Should be a layup. There’s no way to defend that edited tape.
Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman is suing NBC over the network’s botched editing of his 911 tape, Page Six can exclusively reveal. We hear Zimmerman’s attorneys are about to file a complaint against NBC and its top executives, naming news president Steve Capus and correspondent Ron Allen, who was the reporter on the scene for the broadcast on “Today” on March 27. He also remained the reporter for the story on “NBC Nightly News.”
A source tells us, “The suit will be filed imminently against NBC and its news executives. The network’s legal department has put everybody in the news department involved with this incident on notice, telling them not to comment.” NBC launched an internal probe after producers misleadingly edited the 911 call placed by Zimmerman just before he shot the unarmed Florida teenager. The edit made it appear that Zimmerman had immediately told police that Martin was black, when the full tape reveals the neighborhood watch captain only did so when responding to a question posed by a dispatcher. Combined sections from two different parts of the tape gave the false impression that Zimmerman had said: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good or on drugs or something. He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male.”
NBC News brass reportedly interviewed more than half a dozen staffers during its internal investigation, and at least three employees were let go. They determined that a “seasoned” producer was to blame for the clip and news executives did not know the 911 call had been misleadingly edited until reports about it surfaced days later. An unidentified NBC executive previously told Reuters the “Today” show’s editorial control policies missed the selective editing of the call. It is not known if any other “Today” execs or anchors will be named in the suit. NBC declined to comment last night. Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara said he was unable to get us a comment before deadline.