DC Trawler

Editgate: a one-time thing that NBC News did over and over

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To recap:

NBC News made that dishonest edit, then claimed it was an innocent mistake and the perpetrator had been fired, but wouldn’t say who and wouldn’t say how everybody else at NBC News somehow missed it.

They’re hoping that will suffice, which is kind of funny. Tom Maguire has been doing the yeoman’s work on this, and here’s his latest:

WaPo media watchdog Erik Wemple was all over NBC when their bogus Zimmerman edit was limited to the March 27 Today Show. Now that the bogus edit has been discovered at the March 22 Today Show and three times at NBC Miami, he is all over the critics calling for a more extensive investigation and is burying deep in his links their discovery of the broader mess. It looks as if Mr. Wemple was willing to follow the story until it actually led somewhere.

Follow the links for the details. I knew about the multiple instances of this same “mistake” at NBC Miami, but I didn’t realize the Today Show had made the same “mistake” the week before. If Steve Capus didn’t know that, why not? If he did know that, why is he pretending it only happened once? (Read Tom’s whole post.)

And now Mr. Wemple, much like Jon Stewart, is making a big show of shaking his finger at NBC while trying to pin some of the blame on the people uncovering NBC’s wrongdoing:

It’s a too-common sequence in the media business: A news outlet gets out in front of a big story and aggressively follows it up. Then it starts rooting for the story.

That’s the path that Newsbusters.org is now blazing vis-a-vis NBC’s mangled editing of George Zimmerman’s conversation with an emergency dispatcher. After blasting NBC for nearly two weeks on the Zimmerman audio-editing fracas, NewsBusters Publisher Brent Bozell has gone activist. He’s demanding a congressional investigation of the matter…

Odd: NewsBusters, which monitors the mainstream media for evidence of lefty bias, is a conservative organization. So why is it calling for an expansionist federal government to start hammering away at a First Amendment-enabled media organization?

So apparently, being a conservative means you should abide libel, and the First Amendment is a protection against the consequences of lying. Er, that is, “mangled editing.” I won’t claim to follow Mr. Wemple’s clearly superior logic.

Speaking of NBC Miami, here’s another look at one of the times they made the same deceptive edit in print:

As I just asked one of the NBC Miami reporters responsible for this:

Usually an ellipsis indicates that something has been edited out. If NBC Miami didn’t know there was an edit, why indicate it in the text?

Stay tuned.