A media and politics columnist called Thursday for NBC’s Lester Holt to apologize on behalf of NBC for airing an edited clip of the 911 call that brought police officers to confront Ma’Khia Bryant.
Concha, who writes for The Hill, argued that deceptive news coverage was driving the prevailing narrative, saying that it could eventually cost people their businesses or even their lives. (RELATED: Joe Concha: Jim Acosta Should ‘Go Work For The Biden Admin’ If He Won’t Challenge The New President)
“America Reports” anchor John Roberts introduced the segment by noting that some people were already framing the Bryant situation as “another unjustified police shooting, another example of systemic racism” and ignoring the video that showed Bryant, knife in hand, lunging at another girl.
“That is a key element to the story, isn’t it? Yet, if you watched the ‘NBC Nightly News’ last night with Lester Holt — remember, that show still gets 8 or 9 million viewers a night — you saw two very key parts of the story left out.”
Concha went on to note that parts of the 911 call — specifically someone on the call saying, “She’s trying to stab us” — were left out of the coverage.
“They also did not show the knife in the attacker’s hand,” Concha continued.
“So then what we have here is by not showing those two things in terms of the 911 call incomplete and also in terms of the knife, is the narrative gets blown up as a result, those viewers and on other parts of social media as well are led to believe this is a rogue cop that shot an innocent girl instead of a cop who did his job and perhaps saving another girl’s life when the attacker was going after her with a knife.”
Roberts agreed with Concha’s summation, saying that while he understood the need to edit certain video clips for time purposes during a newscast, “When you cut things down in a way that completely loses the context, you are not fully informing your viewers.”
Concha added that it might have even made sense to extend the coverage if necessary since the Bryant shooting was one of the biggest stories of the night.
“Lester Holt needs to go on the air tonight, John, and apologize on behalf of NBC News, of the ‘NBC Nightly News’ because tensions are far too high in this country right now. The stakes are far too high,” Concha said.
“Don’t tell me this was just another innocent mistake and something that was left on the edit room floor accidentally. This appears to be driving a narrative, and it could end up costing people their lives, their businesses — if this thing is not corrected immediately.”