April 8, 2012

The NBC editing "error"

Mickey Kaus has some interesting speculation on the Nameless Scapegoat (N.S.) whom NBC is blaming for that editing "error" that had George Zimmerman telling 911:
Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.

One fascinating aspect is how little old-fashioned shoe leather reporting the prestige press has done on the whole Trayvon story. For example, why is the NBC editor still the "Nameless Scapegoat?" Surely, much of the press has the contacts to figure out that mystery within their own ranks.

Mickey explains that NBC has to walk a delicate line with their employee, and, presumably, the rest of the mainstream media has been abetting them:
As JustOneMinute‘s Tom Maguire reminded me, when you publish something so bad you face a giant adverse defamation verdict–well that’s exactly when you try not to fire the reporter or editor responsible. If you fire them, they’re likely to cut a separate deal with the plaintiff and testify in court about how sloppy your editorial practices were, how you had it in for plaintiff all along, etc. 

Zimmerman finally has a new lawyer, so now he's likely to sue NBC for defamation and/or if he goes to criminal trial, launching all sorts of motions based on prejudicial publicity. After this, and the national media claiming he used the "C" word, and all the other wrong things they put out there, can George Zimmerman get a fair trial anywhere in the U.S.? Can they move a trial to New Zealand?

But, with a libel case in the wings, things get interesting. Mickey writes:
In this case, I suspect the N.S. might have some valuable information to offer a plaintiff’s lawyer. Like how maybe there was a surge of enthusiasm at, yes, the highest levels of NBC News for turning this story into a clear cut emotional morality play (fueled by trendy social media!) and riding it to higher ratings for days, if not weeks. If you go to the March 20 Nightly News broadcast (available here) you can see NBC’s Ron Allen letting viewers imagine the racial epithet Zimmerman used for the man he was following.  Oh, wait. … 
The N.S. was reportedly a “seasoned” producer. Seasoned producers (and reporters) know what the bosses want. …

About 95% of the Trayvon brouhaha has been about racial hatred, and it would be amusing to get a court to put a legal imprimatur on that.

Another interesting legal question is whether all the deep-pocketed media can be sued for defamation for initially calling Zimmerman "white." Zimmerman's father, a judge, saw that it was very much in his son's interest, legally and politically, to not be white. That would be an interesting precedent to establish: is calling a mestizo "white" for purposes of riling up racial hatred against him an actionable slur? Lots and lots of media outlets kept calling him "white" even after his picture became available. 

34 comments:

Jeffery said...

The possibilities are awesome I hope they pursue a case against NBC. Can I donate to the legal fund? :)

Hail said...

"is calling a mestizo "white"...an actionable slur?"

All legal considerations aside, yes.

This is what is so infurtiating about the "White Privilege" myth.

'White' has become a slur in today's USA, yet we are told that 'White Privilege' still dominates life. Note even the sneering way the half-White president condemned "typical White people" while campaigning in 2008. (Those typical White people being his own grandparents!)

On that note: Obama captures the Zeitgeist

Anonymous said...

There should be no mercy shown towards NBC's race war criminals. They were seeking to to provoke a kristallnacht.

DYork said...

Zimmerman finally has a new lawyer, so now he's likely to sue NBC for defamation.

It's happened before - remember the late Richard Jewell the guy Tom Brokaw basically blamed for the Atlanta Olympic bombing? NBC paid for that one.

And what about the bias of constantly show out of date photos of Martin?

I thought why not show baby pictures of the guy. Then I saw a NY tv station do just that. They showed Matin as a child wearing a graduation cap and gown.

Amazing.

eh said...

Zimmerman deserves every penny he's going to get.

Anonymous said...

Frankfurt School

Anonymous said...

Stories like this are a good thing and should no longer surprise anyone. Contemporary politics, like this case as practiced by the press, is utterly means-justify-ends amoral. The rule is to smash your enemy, or get the narrative over, any deceitful way you can.

Bertie Wooster said...

And what about the bias of constantly show out of date photos of Martin?


Not just Martin but Zimmerman as well. Using more recent photos would have been more flattering to Zimmerman and less-flattering to Martin at the same time.

