Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
The Media News

NBC Apologizes For Editing Zimmerman 911 Call 1005

Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that NBC has completed its investigation into the Today show's mishandling of the police dispatcher's conversation with George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case with a finding of error, plus an apology. The apology addresses the show's failure to accurately abridge the conversation between Zimmerman and the dispatcher in this high-profile case. This is how the program portrayed a segment of that conversation: Zimmerman: 'This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black' Here what was 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.' Dispatcher: 'OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?' Zimmerman: 'He looks black.' In an appearance on Fox News's Hannity, Brent Bozell, president of the conservative Media Research Center, called this omission on the part of Today an 'all-out falsehood' — not just a distortion or misrepresentation. 'On the good front, [NBC] acknowledges the mistake and apologizes to viewers for the bad editing. It's a forthright correction and spares us any excuses about the faulty portrayal. On the bad front, the statement is skimpy on the details on just how the mistake unfolded,' writes Erik Wemple. 'In light of all that's happened, Zimmerman may be a tough person for a news network to apologize to, but that's just the point: Apologies are hard.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

NBC Apologizes For Editing Zimmerman 911 Call

Comments Filter:
  • by ClintJCL ( 264898 ) <clintjcl+slashdot@ g m a i l . com> on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:32PM (#39575623) Homepage Journal
    The ethnicity is absolutely relevant. As has been pointed out here - find a case of a black man doing this to a white kid *under equal circumstances*, where the black man was not arrested. I live in the county that had the lowest murder rate in the country in 2004, Fairfax County. I know a guy (not by choice) who did a similar thing - he was drunk, heard a ruckus outside, brought out a gun, shot a hispanic kid, left the scene, did not call 911, flushed his evidence down the toilet. He was white. The kid he shot was brown. The shooter claimed self defense was not charged. He sat with cops and joked during the wrongful death lawsuit (that he lost). He was never charged. His name was never released to the family, who had to sue in court for over a year just to find his name. His name is Brandon Gotwalt. Hopefully I'm retelling the story right, but there's plenty to google on this. Show me where this happens with races reversed. Race absolutely changes how the law is applied. This has been statistically proven over and over and over and over.
  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by Petron ( 1771156 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:39PM (#39575787)
    You don't know Zimmerman started the fight. From what I've seen reported, Zimmerman asked Martin a question, and Martin punched him, then jumped on Zimmerman and started to beat him.

    Keep in mind this "child" was 6'3" and 17 years old. Not the 12 year old boy the media is showing (Hmmm portray Martin as a young boy and Zimmerman as a racist (via doctored 911 call audio), and tried REALLY hard to portray Zimmerman as white, when he is Hispanic... Why would they do that?)

    Keep in mind, two days ago the police report was released on this. There are six adult witnesses on it. The cops did take Zimmerman's weapon as evidence and took 3 statements and a video statement.

    This is the Duke Lacrosse case all over again. The media tries to spin racial injustice (that's great for ratings!!!) but the facts (and DNA) say the accused is innocent.
  • Re:who cares (Score:3, Informative)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:40PM (#39575793)

    Or, were they actually trying to stir up a crowd of people to *literally* (not figuratively) murder GZ?

    One of their front page website stories is titled "Trayvon's parents to lead nighttime rally in Miami" so ... yeah, they're "literally" trying to round up a night time lynch party and get them fired up by slandering him. Imagine how many will tune in to watch, if/when the media manages to get Zimmerman lynched, which seems to be the media gameplan.

    Would you see it through such hyperbolic lenses if it were a network that hewed closer to your personal worldview?

