“Seasoned” NBC Producer Behind Edited Zimmerman Clip

Posted by on Apr 06, 2012 at 10:23 am

You know, it would be nice if they identified this so-called “seasoned” producer. What are they hiding?

An internal NBC News probe has determined a “seasoned” producer was to blame for a misleading clip of a 911 call that the network broadcast during its coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting, according to two sources at the network.

NBC News brass interviewed more than half a dozen staffers during its investigation of the misleadingly edited 911 call placed by George Zimmerman just before he shot the unarmed Florida teenager, said the sources, one of whom is an executive at the network.

The clip aired on the network’s flagship “Today” morning show last week.

The edit made it appear that Zimmerman immediately told police that Martin was black, when, in fact, the full tape reveals that the neighborhood watch captain only did so when responding to a question posed by a dispatcher.

There was no clear indication on Thursday of what, if any, disciplinary actions would be taken against the producer or other staff involved in the incident.

Could you imagine the media furor if someone at Fox pulled a stunt like this? We have a situation here where this could cause race riots and nobody has been fired. Really stringent production values they’ve got there.

The sources described the producer’s actions as a very bad mistake, but not deliberate.

NBC News declined to comment on Thursday. The network said on Tuesday it would not release names of the employees involved. It has apologized for the incident.

Not deliberate? Really? So then please identify this producer so we can have a look at who they are.

Amazingly, despite all their layers of editorial control,  nobody noticed this outrageous “editing” of the 911 call.

The Today show’s editorial control policies – which include a script editor, senior producer oversight, and in most cases legal and standards department reviews of material to be broadcast – missed the selective editing of the call, said the NBC executive.

So a script editor and senior producer and lawyers review broadcast material, but nobody noticed this? Why don’t I believe them?

It’s been more than 20 years since NBC was busted fabricating the exploding truck on “Dateline” and they’re still making up  news and not taking responsibility. Is it any wonder why they’ve got no credibility?

In the meantime, Zimmerman should slap them with a billion-dollar lawsuit.

Update:  Great point from a commenter:

What would Breitbart do?

Seriously, NBC does NOT have the power to keep the identities of those responsible a secret. His name is Jim Bell. He is the Executive Producer of The Today Show. And, until he or NBC say otherwise, he is responsible. His bio at The Today Show website even talks about how “hands-on” he is as a producer. You and your blogging friends should post his name as often as possible. Start an email and phone compaign to his office. If I was a lefty, I’d suggest soliciting readers to find his home address, phone number and places where he likes to hang out or take vacations because Spike Lee and The NBPP taught me that it’s totally OK. Pressure…

Let’s help out:

Jim Bell, Executive Producer
NBC Today Show
Primary Phone: (212) 664-4602
Secondary Phone: (212) 664-4444
E-Mail: Jim Bell, NBC Today Show

Here’s a look at Bell. He appears well seasoned. He’s also on Twitter.

 

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23 Responses to ““Seasoned” NBC Producer Behind Edited Zimmerman Clip”

  1. bobby b on 6/06/12 at 10:59 am

    “There was no clear indication on Thursday of what, if any, disciplinary actions would be taken against the producer or other staff involved in the incident.”
    – - – -

    I bet they make ‘em give Sharpton his money back as part of their punishment.

  2. Squid on 6/06/12 at 11:17 am

    I love that it’s the “editorial control policies” that failed to spot the libelous doctoring of the tape. Bad policies! No annual bonus for you!

  3. Blue Hen on 6/06/12 at 11:30 am

    What happened to ‘deceptive editing’? That’s the term they used against O’Keefe.

  4. Mike Eustace on 6/06/12 at 11:40 am

    If anybody reading this knows the Zimmermans, please give them this message.

    Contact Lin Wood, he was the lawyer for Richard Jewell, and when the media pulled this crap on him, Wood made them pay.

    He was involved in some other case not long ago, so I know he is still around, and he has the experience needed to take it to the s.o.b.s.

  5. HAVC on 6/06/12 at 11:44 am

    The major issue in all of this, IMHO, is abut their setting an inaccurate tone and focus of the conversation. These, essentially, falsified recordings as all the related items on ABC and CNN have the base points of discussion on ‘accepted’ facts for the case. This has then colored the national conversation. It is essentially the modern version of the ‘Big Lie’ as these news sourced as expected by the broader public to be the source of facts not entertainments or tabloids.

