As a launch point, let me pick up on this throw-away comment made by Rod Dreher in his own comments section:
I do think Zimmerman was a paranoid guy — I make this judgment based on his frequent 911 calls over the past year — but that doesn’t make him a murderer.
I can't establish the full context for that remark, but on March 20 Mr. Dreher wrote this:
The Orlando Sentinel reports that in the 13 months prior to the shooting, Zimmerman called 911 an astonishing 46 times.
And I have no doubt they did. But that was a widely circulated typo - per the City of Sanford website, Zimmerman made those 46 calls from January 2004 to the present, not January 2011. Even NPR got this right, eventually, and I have seen appropriate updates by Ta Nehesi Coates at the Atlantic, and elsewhere.
But one could easily blink and miss it, so Mr. Dreher might well be continuing to pin the 'paranoid' label onto Zimmerman based on misreported and widely uncorrected information.
Mr. Zimmerman lives in the predominantly white gated community where the shooting took place. A criminal justice major in college, he often patrolled the streets in his car. In the last 14 months, Mr. Zimmerman had made 46 calls to the police, officials said, reporting everything from alarms and disturbances to reckless driving and, most commonly, a “suspicious” person.
And Ms. Alvarez again on March 20:
Mr. Zimmerman had reported a “suspicious” person to 911 shortly before the encounter, saying a black male was checking out the houses and staring at him. Mr. Zimmerman, a criminal justice major, often patrolled the neighborhood. He had placed 46 calls to 911 in 14 months, for reports including open windows and suspicious people.
Does anyone notice a "Correction Appended" to either of those stories? There they sit in the Times archives, forever commemorating media misinformation.
However! The Times did a big calm-down walk-back today where they painstakingly reviewed the evidence. Zimmerman's life back to grade school was reprised. Surely they quietly fixed the error there, as they did with Zimmerman's weight (now reported as 170 lbs, down from the widely cited 240)?
If they did, I can't find it. Which is to say, neither "46" nor "forty-six" is showing up in a search. The closest they come is this subtle allusion:
Police records over the last several years suggest a man who was quite familiar with 911 dispatchers; who seemed, somehow, to be always in the middle of things. In October 2003, for example, on perhaps his greatest day in civic vigilance, Mr. Zimmerman chased after and assisted in the capture of a man who had stolen two 13-inch TV/DVD players from an Albertsons.
Pretty subtle! Would Mr. Dreher, or any other previously misinformed Times reader, realize that this meant the 46 calls were over eight years, not the previously reported fourteen months? Or would they grin knowingly and say "Familiar indeed - 46 calls in fourteen months familiar. Paranoid much?".
To be fair, I am not even sure the Times editors themselves are aware of the level of BS they have been propagating. If their goal is to correct the record and report a bit more responsibly going forward, maybe we will see those corrections appended in the next few days. I should provide a link to the NY Times Public Apologist for anyone who wants to waste their breath.
In the meantime, I welcome other examples of egregious misreporting that have gone quietly uncorrected. A personal fave was the lefty buzzpoint that the Sanford police never took Zimmerman's gun. Even Mother Jones blew the whistle on that, eventually. Others?