJ Simpson case and whether the press helped or hindered the search for the killer of JonBenet Ramsey.

    The “gold standard” of media malpractice remains the Sam Shepard Case. Louis B. Seltzer, the editor of The Cleveland Press, turned the case into a three-ring circus, resulting in two full-blown trials, a civil suit and a Supreme Court case.

    The only thing that can keep the press honest is us.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Member
    @tabularasa

    Over at Big Journalism, Ben Shapiro makes a strong case that Brian Williams, the big kahuna at NBC News, should be held responsible:

    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.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill
    tabula rasa: Over at Big Journalism, Ben Shapiro makes a strong case that Brian Williams, the big kahuna at NBC News, should be held responsible…

    That’s a stretch. Beyond his own telecasts his impact is minimal. The people who set the tone are not the ones you see on the air. Except for the most vilified on the following list, you wouldn’t recognize any these people if you bumped into them on the street:

    • Steve Capus, President of NBC News and Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC
    • Ben Sherwood, President of ABC News (brother of Obama adviser Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood)
    • Jeff Fager, Chairman and David Rhodes, President, CBS News
    • Ken Jautz, Exec. VP CNN/US and Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide.
    • Roger Ailes, President of Fox News
    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @Roberto

    This story becomes more and more surreal, at the Huffington Post they have apparently decided to double down on this insanity:

    This week is Holy Week. So what do Trayvon Martin, Dr. King and Jesus have in common? No, this question isn’t the beginning of a bad joke — the answer is hopefully apparent. They were all killed in the midst of a political climate that justified fear and legalized hate.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Member
    @
    Were I a lawyer, this is something I would want to explore. There is no question, in my mind at least, that newspapers can pretty much get away with anything they want. But over the air media have a small obstacle: The government owns the airwaves, the bandwidth, that they need to broadcast their bile.Would it not be possible to build a case that the government controls the airwaves on behalf of the citizens; that it sells licenses to enable the media to inform the citizens of factual stories and opinion; and that malpractice wrt factual stories is, therefore, a tort against the citizenry. If this case could be made, then an incident such as this with NBC could be prosecuted as a class action and could be penalized with a monstrous fine. That, of course, would not limit direct damages to the actual victims that might arise from the story, such as Zimmerman, in this case.Okay, attorney friends. What’s wrong with that scenario?
    • #8
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    @DocJay

    My ears were sprained by hearing it. I want some legal money too.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill
    Tom Lindholtz: The government owns the airwaves, the bandwidth, that they need to broadcast their bile… What’s wrong with that scenario?

    Other than the fact that it’s the exact same argument the left makes every time they get upset with something said by Rush Limbaugh?

    The truth is that the three major networks with news divisions could move to cable transmission tomorrow and few people would notice. Bob Wright used that threat many times in affiliate disputes and they always backed down, no matter what the issue, because they knew he was right.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Can we really be upset over this? Surprised? Asking any leftist organization to take responsibility for its own action is like asking the sun not to shine. In the end, the only people that are hurt are the people who believe NBC is an unbiased source of information. I think the continued existence of MSNBC puts that one to bed. 

    • #11
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    @MafutaKizola

    Is it too expensive to sue them for outright lie ?

    • #12
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    @

    I was reading one of Barbara Tuchman’s (“Guns of August”) essays just today. She began as a journalist covering FDR’s campaign swing through West Virginia. She said 80% of the reporters on the train were New Dealers working for newspapers owned by Republicans. These have almost entirely disappeared today, and 90% of the nation’s newsrooms identifies with the left. Everybody is biased; Tuchman had no problem with that. But she did think journalists and scholars should declare their bias so that readers, and now viewers, can make the necessary allowance for the butcher’s thumb on the scale.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Inactive
    @LarryKoler
    Jerry Carroll: I was reading one of Barbara Tuchman’s (“Guns of August”) essays just today. She began as a journalist covering FDR’s campaign swing through West Virginia. She said 80% of the reporters on the train were New Dealers working for newspapers owned by Republicans. These have almost entirely disappeared today, and 90% of the nation’s newsrooms identifies with the left. Everybody is biased; Tuchman had no problem with that. But she did think journalists and scholars should declare their bias so that readers, and now viewers, can make the necessary allowance for the butcher’s thumb on the scale. · 2 hours ago

    Hugh Hewitt points out that people in the financial side of the business must declare their interests before they can give advice or report on any company. A reporter might even have to recuse himself in some situations. This same standard should be used for political reporters.

