Letters to the Editor

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MEDIA: What the Trayvon Martin case really tells us

Letter by Bill Anderson, Auburn on April 10, 2012 at 10:17 am | 163 Comments »
April 10, 2012 10:58 am

Re: “What the Trayvon Martin case is telling us about ourselves” (editorial, 4-10).

The Trayvon Martin case also tells us a great deal about the media reporting it and almost nothing about us. We do not see any fair and unbiased reporting of facts. What we see is shrill hyperventilating and misleading reporting.

An NBC News producer has been fired after a misleading report on the Trayvon Martin case suggested that shooter George Zimmerman was racially motivated. The edited audio clip from a 911 call implied that Zimmerman, shot Martin because he was black. “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black,” according to the clip that aired March 27 on the “Today” show.

A transcript of the actual recording of the call between Zimmerman and the 911 dispatcher shows the version that was aired was significantly modified. George Zimmerman said: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.” The 911 dispatcher said: “O.K., and this guy – is he white, black or Hispanic?” George Zimmerman said: “He looks black.”

NBC has chosen not to acknowledge the deception and has declined to comment. How are we to separate fact from fiction when we cannot trust the reporting that we are seeing? And how can you suggest that the case tells us anything about ourselves when we seem to be victims of such self-serving deception?

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