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A Win for NewsBusters: NBC Apologizes for Shoddy Editing of Zimmerman Call

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On Saturday, blogger Erik Wemple at The Washington Post reported NBC would investigate its shoddy editing of a George Zimmerman 9-1-1 call "As exposed by Fox News and media watchdog site NewsBusters." On Tuesday night, NBC apologized with a brief statement.

"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," the network said.

(The Hollywood Reporter added "When asked if anyone at Today had lost their job or had been reassigned as a result of the investigation, an NBC spokeswoman said: 'We will not be commenting on our course of action.'")

Wemple evaluated the new apology:

No matter how you feel about Zimmerman, that bit of tape editing was unfair to the truth and to Zimmerman’s reputation, such as it is. Reaction on Twitter and elsewhere to my previous post on this matter, was brutal toward NBC, with many comments suggesting the worst about the network’s motivations, reliability and so on.

Does the statement adequately address those concerns? On the good front, it 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. Nor does it articulate an apology directly to George Zimmerman, the “viewer” who is most aggrieved by the screw-up. 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.


#1 ➚Just saw that

But Vandamage will swear the editing was not biased.

#2 Make no mistake

This was not an error or a screw up. This was NBC trying to create news and they got busted. I could not be more disgusted by this "news" organization. Tick tock NBC. Your day is coming.

#3 Zimmerman may be a hard person to apologize to?

Dudes they didn't apologize to him though they should have.

tired of liberal lies

#4 I think

NBC, Brian Williams, MSNBC and all their so called reporters are "vile" and "evil". Why anyone would listen to that garbage is beyond me.


#5 Proof positive liberal media

Proof positive liberal media is trying to start a race riot.

#6 I think this was an edit job

I think this was an edit job done by Media Matters and then handed out to NBC to run with.

#7 You got that right

No one on television news is paid to think these days. They're spokes-models for the Democrat party with nice hair and shiny teeth. There's no need to muddle up their pretty talking heads.

Q R Riter

#8 This reads like it was all some kind of technical glitch.

They make it sound like this was some sort of technical glitch that caused the problem:

" became evident that there was an error made in the production process..."

Really? What was the "error" exactly? Busted audio editor? Software problem. What was it that you found, NBC?

And then we get:

"We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future..."

Good, they fixed the equipment I guess.


How about "The personnel involved exercised extremely poor judgement by splicing different parts of the audio together in order to make it appear that something sinister was said."

And no disciplinary action announced? None?

What a pitiful, mealy-mouthed non-apology. Downright insulting.

#9 You got it right

"What was the "error" exactly? Busted audio editor?

There's your answer right there...

The audio editor got busted by NewsBusters

"Ignorance is our most expensive commodity..." - Rush Limbaugh

#10 a mistake?

What are the odds that a mistake just happened to fit into the overall template that this network exhibited towards this case?

#11 When the writing

Is done by Media Matters the stories take twisted turns.

#12 Still

hope there are some law suits. It was no apology, only some lame excuse with zero explanations. They hope it won't happen again?? What, that you want to create a race war?? The so-called apology was made because off pressure from the decent media........NBusters and Rush Limbaugh

#13 Unrelated note: Van Sustren

Unrelated note: Van Sustren just destroyed Debbie wasserman Schultz!!!!

Wow. Expect to see this go viral on right wing blogs!!
Brett Baird did it with Carney today with same subject!

NEWSFLASH TO GOP: make the fact the senate hasn't passed a budget in three years an issue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's A Winner!!!!!!!!!

#14 Media (Big media) has an agenda

Creating class warfare fits their overall mainstream media's plan for bringing America to her knees. Thank goodness the internet has not yet fallen into the hands of the UN otherwise the MSM (Big News) would still be getting away with presenting the "news" the way they have been accustomed to presenting it since at least the late fifties.

