Does anyone in charge at NBC News have any sense of journalistic standards? How about any sense of shame?
I have been banging away at NBC News since at least the days of the suck-up White House interview the network's bowing anchorman, Brian Williams, did with President Obama.
You remember the one when they "spontaneously" went out for hamburgers in the middle of the day. (Loved the celebration of special correspondent Chelsea Clinton the last few months as well.)
But the double whammy this week is just too much for me to keep quiet – even though I’m on vacation.
First, the doctored 911 tape in which someone at NBC News edited out the question from a dispatcher in Sanford, Florida, asking George Zimmerman to identify the race of the teenager he was following on the night he ultimately shot Trayvon Martin.
It was edited by someone at NBC News so that when Zimmerman says "he looks black," it sounds as if he is injecting race, racial profiling and a connection between being “black” and being “up to no good,” into the tragic scenario, rather than factually answering a question.
Here's what the NBC News doctored tape had Zimmerman saying:
"This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black."
But here's what was really said without the edit:
Zimmerman: "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."
911 operator: "Okay. And this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic?"
Zimmerman: "He looks black."
You don't need me to tell you the edit feels every bit as egregious as the sort of thing the late Andrew Breitbart did in a couple of infamous instances on his websites.
For the record, NBC News says it has been investigating the situation for two days now. Please.
In every newsroom I ever worked, management would have an answer to that kind of journalistic malfeasance within an hour.
This is a serious, serious offense that only further inflamed a situation already heated to the boiling point by another NBC News employee, MSNBC show host Al Sharpton, who has been leading rallies and threatening public officials in Florida if Zimmerman is not arrested.
(MSNBC flies under the NBC News banner. That's one reason NBC News employes like Chuck Todd have shows on the cable outlet.)
And then, there's Sarah Palin scheduled to co-host the “Today" show Tuesday morning."Today" is also a production of the glorious NBC News.
It's an election year, and Palin, the vice presidential candidate in 2008, has made it clear she is still hoping for enough chaos at the GOP convention to be considered a candidate. And NBC News is putting her on the air as a co-host of one of the highest rated shows on TV -- the highest-rated mainstream (oh, I'm sorry, Sarah, I mean lamestream) show on morning TV.
Talk about going out of your way to politicize and debase your journalistic brand.