And then there's the fact that almost every account of the incident I have read says that Martin was "gunned down" by Zimmerman. (Google search for Trayvon Martin + "gunned down" returns 133,000 results). Sounds pretty brutal. Ever heard of a white being "gunned down" by a black? No, it's always a "botched robbery" (as in the case of the two English tourists murdered by a black as they begged for their lives in Florida) or a "carjacking gone wrong" (Knoxville Atrocity). How a mere carjacking goes wrong in such a way that it causes two people to be tortured to death is beyond me, but then I'm not a journalist.

Anonymous said...

Yeah well, maybe Zimmerman made an 'error' in shooting Trayvon.

Anonymous said...

If police abuse power and tamper with evidence, it's a 'cover up'. If media does it, it's an 'error'.
Media burglars are pretending to be mere bunglers. NBC-gate is funny stuff.

Anonymous said...

NBC is like PRC. When communist policies killed millions in China, it was called a 'mistake' or 'error'.

Anonymous said...

Are all mixed-race people white when it is convenient for the main slime media?

Look at the picture of England, one of those claimed to be behind the killings in Oklahoma. He is clearly mixed race. Just compare the details of the eyes (how much the skull overhangs the eyes, the very clear almost epicanthic fold in one of them, etc.

Fernandinande said...

"Nameless Scapegoat?"

An AA employee, I'm betting.

Anonymous said...

Someone please explain two things.
The c word and
Frankfurt school.

I should know.

Anonymous said...

I guess that the media must now be hoping that the bounty offered by the NBPP has its intended result.

Auntie Analogue said...

Let's look at the state of honesty, openness, transparency, and hypocrisy in 2012 America:

1) An NBC producer deliberately falsifies and airs an audio tape to buttress NBC's, and other MediaPravda organs', presumptuous "reporting" of racist hate crime guilt of an individual, and NBC is caught out in its audio Big Lie but will not sack the guilty producer.

2) John Derbyshire publishes commonly known and observed prudential behavioral truths based on a mass of irrefutable facts and National Review fires him.

'Nuff said? We live in dangerous times, do we not?


Another angle on the Zimmerman case: funny how the usual left-wing suspects (Media-Pravda, race hustlers, the Diversity commissariat, and even the President) call for Zimmerman to be delivered from his local justice system's due process to a higher federal "justice" at about the same time as Christians commemorate the Jewish high priests calling for Pilate's higher "justice" to convict and crucify Jesus. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Rachelle said...

Just a thought:

Quite apart from the problem with the editing of the 911 tape, I wonder if NBC might be worried a little about respondeat superior liability for allowing their employee [Sharpton] to stir up a mob against Zimmerman, damaging his reputation and endangering his life.

Didn't their lawyers warn them of that risk?

If Zimmerman sues NBC, I think they will settle. They will not want to go through discovery or a trial. I suspect that right now, facing substantial liability, they are in 'less said, better' mode.

NOTA said...

Clearly, Derb should use this as a defense in his recent firing: He originally wrote a totally PC, inoffensive column about Treyvon Martin, but an unnamed editor accidentally changed it into an offensive column full of hatefacts.

not a hacker said...

If you fire them, they’re likely to cut a separate deal with the plaintiff

Well, Kaus is a lot smarter than me, but wouldn't such a 'separate deal' be illegal? Seems to me the network types would be pretty skilled at stonewalling it, maybe paying the producer off themselves.

Doug1 said...

My guess is that that "seasoned" producer at NBC is the 30 something black dude Toure who went on CNN's Piers Morgan show to denounce him for giving Zimmerman's brother Richard any interview air time.

Anonymous said...

But I must say... even the edited NBC version doesn't offend me. I mean most thugs are black.

Anonymous said...

Who wants to bet that the unnamed producer is a black guy and that's the primary reason NBC shields him?

NOTA said...

Is there any reason to think there really is some particular guilty rogue editor, who acted on his own? I mean, they could be refusing to give up a name because they want to protect their own, or to make it harder for Zimmerman to sue them, or to avoid having the bitter ex-producer make the rounds of the right wing talk radio shows talking about all the times he was allowed to (or told to) do similar edits. But it's also possible that this was a group effort on orders, and there's not really anyone who could plausibly be made into single fall guy.

