Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart surprisingly took on NBC News Monday for the network’s dishonest editing of George Zimmerman’s 911 call regarding Trayvon Martin.
Less shocking, the Daily Show host also took some punches at conservatives for how they handled this story including Media Research Center president Brent Bozell (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Following up on P.J. Gladnick's NewsBusters story about reports of non-existent neo-Nazi "patrols" in Sanford, Fla. in response to potential racial violence there, ABC News.com's Candace Smith apparently hasn't gotten the memo that there are no such patrols going on. As Gladnick reported two days ago, Professor William Jacobson of the Legal Insurrection blog did the legwork that reporters like Smith are supposed to do. Get this -- he e-mailed the Sanford Police Department and simply asked them if there were indeed neo-Nazis patrolling the streets of Sanford. "No confirmed reports" was the reply. Jacobson then -- get this -- followed up by asking the police if they just weren't yet aware of any patrols: There was "no indication" of any such patrols, the Sanford police responded.
When NBC's "Today" show played the audio of George Zimmerman's call to a Sanford, Fla., police dispatcher about Trayvon Martin, the editors made him appear to be a racist who says: "This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black." What Zimmerman actually said was: "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." The 911 officer responded by asking, "OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?" Zimmerman replied, "He looks black." NBC says it's investigating the doctoring of the audio, but there's nothing to investigate; its objective was to inflame passions.
In his Associated Press article titled "Old photos may be deceptive in Fla. shooting case," Matt Sedensky pointed out that the photos carried by the major media were several years old and showed Zimmerman looking fat and mean and Martin looking like a sweet young kid.
NewsBusters publisher and Media Research Center (MRC) founder Brent Bozell announced earlier this morning that the MRC is calling upon Congress to investigate Comcast / NBC News for the intentional editing of the George Zimmerman audio that was broadcast multiple times and subsequently flamed the fires of racial hatred and animosity
“NBC is laughing at the public. Last week we said we would have more to say if their behavior in this matter didn’t change. Given their continued irresponsibility, today we open up a new front," Bozell noted in a press release available here.
For the second time in roughly two weeks a CNN employee has said "f--king n--ger" on the air.
The most recent vulgarity came from CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti Sunday during a report on the shooting spree in Tulsa, Oklahoma (video follows with transcript and commentary, serious vulgarity warning):
Following a series of anonymous leaks, NBC has released its first on-the-record statements regarding the internal investigation into its misleading audio clip of George Zimmerman's 9-1-1 call.
According to NBC, the controversial clip, which appeared during its "Today" morning news show, was edited deliberately by the producer to fit within time constraints and not for some other reason. Speaking to Reuters, NBC News president Steve Capus asserted that the individual, who has been fired but whose name has not been disclosed, had made "a mistake and not a deliberate act to misrepresent the phone call."
Breitbart.com has noted that it took about 17 hours before the dam broke, but now the Associated Press and United Press International both have stories on NBC's decision to fire a Miami-based producer over the editing of George Zimmerman's 911 call.
The AP story, which has a time stamp of 12:03 p.m. at the Wall Street Journal, plays it pretty straight (posted in full because of it relative brevity; the item's author, as shown here, is Television Writer Frazier Moore):
You'd think on the very day an NBC News producer was fired for editing George Zimmerman's 911 call to make it appear he was racist media members would be extra careful to be as factually accurate as possible when reporting on the Trayvon Martin shooting.
CNN's Ashleigh Banfield clearly didn't get this memo for while substitute-hosting on Anderson Cooper 360 Friday night, she twice falsely claimed that an eyewitness she had just interviewed said the person she believed was the attacker - meaning the one on top during the fight near her house - was Hispanic (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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:
According to the Reuters news service, NBC continues to insist that the producer who edited the audio of the Zimmerman did not do so intentionally. Citing what it said were sources within the network, the wire service stated that NBC believed the misleading edit to be "a very bad mistake, but not deliberate."
As the Academy Award-nominated actor's Twitter feed shows, he has no use for liberal media outlets distorting the news through selective editing. Cheadle isn't buying NBC's lame excuses and half apologies for its edits of the Zimmerman 911 call, as the folks at Twitchy have noted, documenting Cheadle's tweets on the matter.
As NewsBusters has been reporting since the Trayvon Martin shooting occurred in Sanford, Florida, America's press have predictably declared George Zimmerman guilty before an arrest has even been made with some actually calling for his head on a platter.
On Wednesday, Zimmerman's attorney Craig Sonner appeared on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight saying, "It's been open season on just destroying this man's credibility...The media has just absolutely destroyed him unfairly" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Editor's Note:Last week, NBC’s Today show doctored George Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call so that his motive for shooting Trayvon Martin appeared racial. Over the weekend, NBC reported to The Washington Post that an investigation would be forthcoming after the Media Research Center (MRC) exposed their fraud. It appears NBC’s investigation has been completed.
Last night, NBC issued a two sentence explanation on it. NewsBusters publisher and MRC president Brent Bozell argues that the network's "apology" is as dishonest as the original piece and that Comcast, which owns NBC and MSNBC, needs to clean house at the network:
We reject this fraudulent apology. We're not surprised. After all, NBC "investigated" itself. We again call on Comcast, not NBC, to investigate this matter -- thoroughly, honestly, and professionally.
