The people with direct knowledge of the firing characterized the misleading edit as a mistake, not a purposeful act.
Per their legal advice, presumably. Well, Mr. Zimmerman can take some satisfaction in learning that NBC is now back to supporting "innocent until proven guilty".
As for the Times, their first bylined report on this NBC debacle is "Good-bye". Anyone naive enough to rely on the Times for their news probably enjoys the fact that the biggest puzzles start on the front page, not with the crossword. And of course, we can easily rustle up devoted Times readers who sincerely believe in an unbiased media. Ignorance is bliss.
ERRATA: As previously noted, the NY Times broke radio silence on Trayvon Martin to report two minor corrections. We still await their thoughts on Charles Blow's March 25 column, which cited the 100 pound weight differential between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman as evidence of the implausibility of Zimmerman's self-defense claim. The Times subsequently downsized Zimmerman and reported a twenty pound differential.
But on the bright side, the Times did finally mention Spike Lee's deplorable tweeting, the New Black Panthers bounty (once), and now the NBC debacle. All late, of course, but patching the narrative takes time and patience.
REACHING BACK: When CNN fired Eason Jordan after a week-long imbroglio the Times' first report was of his dismissal. Maybe this is a professional respect thing, although Eason had been bashing US troops.