Today, ABC has made an astounding about-face on a story related to theTrayvon Martin shooting. Less than a week after proclaiming that new videoshowed no signs of injury to Zimmerman the night of the shooting, ABC hasnow released an enhanced version of the same video. The new video clearlyshows a bloody gash on the back of Zimmerman’s head. Here’s the lead of thestory ABC published Wednesday March 28th:
A police surveillance video taken the night that Trayvon Martin was shot dead shows no bloodor bruises on George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who says heshot Martin after he was punched in the nose, knocked down and had his headslammed into the ground.
In the video an officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman’shead, but no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video and he did notcheck into the emergency room following the police questioning.
Obviously, the bombshell ABC is touting here is that the video appears tocontradict claims that Zimmerman was injured and acted in self-defense. Theypresent the video as evidence to the contrary.By that evening, the Daily Caller and others began to question whatwas visible in the video. By Friday March 30, just two days after ABCpublished its scoop, MSNBC ran a story contradicting ABC and showing evidenceof an injury on Zimmerman’s head.
Now, five days after their big scoop, ABChas posted newvideo under the headline “George Zimmerman: Enhanced Video Shows Injury.”As you’ll see, ABC makes no mention of the fact that their previous storywas wrong. And thus far, ABC does not appear to have published a printversion of the story.Keep in mind that the claim Zimmerman was injured was widely known beforeABC posted the video. In other words, they knew what they should be lookingfor in the clip. And yet it seems they were unable to find it for five days,even though other media outlets pointed it out within 48 hours.
At thispoint, ABC needs to explain why it took them until today to correct therecord. Enhancing 4-5 minutes of video is not a five day job.This is one of several missteps by major media in this case. Earlier, NBC deliberately miscut George Zimmerman’s 911 call in a way that insinuated George Zimmerman was profiling Trayvon Martin because he was black.
NBC has now launched an internal investigation to find out how the botched audio wound up on “The Today Show.” Notice that in both instances the initial media error works against Zimmerman. Suspicion of Zimmerman’s story is certainly appropriate, but what ABC and NBC have done goes well beyond that. They have carelessly — or deliberately — put out false and misleading information in a way that pours fuel on the firestorm surrounding this case. That may be good for ratings. But it’s unprofessional, and worse, deeply unethical.