Breaking: NBC Fires Producer Who Created False Zimmerman Audio

NBC News has fired the producer it says was responsible for creating the deceptive audio recording of George Zimmerman communicating with a 9-1-1 operator, according to the New York Times.

The network is still refusing to release the name of the producer, although according to Times reporter Brian Stelter, the producer is based in Miami and has worked there for a number of years. According to Stelter's network sources, NBC is still insisting the deceptive edit was not done deliberatiely. The network has refused to say how exactly someone could accidentally have edited the tape to make Zimmerman appear to be racially motivated:

NBC Fake News cartoonNBC News has fired a producer who was involved in the production of a misleading segment about the Trayvon Martin case in Florida.

The person was fired on Thursday, according to two people with direct knowledge of the disciplinary action who declined to be identified discussing internal company matters. They also declined to name the fired producer. A spokeswoman for NBC News declined to comment.

The action came in the wake of an internal investigation by NBC News into the production of the segment, which strung together audio clips in such a way that made George Zimmerman’s shooting of Mr. Martin sound racially motivated. Ever since the Feb. 26 shooting, there has been a continuing debate about whether race was a factor in the incident.

The segment in question was shown on the “Today” show on March 27. It included audio of Mr. Zimmerman saying, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

But Mr. Zimmerman’s comments had been taken grossly out of context by NBC.  [...]

The editing of the segment was initially noticed by NewsBusters, an arm of the Media Research Center, a conservative media monitoring group. On March 31, NBC told The Washington Post that it would investigate. [...]

The people with direct knowledge of the firing characterized the misleading edit as a mistake, not a purposeful act.

While NBC has taken a good first step toward rectifying the situation, until the network releases the name of the person and explains its theory that the edit was not deliberate, its credibility is still under question.

Full Times story is here.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013