    This needn’t be a legal requirement so much as an ethical standard that needs to be articulated and followed by respectable reporters. We have a right to know — as much as with financial reporters, etc. We should insist on this.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MothershipGreg

    Say, remember that guy getting fired over his “Chink in the Armor” headline? This seems a lot worse than that. What are the odds of anyone being fired over this one? Probably about as high as the odds of anyone being fired over Fast and Furious.

    • #15
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    @LarryKoler

    I think what’s going on here is that MSNBC is laying the groundwork for the “Republicans and all bad guys are racist” theme of this next election. MSNBC is just getting started early — after all, they can hardly wait. The hard left has been waiting for this day for a long time — the chance to have a truly teflon president — and it’s important to put markers down early.

    This is really a “dog whistle” (I love that term) to the Republican operatives that the left is ready to start the battle. I wonder how many things will be rethought and set aside by the Republicans because of internal polls and in projecting how the left will handle any one thing or another.

    I keep mentioning McCain when I worry about Romney but it’s important this time. McCain and his group just didn’t want the election to hang on Obama’s race and since Obama pretended that Jeremiah Wright’s anti-Americanism was just a little communication problem between the races, well let’s face it — McCain is a sucker.

    Is Romney a sucker? I really want to see how he handles this election on these issues.

    • #16
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    @JohnMarzan

    what show are you watching? did not see it. who was his guest.

    DocJay: Bill O’Reilly seems just fine crucifying Zimmerman or at least the one time I watched him last week he did. 
    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Inactive
    @JohnMarzan

    And the mainstream media crucified breitbart for “heavily editing” the Sherrod video… where’s the outrage over NBC?

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Member
    @DavidFoster

    Important to note that NBC isn’t an autonomous entity…it is owned by Comcast (51%) and GE (49%). These two corporations have seriously failed in their duty to supervise this business responsibly, and customers/shareholders of both companies should make their opinions known.

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @JamesGawron

    Tommy,

    If there was anyone with any guts left in the MSM they would stay on this until somebody at NBC got fired. We are in a brave new world where lying for the left is just fine.

    Do you think even Fox would stay on this?

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DocJay

    Bill O’Reilly seems just fine crucifying Zimmerman or at least the one time I watched him last week he did. It would appear that if you’re not on Martin’s side then you’re a racist. Facts seem irrelevant when the story line is set without them already. Bill is scared to look like a racist as are more than a few at Fox.

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Member
    @tabularasa
    EJHill
    tabula rasa: Over at Big Journalism, Ben Shapiro makes a strong case that Brian Williams, the big kahuna at NBC News, should be held responsible…

    That’s a stretch. Beyond his own telecasts his impact is minimal. The people who set the tone are not the ones you see on the air. Except for the most vilified on the following list, you wouldn’t recognize any these people if you bumped into them on the street: · 1 hour ago

    • Steve Capus, President of NBC News and Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC
    • Ben Sherwood, President of ABC News (brother of Obama adviser Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood)
    • Jeff Fager, Chairman and David Rhodes, President, CBS News
    • Ken Jautz, Exec. VP CNN/US and Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide.
    • Roger Ailes, President of Fox News

    I can buy that. Has Capus said anything?

    • #22
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    @LookAway

    My guess is that this situation is in total legal lockdown. The NBC lawyers are writing all of the statements. Don’t be too surprised if we visit George Zimmerman in 12 months and he is not sucking down a rum and cola at his new place at St. Barts paid for with his “private settlement” from NBC.

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Member
    @CaptSpaulding

    Look Away’s comment strikes me as on the mark. NBC is afraid it will not end here, and people on places like Ricochet will make sure it does not. What NBC perpetrated is gross and negligent manipulation, and it will have to be pushed into conceding as much.

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill

    Remember Richard Jewell? That cost NBC $500,000. CNN made a confidential settlement with his estate. Other suits were dismissed following his early death at age 44.

    • #25

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