    Lets see if that network matches my worldview.. lets look at their non-zimmerman slandering stories right off their own website ... "Beard shares struggle to be ‘beautiful, thin and perfect’" (apparently she's a female athlete) ... "Kate and William wax figures unveiled at Madame Tussauds" ... "Where to buy Kate and Pippa Middleton's favorite jeans " WRT to worldview, those clowns are not on the same planet as I am. We're talking about not even being able to compare due to lack of common ground.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by Moheeheeko ( 1682914 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @03:56PM (#39576103)
    What people constantly fail to point out is that in the past year, Zimmerman's neighborhood had been robbed 8 times by somone described as a "young black male." I would have called the cops to.
  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:04PM (#39576235)

    And 160 lbs at 6'3 is so skinny as to be a total non-threat. I know, because I've been there. Furthermore, there was no smashing the head into the pavement. Otherwise, he would have gotten a ride to the ER and a catscan to check for bleeding in the brain.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:2, Informative)

    by sarysa ( 1089739 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:07PM (#39576299)
    On the contrary [], he had a head wound in the police footage. I -thought- I saw one when I first saw the video, but it was obscured by the ABC news banner/watermark. Competing media outlets are claiming that ABC edited the video, but it was probably just bad luck with the placement of that banner. (much like the watermark for TMZ and others like it, they probably just use software to stick it in the same place for every video/still)

    Remember that this all took place over many many hours if not days. It didn't get picked up by the media until about three weeks later.
  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:4, Informative)

    by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:18PM (#39576467) Homepage

    You realize that murder has a legal meaning right?... and if he 'gets off' on a technicality... then he's not legally murderer... and actually leaves you actionable for libel.

    More so... murder tends to require a specific intent, so unless you care to demonstrate that he got out of his car thinking/saying "I'm going to go shoot this guy"... the best you could hope for would be manslaughter... and even then the evidence of the assault on Mr. Zimmerman makes it an even tougher case.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:2, Informative)

    by Moheeheeko ( 1682914 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:21PM (#39576539)
    Except it has been reported by many eyewitnesses that he did not in fact chase him down, but was himself chased, and then beaten. If im getting my head slammed on a kerb by some nut, hes going to get shot. End of story.
  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:3, Informative)

    by LanMan04 ( 790429 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:23PM (#39576567)

    Keep in mind this "child" was 6'3" and 17 years old.
    Yes, and he weighs 140lbs. He is unhealthily underweight, aka a toothpick with arms

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaHat ( 247651 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:23PM (#39576583) Homepage

    I can't say I've seen any media presenting him as a 12 year old. Which leads me to theconclusion you're the one distorting.

    The photo of Mr. Martin in the red shirt is not from age 17, or even 16... but ~ age 12... as are the majority of the photos shown in the MSM... now his twitter accounts had more telling photos.... just as the mug shot looking photo of Mr. Zimmerman which has been splashed most places is similarly old and helping to lead to incorrect conclusions about both me.

    Zimmerman's race is irrelevant.

    Correct... but not to the media who labeled him as a white man from day one because it played into a narrative of "gun weilding white man gun downs young and unarmed black boy"... and only later backed away slightly as they realized their mistake.

    But the fact that he treated people as suspicious or not depending if they were black or not seems to be a matter of track record in his time acting as neighbourhood watch in the community.

    Care to support that argument? All credible information I've seen says just the opposite that people of all races in the community knew that he was someone who could be counted on.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by Moheeheeko ( 1682914 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:28PM (#39576681)
    Reports from Martins girlfriend on the phone have the conversation down to martin asking why he was being followed, followed by Zimmerman asking "what are you doing here"
  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:3, Informative)

    by MoldySpore ( 1280634 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:38PM (#39576887)
    He was told by the dispatcher NOT to follow and to wait for the police. He didn't. That should be the end of the story right there. He chose to go after this kid, with a gun. Regardless of who started the fight that lead to Martin getting shot, it should have never gotten to that point. Only someone looking for trouble goes stalking after some kid at dusk with a gun.
  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by LoyalOpposition ( 168041 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:47PM (#39577037)

    2.) no witnesses as to what happened

    Actually, there were five contemporaneous witnesses, not counting Martin and Zimmerman.


