NBC: We're Sorry We Edited The Trayvon Tape To Make George Zimmerman Sound Racist

George Zimmerman

Photo: ABC News

We mentioned the other day how during a Today Show segment NBC had edited the 911 phone call of George Zimmerman, the man who shot and killed Trayvon Martin. The edited version made him sound like a racial profiler. Here’s the transcript of the audio NBC played:

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

Here’s the actual transcript:

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.

NBC launched an investigation into what happened in their editing process. 

Obviously, the editing can hugely prejudice the viewer into thinking that Zimmerman has definitely engaged in racial profiling when he followed Trayvon Martin. The actual transcript doesn’t rule out the possibility of racial profiling, but it certainly doesn’t confirm it. 

And the result, according to Erik Wemple of the Washington Post, was an apology:

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 apologise to our viewers.

But NBC hasn’t explained “how” the error was made in production, and what necessary steps will prevent this from happening in the future. Is someone going to be fired? Is there a new editorial process? We have no idea. 

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