How to lie through editing

I’ve resisted commenting on the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida because I don’t know what really happened. With all the contradictory statements being made, I’d rather let the justice system sort things out. I certainly don’t trust the media to sort things out, and here’s a good example of why:

Both NBC and MSNBC played this excerpt from a 911 call made by George Zimmerman, the man who shot Martin:

This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.

That sounds pretty damning. Clearly Zimmerman was racially motivated.

Except that’s not what he said. This is what he actually said:

ZIMMERMAN: 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.

911 OPERATOR: Okay. And this guy, is he white black or Hispanic?

ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.

NBC deleted Zimmerman’s expressed reasons for suspecting Martin was “up to no good”, and also deleted the 911 operator’s direct question about Martin’s race, which Zimmerman answered. Their dishonest editing completely changed the exchange from one with no racial bias whatsoever into one with a clear bias. Put more simply, NBC lied.

ASIDE: It’s possible that Zimmerman’s motive was racial nonetheless. I can’t claim to know. But the 911 tape is not evidence of it.

NBC reportedly has launched an internal investigation into the matter. These things usually end in a whitewash, but we’ll see.

(Via Instapundit and the Blaze.)

UPDATE: As predicted:

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.

That is the full statement. NBC lies in order to further inflame racial tensions in an already tense racial controversy, and all we get is “oops, sorry”. No apology at all to the man they slandered. No disciplinary action.

Through his, even more than through the original offense, NBC shows that the truth is just not a priority.

UPDATE: NBC has reportedly fired a producer, but doesn’t seem to have identified who that producer is. (Via Big Journalism.)

Also, Richard Epstein comments on NBC’s non-apology.

UPDATE: Talk Left discovers that the Today piece was the second time that NBC aired the dishonest edit. Also, NBC’s Miami affiliate made the dishonest edit several times on their website (and presumably on the air as well), in articles that are still posted (for example). All of which seems to deny NBC their “one guy made a mistake” defense. (Via Instapundit.)

UPDATE: Tom Maguire isn’t letting go.

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