  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:4, Informative)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:48PM (#39577059)

    Not that it matters, but just to corret you: Hispanic is not a race. You can have black hispanics, white hispanics and every other colour hispanics.

    What does matter is your lie about Obama: Obama was asked a direct question about the case in a press conference, following is a complete video of the answer. And at no time does he refer to Zimmerman as a white man. []â(TM)d-look-trayvon

    I won't bother looking up the other accusations you made. The may be similarly full of shit or they may be true. It doesn't matter to the case. As I said Zimmerman's race is irrelevant.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:52PM (#39577133) Homepage Journal

    A gated community that had been robbed multiple times.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:3, Informative)

    by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:55PM (#39577197)
    "Rare case"? Are you serious? This is the same news organization as MSNBC.
  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:56PM (#39577227)

    Sorry but 911 operators have exactly zero authority to tell or order anyone to do anything.

    Also, stand your ground laws have nothing to do with this. The only reason they are mentioned is because some people vehemently oppose them and this seems like the perfect opportunity for them to complain about them. If someone hits you, knocking you down, jumps on you, and starts bashing your head into the pavement then standing your ground isn't even an issue. Self defense laws cover that situation already.

    You might want to rethink your opposition to stand your ground laws while you're at it. If you're legally obligated to run away instead of defending yourself then you can be herded like a lamb to the slaughter.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @04:58PM (#39577283)

    Hey turns out that video was edited too. The unedited video shows blood on the back of his head.

    Plus an EMT treated him at the scene. And a witness saw Trayvon on top of Zimmerman. But hey I guess they could all be lying.

    Or, you know, maybe the the wannabe banger actually attacked him like he said.

  • by brainboyz ( 114458 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:05PM (#39577391) Homepage

    Most states DO have this. It's called "brandishing." Exposing the firearm for the purpose of intimidation not related to a defensive reason.

    The thing is, if you get punished for pulling it w/o using it, you'll end up with a lot more people shot in the back. Why? Many times simply pulling a concealed gun ends the threat: the idiot threatening you has a sudden stroke of intelligence and bolts or submits. Thankfully, a lot of things can and do change in the half second between breaking leather and presentation on target. That saves many idiots' lives.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by NeutronCowboy ( 896098 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:12PM (#39577507)

    That link has no eye witness account. The only thing in it is that Zimmerman stated that he had been yelling for help. The only thing in it related to witnesses is the list of witnesses, and the fact that statements had been taken. Nothing about what those statements actually were.

    So if that's where you got your information from: you're just making shit up. Which is just one step away from lying about it.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:3, Informative)

    by kenh ( 9056 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:18PM (#39577611) Homepage Journal

    Yopu mean like how we now have a new ethnicity flying around the collective consciousness called "White Hispanic" - because "Hispanic shoots Black Youth" sells far fewer papers than "White (Hispanic) shoots Black Youth"?

    See this article in [] to learn how backwards conservatives are for acting like they never heard of this before, as the writer notes "it even has a wikipedia page"...

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by ravenshrike ( 808508 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:21PM (#39577671)

    *cough*bullshit*cough* What the police have is a dead body, no witnesses to the start of the altercation(You cannot be penalized for a self defense claim when doing something legal), the only witness to see part of the altercation itself agrees completely with Zimmerman's story, wounds entirely consistent with his story unless you assume the arresting officers, paramedics, and lead investigator are all lying, and a self defense claim. Given that evidence, no prosecutor in their right mind is going to arrest because they don't have a snowflakes chance in hell of conviction.

    Hell, even the girlfriend's story has Martin confronting Zimmerman.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:22PM (#39577691)

    Talk about reality distortion field set to maximum. That's the problem with this case. People who believe themselves to be rational and in fact extremely emotional and detached from reality. Insanity can actually accurately describe your post.

    Except for the part where the police told Zimmerman to observe and not interfere. He had already called the cops for the kid being "suspicious" but doesn't seem to have stated ANY ACTUAL LAW that would justify the police driving over.