Otherwise, this makes me think of the other times when organizations caught in wrongdoing close ranks and refuse to reveal any names or details--like often happens with cops after a shooting or beating, or government officials after the latest national security overreach scandal.

Anonymous said...

England is Cherokee Indian. Oklahoma has many Indians. Oklahoma history is rather interesting.

Anonymous age 70

Chris said...

Another interesting legal question is whether all the deep-pocketed media can be sued for defamation for initially calling Zimmerman "white."

I think that's a non-starter. If he's white, it can't possibly be hate speech to call him white. And if he's mestizo, how can it be hate speech to call him white?

Worked in PR and Highly Amused said...

New verb alert:

To "zimmerman": to whiten; to turn a person into a Caucasian after they commit a crime against a black person.

ben tillman said...

Another interesting legal question is whether all the deep-pocketed media can be sued for defamation for initially calling Zimmerman "white." Zimmerman's father, a judge, saw that it was very much in his son's interest, legally and politically, to not be white. That would be an interesting precedent to establish: is calling a mestizo "white" for purposes of riling up racial hatred against him an actionable slur?

Absolutely. It amounts to an accusation of "racism", which is presented by the mass media as a "loathosme disease. Thus, it's slander per se. QED.

Of course, every time a "reporter" writes that Trayvon was "doing nothing wrong", they're stating that Z is a murderer. That's also slander per se, if Z did not in fact commit murder.

Anonymous said...

Another angle on the Zimmerman case: funny how the usual left-wing suspects (Media-Pravda, race hustlers, the Diversity commissariat, and even the President) call for Zimmerman to be delivered from his local justice system's due process to a higher federal "justice" at about the same time as Christians commemorate the Jewish high priests calling for Pilate's higher "justice" to convict and crucify Jesus. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

WHOA - how did that make it through Komment Kontrol?

I wasn't even allowed to rag on our ancestors for their sorry-assed immigration policy 125 years ago.

rob said...

I'm guessing the creative editing was in one small way similar to the Watergate burglary.

Q. Who suggested the coverup?

A. No one suggested that there not be a coverup.

Media reactions to the "French" Arab shooter and Zimmerman killing that hoodielum have me half convinced that a big chunk of the media really believe their narrative. Much like the Duke lax rape fraud incident. if they knew how unlikely the events were to have actually matched the narrative, they'd do some fact-checking before pushing the story. Crystal Gail Magnum seriously hurt feminism: now everyone knows that women do indeed make fraudulent rape accusations.

I wonder if the Florida cops take fingerprints of corpses. I'd sure like to see if T-von's prints are in any of the houses that someone broke into Zimmerman's 'hood. Sure'd be a good opportunity for a dialog on race, including the criminal tendencies of Tray'Vaugn's.

Anonymous said...

"England is Cherokee Indian. Oklahoma has many Indians. Oklahoma history is rather interesting."

You mean like this guy ?

Anonymous said...

I see some dork is still whining about "Komment Kontrol".

NOTA said...

rob:

I think the narratives that come out are largely shaped by the starting beliefs of the reporters and editors, but I suspect those beliefs are a mix of beliefs about reality (how common is white on black hate crime) and what their peers believe (what things I may say here will get me shunned or Watsoned)?

One property of beliefs about beliefs is that they can change really quickly. It talkes a lot longer to change bpeoples' beliefs about reality than their beliefs about what they can get away with saying in public. So you can imagine a huge change in what's acceptable to say in a relatively short time.

beowulf said...

It's happened before - remember the late Richard Jewell the guy Tom Brokaw basically blamed for the Atlanta Olympic bombing? NBC paid for that one.

Exactly, NBC wrote a check in a confidential settlement agreement (news reports said "over $500k" courthouse gossip here in Atlanta had NBC paying $2 million).
On the other hand, Richard Jewell was unquestionably an innocent man who saved lives by his prompt action. Zimmerman is no Richard Jewell, he could have just called 911 and not gotten out of his car, or brought his gun, or followed Martin on foot.

He'll probably get charged with manslaughter, which is what guys in bar fights get for killing the other guy instead of facing the heavier charge of murder).

Anonymous said...

Cherokees fought on both sides of the civil war. Toward the end they generally fought with the south.