The NBC producer responsible for the misleading edit of the George Zimmerman’s 911 call has been fired. The producer was reportedly fired Thursday, but the firing did not hit the press until this Friday evening, just before a holiday weekend. NBC News had no comment on the firing.
There was speculation earlier today that Today show producer Jim Bell might have been the person responsible for the edit, which portrayed Zimmerman as a racist, or having a racial motive in shooting Trayvon Martin. Bell did not respond to a question directed at his Twitter account earlier today.
Brian Stelter of The New York Times credits NewsBusters.org for being the first to catch NBC’s edit. He provides a link to this NewsBusters post dated March 30. However, the NewsBusters story is actually based on, and links back to, a story published here at Breitbart.com two days earlier. In that story, author Dan Riehl highlighted the edit to the Zimmerman 911 tape as it appeared in print at MSNBC. The MSNBC story was originally published March 21st, six days before the same edit was used in the Today show broadcast.
Yesterday, a Reuters story credited both Breitbart.com and NewsBusters for bringing the problem to the attention of NBC executives.
It is likely that, if not for conservative new media, the misleading edit, which inflamed racial tensions in the Martin case, and which was repeated by Stetler’s own New York Times, would have gone unnoticed and uncorrected. As it is, the producer responsible for the edit at Today has been fired, but the individual who made the same edit to the earlier MSNBC story (since corrected) has not been identified or disciplined. Nor has anyone at any other outlet or network — many of which made similar selective editing choices — been punished.
The questions are only just beginning on Editgate. The release of the news of the firing just before the holiday weekend smacks of a cover-up; more than that, we know that the edit itself was not restricted to the Today show. Brian Williams and the brass at NBC News must provide answers. They are responsible for editorial output, not an unnamed producer. And they must be held responsible for an irresponsible and dangerous edit apparently deliberately designed to twist the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman story along racial lines.