Editgate: New York Times Worse than NBC, Yet No Correction or Consequences

Last Friday, April 6, NBC News announced that it had fired the producer responsible for editing George Zimmerman’s 911 call to make it appear that he was a racist and that he likely shot Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 out of racial motives. 

The inflammatory NBC edit, shared by cable subsidiary MSNBC and reprised by the New York Times, affirmed a false narrative that had been encouraged by other outlets, including CNN and ABC News.

The deceptive edit by the Times was particularly egregious, because it came days after NBC's deceptive edit had first been caught on March 28. 

In a lengthy, 5,000-word article than ran in the April 1 edition of the Times, and which was co-authored by several journalists, the paper alleged that Zimmerman had volunteered information about Martin’s race to police. In fact, Martin had been responding to questions from the 911 dispatcher, who was the first to bring up race. The distortion was even worse in some print editions of the Times.

The Times has not yet printed any correction, nor has any editor or reporter been held responsible, apparently, for the deceptive edit. 

The Times ought to correct the record, and own up to its responsibility for exacerbating racial divisions in a painful case where race may have been irrelevant. False reporting by the mainstream media over the course of several weeks enabled charges of racism to be fabricated and exploited for political purposes.


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