All credit to Les Jones blog, which has uncovered a pattern of problematic production practices at NBC.
NBC has already fired an unnamed producer over the slanted editing of the George Zimmerman 911 call, which was clipped by NBC to be “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black” for the 'Today' show on March 27. [And Jeralyn Merritt, legal eagle and Lexis hawk, finds a transcript of a March 22 'Today' broadcast with the same bad Zimmerman edit.]
However, Les Jones shows us that on March 19 an NBC team in Miami ran the same problematic edit in the print version of their Trayvon Martin coverage:
On his call to police, Zimmerman called Martin, a junior at Krop Senior High School in Miami, “a real suspicious guy.”
“This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black,” Zimmerman said, while calling police from his car. He said Martin was wearing a gray hoodie and had “his hand in his waistband.”
The bylines for that story are Christina Hernandez, Jeff Burnside and Edward B. Colby. And don't be fooled by the April 2 dateline at the top - the dateline at the bottom is Mar 19 and the Jay Carney "we here in the White House are aware of the incident" quote is from Mar 19.
As further evidence of the timing of the first story, a March 20 story updated and re-dated March 21 by Jeff Burnside uses the same "He looks black" edit and links back to the March 19 story. The video clips linked to the two stories do not use that phrase or discuss the Zimmerman 911 call.
Leaving us where? Per NBC senior executives, the Today Show edit was made in haste and repented at leisure:
As part of the investigation, the producer who edited the call was questioned extensively about motivation, and it was determined that the person had cut the video clip down to meet a maximum time requirement for the length of the segment - a common pressure in morning television - and inadvertently edited the call in a way that proved misleading.
Hmm, were time constraints also a problem in the website text presentation, with multiple updates over two weeks?
We also learned that
[NBC News President Steve Capus] said "several people" involved were disciplined, though he declined to specify the nature of the disciplinary actions, saying they were internal personnel matters.
I bet we know some names now.
MAJOR props to Team Jones.
UPDATE: Apparently I could have observed a lot just by watching.
UPDATE II: Jeralyn Merritt observes a lot using Lexis, incluidng an earlier broadcast of the "He looks black" edit by the Today show.
WHAT KIND OF RIGHT WING MACHINE ARE WE OPERATING? In late March Dan Riehl, writing at Big Journalism, noted the bum edit in the MSNBC version of the story. Newsbusters flagged their unannounced correction and isn't embracing the latest NBC explanations.
A Sanford neighbor of George Zimmerman and fellow neighborhood watch captain in their gated community came to his defense Tuesday, saying that he shot Miami teenager Trayvon Martin after numerous burglaries at The Retreat at Twin Lakes.
The left hand doesn't know what the far left hand is doing.
WHAT WOULD A CLUE EVEN LOOK LIKE? Social media these days - what would the Twitter stream of a disciplined reporter look like? I don't know either.
And I am drawing nothing on Edward B. Colby. At NBC 6 Miami he has this search result.
Will the Zimmerman editing scandal affect NBC's ratings? Not if no one reports on it.
And speaking just for myself, I can't not-watch NBC Today anymore than I already not-am. I don't think...