NBC News is said to have launched an internal investigation into why it posted an edited version of George Zimmerman's call to a 911 dispatcher made prior to a shooting incident resulting in the death of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin. The altered version made it appear as though Martin's race was an important factor that night for Zimmerman, when, in fact, he was only answering a question posed by a 911 dispatcher.
NBC told the Washington Post's Erik Wemple Saturday that it would investigate an incident in which the "Today" show used an abridged recording of George Zimmerman's 911 call before he killed Trayvon Martin. The version used by NBC emphasized race as a factor in the incident.
Big Journalism first reported on the online version of the MSNBC controversy 3 days ago and followed up with another report yesterday, March 30th on NBC's aired segment. As the Hollywood Reporter states, Fox News, led by host Sean Hannity, along with Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center, have also been challenging NBC on what appears to be an outrageous use of an editing technique to make the 911 call seem damning of Zimmerman, as well as divisive and inflammatory along racial lines.
After playing both versions, Hannity said: “They forgot the dispatcher’s question! How could NBC, in good conscience, do that?”
“This isn’t bias, this isn’t distortion, this is an all-out falsehood by NBC News,” answers Bozell, who runs a conservative watchdog group called the Media Research Center.
“When you hear him say, ‘he looks black,’ anyone watching that believes that there are racial overtones to what this man did,” Bozell says. “How could you not believe that? It goes with the narrative of the profiling. The only problem is, they edited out the dispatcher asking him, ‘what does he look like?’”
“This is NBC News, Brent, and this is what they did at a time when emotions are running very high in this country,” Hannity said during his Thursday night TV show.
“Tom Brokaw, Matt Lauer, I wonder if they’re proud tonight?” Hannity asked.
NBC News declined to comment.
As the 911 call editing controversy continues to grow, MSNBC contributor Touré was recently called out on air by CNN's Piers Morgan for his seemingly racially biased handling of the Florida story. When MSNBC branded itself as the "Leans Forward" network, few likely suspected it meant to stir up racial divide in America. Now, NBC looks to be taking a page out of MSNBC's playbook, as well.
MSNBC contributor Toure suffered an epic meltdown on CNN last night. Piers Morgan challenged Touré to come on his show to debate the Trayvon killing after their Twitter war earlier in the week. Morgan blasted Toure for his race-baiting and lecturing.
With the NAACP and MSNBC's Al Sharpton divided over the incident, Barack Obama weighing in early, only to say nothing in recent days, and now rival Cable News networks questioning MSNBC's and even NBC's judgment, it's hard to see the post-racial healing in America Barack Obama promised while running for office in 2008.
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