VETERAN NEWSMAN DOCTORED 911 TAPE, NBC ADMITS
A “seasoned” NBC News producer was responsible for deleting a segment of the 911 call between a police dispatcher and George Zimmerman so as to suggest that Zimmerman may have targeted teenager Trayvon Martin because he was black, Reuters reported Thursday night, citing two sources at the network. The wire service said that the network regarded the producer’s action as a very bad mistake but not deliberate. The unedited recording of the conversation reveals that Zimmerman remarked that the teenager was black only when the dispatcher asked him, “Is he black, white, or Hispanic?” An unnamed NBC News producer also told Reuters that the network’s reporters in Florida who have been working on the story were at first “in shock” over the editing of the tape and are now “furious” over the incident. NBC has apologized for the misleading report, which first aired on the Today show, but the apology has not appeased critics of the network, who have demanded a full explanation of how the edited tape was able to get past editors, producers, and other news overseers. Meanwhile, CNN has acknowledged that it probably erred when it reported that during the 911 call, Zimmerman referred to Martin as a “f***ing coon.” A CNN audio expert who used software to enhance the call has determined that Martin actually said “f***ing cold,” referring to the unusual Florida weather that night.
The New York Times reported late today that the producer involved in the citing has been fired.