The Media Research Center’s Brent Bozell has rightly denounced NBC’s phony apology for doctoring the Zimmerman 911 tape in the Trayvon Martin case, but he does not go far enough. NBC’s so-called “apology” for an “error in the production process” is beyond insulting. Bozell calls on NBC Universal’s new owner, Comcast, to conduct its own investigation and states: “With this farce of an ‘apology’ NBC has lost its credibility — completely.”
That’s a given, but much more needs to be done. To begin with, NBC’s own so-called “internal investigation” sounds like a complete joke. This would be like Bill Clinton investigating the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
With this doctoring operation, which even Slate has referred to as “NBC’s Botch Job on Zimmerman”, followed by its outrageously fraudulent ‘apology’, NBC has clearly demonstrated not only its contempt for basic journalistic integrity and the intelligence of the viewing public but has abdicated all rights to claim that it is operating its flagship station “in the public interest.” Every executive who signed off on that so-called ‘apology’ should be fired immediately – these are not people who should be entrusted with the right to broadcast on the public airwaves. Perhaps they can find jobs more suited to their skill-sets – producing lying propaganda – in Cuba or North Korea, where some of them would probably feel more at home anyway.
Public broadcast licenses are privileges that carry with them a very high responsibility to the public. With its fraudulent “apology”, NBC has shown how little regard it has for that privilege. In fact, it could be argued that, with its latest actions, WNBC or wherever the original doctoring occurred is actually operating against the public interest. This violation is so egregious that I call upon thousands of Red-Staters and others who care about our public airwaves to flood the FCC with complaints against NBC under the complaint category for “unfair, biased” broadcasts. I have little confidence that the Obama Administration’s FCC will have the integrity to take any action against NBC, but these complaints would still become part of the public record. At some future time, they would be useful during any Congressional investigations, potential future lawsuits, or whenever WNBC’s license application comes up again for renewal.
Every decent and law-abiding American wants justice in this case – either for Trayvon Martin if he was killed unjustifiably or for George Zimmerman if he used lethal force justifiably. Since all the facts are not known, the 911 call itself is vitally significant to our mutual understanding as Americans in trying to piece together what actually happened. To have deliberately doctored it in order to support a particular ideological agenda or template is unconscionable, but then to try to claim it was some sort of inadvertent “error in production” is even worse because it shows what little regard NBC executives have for the impact of their network’s actions, what contempt they have for the public and that they have learned absolutely nothing from the chain of events that led to this incident at NBC in the first place.