    Suspicious activity are common calls. They happen thousands of times every day. Many justified. Many not. Which basically means, you have no idea what the hell does on in your own back yard, let along know enough to comment on the story at hand.

    I still haven't heard any argument that the suspect THREATENED any person (protecting property does not count as self defense) PRIOR to Zimmerman confronting him... Again, after the police told him NOT to cause a confrontation. And it wasn't even "his" property, it was the STREET where the incident occurred.

    Asking someone what they are doing there is completely legal. Period. End of discussion. The fact you imagine that is somehow a sign of wrong doing is beyond insane.

    this is the trouble with the "stand your ground" laws.

    Ah, no its now. That's the trouble of dumb people pretending they understand "stand your ground" laws. The fact is, far too many people were being murdered because of stupid laws and stupid people (seemingly like you) who insisted no one should have the right to protect themselves. Laws smartly changed to allow for people to protect themselves. Like it or not, police are under absolutely no legal obligation to protect you from anything. Their mantra is "Protect and Serve", but legally its literally, "Observe, report, and blindly, ignorantly, enforce."

    They basically mean you can start a fight as long as the other person is mad enough, then you can shoot them. The kid was a minor, and no weapons were reported. The man had an SUV and a handgun... Calling a fistfight "self defense" is a stretch at best. But the law TAKES AWAY the prosecutors ability to ask. This would be murder in many states without that silly law...

    No, it doesn't mean that at all. Only an idiot would believe that. Don't feel bad, you're far from alone with your disconnection from reality. The fact is, ALL altercations must be supported within the letter of the law. Inciting an alterncation does not protect one from procesution. But in this case, as the facts are currently know, asking someone what they are doing there is in no way inciting a violent response.

    So factually speaking, contrary to your stupidity, as the facts are currently known, the minor is a violent thug who assaulted someone without provocation and died for their arrogant stupidity. Interestly enough, this is rather common attributes with many teenagers. Arrogance and stupidity is hardly a far reach. And based what is currently know, it seems to fit the facts extremely well.

    Like it or not, people make stupid decision every day. Sometimes people die from those stupid decisions. This smacks of one poor decision (Zimmerman) compounding with one extra ordinarily dumb decision leading to the death of the dumber, more violent person.

    Again, I'm sure you're crank your reality distortion field up even higher after reading this, but if you want to lynch someone, just say so. At this time, that's your postiion and its not grounded in reality or law (EXTRMELY good laws) in any way at this time. But hey, I guess you simply prefer lynching and the murder of endless other innocent people. Dick.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:4, Informative)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @05:38PM (#39577943)

    3 years ago. You demonstrate my point. Rare vs the constant stream of distortions and lies from Fox News. []

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:4, Informative)

    by cold fjord ( 826450 ) on Wednesday April 04, 2012 @07:11PM (#39579301)

    href="">police report that states he was injured and treated at the scene:

    "While I was in such close contact with Zimmerman, I could observe that his back appeared to be wet and was covered in grass, as if he had been laying on his back on the ground. Zimmerman was also bleeding from the nose and back of his head. . . .

    Zimmerman was placed in the rear of my police vehicle and was given first aid by the SFD.

  • Re:Error My Ass (Score:4, Informative)

    by jafiwam ( 310805 ) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @09:47PM (#39615605) Homepage Journal

    "This particular teenager" was caught by police with burglary tools and 12 women's rings, after getting caught on video vandalizing school property. When pressed, "a friend gave them to him".

    His presence in the neighborhood could very well coincide with some of the burglaries.

    The community is not "gated" as in "prison yard", it's "gated" as in you can't drive a car in without driving over grass if you can't open the gate. There are not walls around all of it. A person can easily walk in, and the walls there are, are four feet tall.

    This is information is available on Google Maps.

    There's a PDF of his school disciplinary record floating around that has the details of the burglary bust in it.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.