    I have to the conclusion that I am going to take a n-1 approach similar to microsoft releases and goverment reports on the economy. I will will wait until the second release to pay any attention.

  6. Randy on 6/06/12 at 11:47 am

    If it was just an innocent mistake as they claim, then it should be no problem for NBC to walk us through the details showing how NBC staffers, producers and other news personnel, working together, made this totally innocent mistake that just happened to paint Zimmerman as racist. Right? RIGHT?

    There really isn’t any excuse for the this scurrilous editing NBC. None.

  7. mistercalm on 6/06/12 at 12:01 pm

    I can’t claim that I’m never going to watch NBC News or the TODAY show ever again… uh… well, because I don’t watch them now. I learned my lesson from the DATELINE GM pickup truck fiasco years ago. For every time the media is caught fabricating news or creatively editing for bias it makes you wonder the dozens of times they aren’t caught doing it.

  8. qzy on 6/06/12 at 12:04 pm

    What would Breitbart do?

    Seriously, NBC does NOT have the power to keep the identities of those responsible a secret. His name is Jim Bell. He is the Executive Producer of The Today Show. And, until he or NBC say otherwise, he is responsible. His bio at The Today Show website even talks about how “hands-on” he is as a producer. You and your blogging friends should post his name as often as possible. Start an email and phone compaign to his office. If I was a lefty, I’d suggest soliciting readers to find his home address, phone number and places where he likes to hang out or take vacations because Spike Lee and The NBPP taught me that it’s totally OK. Pressure…

  9. Multitude on 6/06/12 at 12:08 pm

    Not deliberate? Oh god… the fierce laughter I just had actually hurt! We all know NBC ceased reporting news many years ago and became a free public relations firm for the Democratic party, but even reputable PR firms would not embarrass themselves to this extent.

    Seriously now, would anyone in the world actually belief Bernie Ebbers or Ken Skilling if they said “the modification to our financials was not deliberate”? Is NBC actually claiming some experienced producer plopped his oversized belly on just the right button which magically found the perfect place to start and stop the selection of the 911 dispatcher’s clarifying question on race, and deleted it? And then saved the recording on top of the original? That’s one amazing producer’s beer belly, NBC.

    This is worse than Rathergate, where at least we had the capacity to fool those who didn’t at least have an 8th grade education in fonts and typefaces. This is a case where Fonzi called and wants his shark back. Damn… what a joke of a network. The NBC brass could fire them all only to improve their reputation and financial posture.

  10. Lummox JR on 6/06/12 at 12:38 pm

    I can get how their legal department would miss this if they only had the edited version presented to them. Nevertheless with the story as inflammatory as it was, in that position I’d ask to see a transcript of the unedited call or listen to the whole thing. Editing for broadcast time without changing the substance of the discussion is fine, but they left out something that completely changed the tone. My gut says one person made the malicious edit, and it was simply passed along the chain without any serious thought in spite of the fact that everyone touching it should have known that this is a hot-button story and needs better handling than that.

    The one thing they can’t get away with here is claiming the edit was accidental. The complete change of tone is bad enough, but it also leaves out why Zimmerman had reason to suspect the guy–not his race but the incongruity of his behavior. It further leaves out that Zimmerman didn’t mention race until he was asked. Those are vital details to a story that requires more sensitivity and stricter adherence to the bare facts than others. No one is stupid enough to make such an edit by accident, even at NBC where their news and sports and scheduling departments compete to out-stupid each other on a regular basis.

    They should have fired the person most directly responsible, and several people up the chain. I can see how they’d balk at losing Brian Williams even though he shares responsibility, but the fact that they didn’t even let a few token heads roll when the situation demands no less is troubling. Trying to get away with a weaselly non-apology that there was simply an error isn’t good enough. What I really don’t get is why their PR and legal departments aren’t screaming at the top brass day and night to take real action before they get sued into oblivion, because NBC is now only making the situation worse by feigning innocence.

  11. aelfheld on 6/06/12 at 1:54 pm

    If he’s ‘seasoned’ then he should be ready for roasting over a slow flame.