On Saturday, blogger Erik Wemple at The Washington Post reported NBC would investigate its shoddy editing of a George Zimmerman 9-1-1 call "As exposed by Fox News and media watchdog site NewsBusters." On Tuesday night, NBC apologized with a brief statement.
"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," the network said.
Right now, there isn't enough known about the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a black, by George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old part-Hispanic, during his neighborhood watch tour in an Orlando, Fla., suburb. If evidence emerges that Zimmerman's actions were not justified, he should be prosecuted and punished; however, there's a larger issue that few people understand or have the courage to acknowledge, namely that black and young has become synonymous with crime and, hence, suspicion. To make that connection does not make one a racist. Let's look at it.
Twelve years ago, a black Washington, D.C., commissioner warned cabbies, most of whom were black, against picking up dangerous-looking passengers. She described "dangerous-looking" as a "young black guy ... with shirttail hanging down longer than his coat, baggy pants, unlaced tennis shoes." She also warned cabbies to stay away from low-income black neighborhoods. Did that make the D.C. commissioner a racist?
Spike Lee erroneously tweeting the address of an unrelated elderly couple, rather than George Zimmerman, was a "mean, boneheaded, thoughtless and harmful thing to do." But alas, he's shown, and tweeted contrition, Washington Post's Erik Wemple blogged approvingly yesterday. Heck, Lee even "repeated the apology in a phone call, a conversation that left the couple feeling better about the ordeal," Wemple gushed in his 8-paragraph March 30 blog post, "Spike Lee apologizes, atones for screwup."
Yet in the midst of effusively praising Lee for his apology and financial settlement with the McClains, he failed to consider what, if any, apology Lee was willing to extend to Zimmerman and his family for wishing to set him in harm's way. Isn't Lee's apology simply self-serving as it was extended to a party he never intended to harm in the first place?
Al Sharpton and Lawrence O’Donnell are not the only ones on MSNBC cynically exploiting the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. On his Morning Joe program today, Joe Scarborough said that conservatives are “somehow suggesting that he deserved getting shot in the chestwith a 9 millimeter." [Video after the jump. Audio here.]
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."
Reacting angrily to selective editing by NBC that suggested racial animus by George Zimmerman, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell complained to Fox News's Sean Hannity last night that NBC News was engaged in an "all-out falsehood." The story in question was a March 27 Ron Allen report on NBC's 'Today' in which 911 audio was edited to make it sound like George Zimmerman said "he looks black" immediately after saying "this guy looks like he's up to no good."
In the actual 911 audio, Zimmerman only described Martin's race after the dispatcher asked, "And this guy: is he white, black, or Hispanic?" "To edit that out is so distorting," Hannity complained. "Sean, it's not distorting, it's advancing a falsehood, it's worse," Bozell corrected the Fox News anchor. [see video below page break]
Get that totally unnecessary chyron out of there, ABC News!
Why is your "ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE" chyron covering up the back of George Zimmerman's head in the police surveillance video of him arriving at the police station soon after Trayvon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida? There is a big controversy out there as to whether Zimmerman actually did suffer certain injuries including a bruise to the back of his head during the fight with Martin. You would think ABC News would allow an unobstructed view of the back of Zimmerman's head. Instead the head was covered for much of the time by a completely redundant chyron since there was already an unobtrusive ABC News label in the lower right of the screen.
A suspicious mind might even think that ABC News was trying to cover something up with that annoying chyron. And one such person is Bob Owens, a Pajamas Media contributor, who makes just such an accusation in his personal blog:
In the aftermath of the Gabby Giffords shooting, the liberal media were quick to harangue conservative Republicans for a campaign website that had depicted tiny images of crosshairs on different points of the continental U.S.. They represented targeted districts in the 2010 midterm race, including Rep. Giffords' seat.
But now in light of the ongoing coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting, there's a different infamous set of crosshairs, this one over a picture of George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Florida man who claims to have killed Trayvon Martin in self-defense last month. That image is the avatar for a Twitter profile established on March 24 with the handle @KillZimmerman. Despite conservative bloggers and Twitter users' complaints, as of press time the Twitter handle is still live. What's more, the liberal media have thus far been strangely silent on the matter.
Even after the Duke lacrosse case, Texaco executives allegedly using the N-word in private meetings -- which turned out to be "St. Nicholas" -- the Tawana Brawley case, not to mention virtual hailstorms of racist graffiti and nooses materializing on college campuses, all of which invariably end up having been put there by the alleged victims, the Non-Fox Media (NFM) didn't even pause before conjuring a racist plot in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida last month.
Like Captain Ahab searching for the Great White Whale, the NFM is constantly on the hunt for proof of America as "Mississippi Burning."
Jeff Burnside of Miami NBC affiliate WTVJ has a brief story accessible on MSNBC.com in which a fellow neighborhood watch volunteer defended George Zimmerman, who claims to have shot teenager Trayvon Martin in self-defense late last month. While the MSNBC network has been keenly following the Martin shooting -- Politics Nation anchor Al Sharpton is even planning to host a protest rally tomorrow at a Baptist church in Sanford, Florida -- it appears the network has not yet aired Burnside's minute-and-a-half long story this morning. [see video after page break]
Burnside's report focused on the perspective of one Frank Taaffe, a neighbor and friend of George Zimmerman's. Taaffe noted that there had been eight burglaries in 15 months, most committed by young African-American males.