Distorted "news" is so common that it's news when the MSM doesn't distort a story. We have witnessed the Big News taking the side of the leftwing Occupiers, Libyan Rebels allied with al-Qaeda, bellyacking unionists and Planned Parenthood baby killers.

The history of the establishment news makers and professional "news" distorters got so bad that during the fifties the communists couldn't have asked for better PR, even from Pravda, than they received from the NYT, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Life, Look and the television networks.

Yes, it is a tragedy that a mother lost a son. But the son she lost was pushing 18 years and was six foot 3. The MSM deliberately used a photo that was 4 to 5 years old to assist the MSM in launching another attack on guns and to perpetuate racism. Where no racism exists they invent it. And if possible to provide the climate for race baiters to raise the violence level to that of storming the Bastille. And all based on pure distortions.

The photo of Trayvon on the cover of People Magazine and flashed on tv screens is that of a 13 year old. But distortion of the truth by the media is par for the course for this industry.

The msm has a history of managing the news.

During the anti-war demonstrations of the sixties the media always pictured the local police as the villians and the red inspired street rioters as the victims. The media's photographers would stage scenes to make local police look like the criminals. One staged trick was the burning cigarette shoved into the hind quarters of a crowd control policeman's horse. The photographer would snap the shot just as the horse reared up to get away from the buring heat of the cigarette. People that looked at the staged photo would get the impression that the local police were the bad guys for trying to trample the "peaceful" demonstrators with an 900 pound animal!

The victims were the police, the American people that fell for that trick and of course the truth.

#15 Remember 'green helmet

Remember 'green helmet guy'?

He's been replaced with Trayvon (what kind of name is that?) Martin.

At least for now.

Americans keeping their own earnings is a Civil Right! Demand your Civil Rights!

#16 It should be apology

not accepted. And sue NBC back to the sewer it oozed out of.


#17 That would have to be a class-action lawsuit ...

... from us, the viewers, not from Zimmerman.

NBC didn't apologize to him, the only person who was injured by their deceitful editing, just to us woe-begone viewers who were misinformed.

Oh, I guess the lawyers got hold of the news release and made sure there weren't any tell-tale admissions of wrongdoing that Zimmerman could use against them when he files his "Richard Jewel" lawsuit.

#18 None of this will matter to

None of this will matter to the race merchants, the Communists, nor the Libtard-in-Chief.

How come these clowns never show up when some black person gets shot by some other black person?

I know, obvious, rhetorical question...

"Under Capitalism, man exploits man.  Under Communism it's just the opposite."

"All that Communism needs to make it successful is for someone to feed and clothe it."

#19 Congratulations Newsbusters

This is what it's all about.

(;~> gary

#20 Mistakes...we all make

Mistakes...we all make them...honest ones. Even MSNBC makes honest mistakes.

But this? How could this have been a mistake?

#21 NBC

The editing was deliberate and anyone with half a brain knows that. They have tried
and convicted the man without knowing what happened, they were not there and have
no idea the truth of the matter. It was a sensational race story from the beginning and
when Al and Jesse jumped in that made it even better, kept the story going for them.


#22 BU!!SH*T!!!

This was NOT an error or mistake or over-sight. That editing was done on purpose to give the EXACT impression that it did. It was done to falsley portray Zimmerman as a racist and to inflame the already dangerous atmosphere in South Florida.

The FCC was all hot and bothered to conduct investigations and issue fines when there were a couple of "wardrobe malfunctions" that could be construed as mistakes and unforseen circumstances during live events. Will they investigate and issue fines for a so-called news organization actually changing the facts in order to decieve their audience? I suspect not.


Madison and Jefferson and Franklin built a Republic - Roberts killed it! 

#23 Apology NOT enough!!!

Managing Editor Brian Williams needs to be FIRED!!!!

#24 Zimmerman

Zimmerman has not been charged or convicted of anything at this stage of the situation, yet while "defending" him you speak disdainfully of him.

