Media Echo Chambers

No Teeth Left to Lie Through

The Zimmerman case in the US has caught the nation by the throat.  An hispanic neighbourhood watch person has been the victim of vigilante “justice” in the media.  Black politicians and commentators have poured forth hard-to-believe invective against Zimmerman, who allegedly shot a black teenager, without any evidence being presented and heard formally–except that provided by the news media.

The hate-ridden invectives of the unhinged black community, aided and abetted by the liberal white tragi-comic chorus, has been conducted before any trial.
  The information to hand, we repeat, has been solely provided by news media.  And now it has become very, very clear that the some in the news media have deliberately and overtly promulgated falsehoods to create a racist narrative on the events in question.  NBC is in the dock.

Here is a summary of what is now coming to light:

NBC has revealed that it is launching an internal investigation into the “editing process” surrounding the conversation between George Zimmerman and a police dispatcher (shortly before Trayvon Martin was shot), where Zimmerman appears to volunteer racial information.
Exposed by Fox News and Newsbusters, NBC played the conversation on the “Today Show” as: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good.  He looks black.”
The unabridged version is:

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.

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post noted:

The difference between what ‘Today’ put on its air and the actual tape?  Complete: In the ‘Today’ version, Zimmerman volunteered that this person ‘looks black,’ a sequence of events that would more readily paint Zimmerman as a racial profiler.  In reality’s version, Zimmerman simply answered a question about the race of the person whom he was reporting to the police.  Nothing prejudicial at all in responding to such an inquiry.
And it’s a falsehood with repercussions.  Much of the public discussion over the past week has settled on how conflicting facts and interpretations call into question whether Zimmerman acted justifiably or criminally.  That’s a process that’ll continue.  But one set of facts in the is ironclad, and that’s the back-and-forth between Zimmerman and the dispatcher.  To portray that exchange in a way that wrongs Zimmerman is high editorial malpractice well worthy of the investigation that NBC is now mounting.

Watch Sean Hannity discuss NBC’s decision, and the ramifications, below:

Does one get the merest hint that NBC had an axe to grind–and would propagate a known, self-generated falsehood as the grinding stone? That is why we need always to have a free press: to keep the deceitful malcontents honest.

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