The Conversation

The Newsroom vs Reality on the Zimmerman 911 Edit

The Newsroom is Aaron Sorkin's HBO show about a group of staffers on an MSNBC-like cable show. The concept of the show is that it takes place in the real world but not in real time. Current episodes deal with actual stories which took place 12-18 months ago. In effect, Sorkin gets to reinterpret recent history to his own satisfaction.

In the most recent episode, one of the characters edits a version of the Zimmerman 911 call in a way that makes Zimmerman look racist. This is of course exactly what happened at NBC last year. But in Sorkin's version, someone within the show's newsroom catches the error. According to The Atlantic, they quickly resolve the problem by airing the unedited version of the tape at the end of the show. In other words, the liberal media catches its own glaring error almost immediately and rectifies it promptly.

In the episode promo below you can see Sorkin discussing the real incident in which a producer "quite accidentally" removed the 911 dispatcher's question (scroll in around 50 seconds):

Of course this is not at all how things happened in the real world. The producers/reporters who made the "error" were eventually fired. At least one of them had been heavily involved in highlighting the case including meeting with Al Sharpton for an interview prior to making the edit.

Even if you generously assume that the edit itself was an accident (in which case the editor was incompetent) dozens of NBC editors and producers looked at the story as it made its way from a local Florida affiliate on March 19th to the network's flagship morning show on March 27th. Yet, unlike Sorkin's version, no one at NBC caught the error.

In fact, the error was caught by a conservative blogger leaving a comment on anther blog. He got the attention of Breitbart News and NewsBusters, both of whom ran stories about it. It was only then that NBC's network brass realized they had a serious problem. They eventually fired three people but are still being sued by Zimmerman for suggesting to the entire nation that he was a racist.

What's sad is that the truth is a much better story than the fake version of event. But of course the real version makes liberal TV producers look like idiots. In the real world it was a right-leaning blogger who did better work than one of America's biggest networks. Sorkin's show, like the real MSNBC, would be better off if it hired a few conservative writers.


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