Edward Cropper

#25 MSNBC should

Stop Al Sharpton from reporting on anything else on this matter period. There false reporting has been racially charged and the false accusations againsts Zimmerman have made the investigation harder to prove without riots happening if a not guilty verdict is given. This and this alone shows that racism is always stirred by the Network when Al Sharpton is in the picture showing the whole world what there true agenda really is .

This is a tool the left are using to try and turn the media's attention away from the socialistic failures this president and there progressive buddies put on a daily basis to take away the real problems we all face as a nation.

#26 Too Late

Blacks will believe the media-manipulated version forever, so when they get around to tearing up the cities in a blind, racist rage, NBC will be just one of the mainstream news dumpsters that will have blood on their hands.

#27 ???

WHAT apology?? That was only a CYA statement!

#28 The is no difference between yelling "FIRE"

in a crowded theater and screaminf "RACISM" in from of a mob of black people that have been trained since birth that everything is whiteys' fault.

IF race riots emerge from this, nbc, abc, cbs and the rest of that alphabet soup of radical racists should stand alongside jaksuuunnn and sharpton in a long string of criminal charges for inciting the riots.

And if the riots extend to other jurisdictions, those DAs should also file criminal charges.

IF the American Blacks should feel the need to protest being held in slavery, they should go after the democrat party and the 'leaders' that control them and keep them on the plantation.

AND... they apologized for getting caught.

End 'gun violence in America' - Require training and MANDATORY "Shall Carry" by every Citizen.

If harry reid is the best person to lead the senate, what does that say about the other 99 senators?

#29 They only regret

They only regret that they got caught.

"Also, I can kill you with my brain." - River Tam

#30 This isn't just about the spliced audio of the 9-1-1 call!

* The videotape they used was obviously edited to cut the officer's close and careful inspection of the back of Zimmerman's head completely out!

* The state-of-the-art video hardware NBC owns was purposely left to collect dust rather than enhance an almost unusable tape.

* The photos used to identify Zimmerman and Martin couldn't have been more outrageously biased in creating a false representation of both.

Combine these facts with their pointedly slanted narrative and it spells multi-billion dollar lawsuits. Not just the criminal and civil liabillity to Zimmerman but, to every incident (78 year old white man beaten by black youths citing "Trayvon") and other damage that follows!

"Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it." -- Thomas Sowell

#31 ABC News Hid Zimmerman's Injuries from the Public


Two days ago, ABC News aired a segment in which they claimed the original footage of the police surveillance video was enhanced, revealing possible injuries to the back of George Zimmerman's head. However, ABC News was not truthful in reporting that the first video footage was the original. In fact, the first footage that ABC News aired was a murky copy made by recording the video as it played on a screen/monitor. The camera used was human-held as is evident by the tell-tale wobbling picture. Furthermore, several seconds into the first footage aired by ABC News, the camera operator actually pans the camera to center the picture because the edge of the screen/monitor is visible in the shot.

However, this so-called "enhanced" video shows footage that is perfectly steady and has a visible date/time stamp – which is consistent with a permanently mounted security camera. This "enhanced" version appears to be the original footage, or a slightly tweaked version of the original to cover ABC News' lies.

THIS is why the quality of the first video they released was so bad – it was intentionally bad. Why didn't ABC News air the original video footage from the start; or report that the footage initially aired was actually recorded from a screen/monitor and therefore, the quality was significantly compromised? Whoever operated the camera to record the first version released, had to have seen a much clearer picture than the public was shown.

ABC News withheld the original footage and played what looks to be a sick joke, instead. They aired a poor quality screen-recorded copy captured by someone physically holding a camera, presented it as the original footage, and then reported that the security video did not show any injuries – which contradicted George Zimmerman's claims. ABC News intentionally obfuscated Zimmerman's wounds and then acted like they broke some scoop after they realized the genuine footage would eventually come out should Zimmerman be charged with a crime. Then they had the wherewithal to pretend like they did some honest reporting and went out of their way to find the truth.

This is unacceptable.

Please bust this horrific breach of the public's trust.

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