Following in line with their broadcast television colleagues who deliberately edited the audio of a 9-1-1 call of George Zimmerman, the Florida community watch volunteer who shot teenager Trayvon Martin, to falsely impute racist motives to him, MSNBC.com, in an unbylined piece did the exact same thing in text form, stripping out vital information which made Zimmerman appear to be racially motivated against Martin, who is black.
After being criticized, MSNBC.com restored the proper context but never posted a retraction, correction notice, or an apology for doing so. Originally, the story quoted from Zimmerman's call to 9-1-1 and edited the text to say the following: "'This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black,' Zimmerman told a police dispatcher from his car."
But here is what MSNBC/NBC News left out thanks to “a convenient ellipses” (as first noted by Breitbart.com blogger Dan Riehl):
ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he's up to no good, [begin ellipsis] or he's on drugs or something. It's raining, and he's just walking around, looking about.
911 DISPATCHER: Okay, is this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic? [end ellipsis]
ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.
With this in mind, Riehl stated:
Not only did Zimmerman not equate Martin's skin color with his looking suspicious; he didn't even initiate the comment. It was simply a response to the police dispatcher.
Instead, the community watch leader was speculating based upon what he could determine at night in the rain to answer the police dispatcher.
Since then, the news channel has changed that paragraph of the story on its website so it reads as follows:
This guy looks like he’s up to no good,” Zimmerman said in a 911 call. Asked by a dispatcher if he was white, Hispanic or black, he replied, "He looks black." (Italics supplied)
However, no one from MSNBC or NBC News has issued an apology regarding the error.
As noted above, MSNBC.com was not acting alone in editing the context of the telephone conversation, last night on Fox News Channel, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell discussed with host Sean Hannity how NBC News did the exact same thing: