William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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NBC FIRES "ZIMMERMAN TAPE" PRODUCER – AT 10:23 A.M. ET:  I don't like to see anyone lose his job.  There's a family involved, and you don't know whether the dismissal was justified, or part of an effort to cover for someone else.  However, NBC has fired the producer responsible for airing a viciously edited tape of a 911 conversation with George Zimmerman, the shooter in the Trayvon Martin case.

The editing made it appear that Zimmerman was a racist.  The true version revealed that he was just answering a dispatcher's questions.  From Fox:

NBC News has fired a producer who worked on a 'Today' show segment that featured a heavily edited 911 recording in which George Zimmerman appears to racially profile Trayvon Martin before the teen's shooting, according to The New York Times.

The name of the Miami-based producer who was fired was not released, according to the Times report, which does not refer to any disciplinary action that may have been taken against other NBC staffers.

NBC News has been slammed for the report since last week, and had promised an investigation into what has been described as a grossly misleading editing of the tape.

COMMENT:  I'm guessing that NBC concluded that the distortion was wilful.  NBC may also have concluded that its credibility was on the line.  That credibility hasn't been too healthy in recent years, what with the wild-eyed behavior of its subsidiary, MSNBC, which is home to some of the most reckless commentators on the air. 

I recall the days when NBC News was a great news organization.  I was myself an intern on the Huntley-Brinkly Report, if only for a brief period.  NBC News has slipped and become less professional.  Has the bulb gone on over someone's head?

April 7, 2012