  12. PTL on 6/06/12 at 2:37 pm

    No need to punish anyone, otherwise all must be fired. They
    walk in lockstep better than the Stalin’s Red Army. They should all be sent to the reeducation camp at the NYT editorial
    offices.

  13. sbekele on 6/06/12 at 2:39 pm

    I love how there is more outrage here about this than a young boy being killed. There is more effort to deny racism exists than there is getting justice.

    Zimmerman, the KILLER, should sue for a billion dollars?

    Funny thing is, I’m sure some folks who agree with this nonsense are the same ones screaming “TORT REFORM!!!” and crying about frivolous lawsuits.

  14. richard40 on 6/06/12 at 3:49 pm

    “So a script editor and senior producer and lawyers review broadcast material, but nobody noticed this? “.

    It sounds strange, but perhaps nobody did notice, beyond the initial editor. The leftist bias is so ingrained that it didn’t even occur to anybody in the review chain that that kind of edit was biased, or to even ask the question. Just like Pelosi could not even conceive of the possibility that Obamacare could be unconstitutional.

    Fox would never have that problem, because while being mostly conservative, they have enough liberals on staff so at least there is somebody there to ask the question. At NBC the leftist bias may be so extreme that there isn’t anybody around that is capable of seeing how things might look to the other side.

  15. Nequelquepart on 6/06/12 at 3:49 pm

    Will this scumbag personally apologized to the people beaten and murdered in the name of trayvon as a result of his deliberate deception? Will Obama also claim them as looking like his son. Disgusting.

  16. HAVC on 6/06/12 at 3:52 pm

    sbekele,

    The fact that the ‘young boy’ was killed was both regretable and is a key fact. However it not the only fact. I would love to see the boy alive. That being said I would also like to understand why Zimmerman shot. We simply do not know the facts nor has the press provided them (out of place snippets don’t count as facts)

    That being said, I think most of us would like to see justice done (whatever the facts and evidence demonstrate) I am just unsure how you get to racism once the actual audio and pictures are shown.

    At best we have an active Neighborhood Watch Leader that was taking his role seriously which ended up in some kind of an altercation. Beyond that it is simply our imaginations and attitudes driving the conversation. Waiting for evidence and facts is not as much fun, but generally more accurate.

  17. Barry the Racial Agitator on 6/06/12 at 4:13 pm

    My main man, Jim Bell? He’s just helping me get reelected.

    He does good work. We have to show how racism is still a big problem, even when the facts don’t do it for us.

  18. InterestedThirdParty on 6/06/12 at 7:59 pm

    PacRim – There are multiple people searches online, where for a few dollars, you can get a map right to the guy’s house.

  19. nous defion on 6/06/12 at 9:28 pm

    If everyone contacts “NBC News-contact us” and leaves a message on their comment board, naming Jim Bell & Al Sharpton of inciting violence, Media Malpractice, Scandal, Libel, big Punitive Damage Award to Zimmerman, their editor-in-chief will have to tally the comments and present to legal counsel the opinions expressed by an outraged public. Potential Jury Pool Members in NYC would have the Most impact on NBC policy, for monetary damage awards are fierce in NYC.
    Demand a ‘Public’ firing of the person responsible for editing the 911 Zimmermann tape

  20. vpl on 7/07/12 at 2:41 am

    Here is a link to a nice run down on how the media manicures the “news” for its consumers. http://wp.me/pOhuI-k

    I also includes quotes from media ceo’s that will leave no doubt about what the “news” really is.

  21. Eric Rasmusen on 7/07/12 at 4:28 pm

    “Bell, 44, joined TODAY in 2005 with responsibility for all aspects of the program. During his tenure, it has extended its dominance in the morning ratings race to 15 years and earned five Emmys, seven Edward R. Murrow Awards and nine Headliner Awards. Bell also won Emmys for his work on the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2002 Olympics and a Peabody for NBC’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony.”

    Good point— the buck stops with him, and until NBC or he blames somebody else, he should shoulder the blame and the personal legal liability. I bet producers make enough money that he’s worth suing too, besides NBC. In fact, if NBC wanted to, I think they could make him compensate them for whatever they have to pay out as his employer for his actions, since this was not just negligence on his part, but intentional defamation.

    Oh, and I post the above because maybe people should start wondering what else he’s done that hasn’t been caught. Cheaters never cheat just once.