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NBC News said Tuesday it has concluded an investigation into its repeated broadcast of an edited version of a 911 call placed by George Zimmerman that made it appear he was racially profiling Trayvon Martin the night he killed him.
NBC’s Today broadcast the 911 call last week, but its edited version made it appear that Zimmerman blurted out that Martin looked suspicious to him because he was black. The full audio from the phone call, though, reveals that Zimmerman didn’t mention Martin’s race until the 911 operator asked him, “Is he white, black or Hispanic?”
MSNBC has run similar segments with the edited version of the call.
“During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret,” NBC News said in a statement e-mailed to The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday. “We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers.”
When asked if anyone at Today had lost their job or had been reassigned as a result of the investigation, an NBC spokeswoman said: “We will not be commenting on our course of action.”
NBC’s statement comes a day after The O’Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel chastised its competitor for taking so long to investigate what it thought was a simple matter. NBC announced on Saturday it had launched its investigation.
During the O’Reilly Factor segment Monday, guest Bernie Goldberg, formerly a CBS News broadcaster, told host Bill O’Reilly the edited tape was either the result of gross negligence or purposeful distortion to advance an agenda. Video is below.
“Hey Bill,” Goldberg said, “if you or I were running NBC News, the investigation would be over 10 minutes after it began. We’d call somebody in, we’d say, ‘Who did this?’ We’d ask, ‘Why did you do it, what were you thinking when you did it, and did anybody tell you to do it?’ I don’t think they’re investigating it anymore; I think they’ve got a bunch of PR people around a big table trying to come up with a way to spin this to the public and do the least damage to NBC News.”
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