14 thoughts on “Zimmerman Versus NBC

  1. Thomas Matula

    They will probably just claim First Amendment and be let off. As you noted in your posts on the Mann suit, defamation is a pretty high standard to meet.

    1. Rand Simberg Post author

      No, he has an excellent case. The editing of that tape was almost textbook reckless disregard for the truth, and defamation. The fact that they claimed to have fired the guy who did it will actually go against them.

      1. Thomas Matula

        Rand,

        Actually its a point in their favor since it shows it wasn’t the corporation that did it but one lone individual acting without orders who was punished for it (fired) when the corporation discovered their actions. So it shifts the blame to the individual from the corporation itself.

        1. Rand Simberg Post author

          It happened more than once, and they didn’t fire anyone until they got caught at it. The corporation clearly had no problem with it.

          And we still don’t know if they actually fired someone (we never got a name), or they just said they did.

  2. Will McLean

    If you are happy that media get punished more when they fire someone for misleading editing than when they don’t, you are probably not thinking through the incentives you are encouraging.

    1. McGehee

      Again, that’s assuming anyone ever actually got fired. With NBC in particular it simply is not a safe assumption that they’re telling the truth about anything at all.

      1. Will McLean

        But upthread, Rand asserts that even claiming to fire a subordinate that misleadingly edited a broadcast makes them more vulnerable to litigation. Not, I think, the incentives we want in the long run.

        The important thing is to correct error as quickly as possible, and not to punish the media when they do this. And not to punish them when they do.

    2. Leland

      “media get punished more”

      In what way was NBC punished? Was there some sanction that occurred where they paid restitution?

      It’s not an issue of additional punishment. If Zimmerman wins his case, the award to him will be the first punishment paid by NBC for this incident. And no, firing some anonomous person that they won’t name isn’t a punishment. At worse, the fired person lacking a negative record will get a job somewhere else. At best, NBC identifies an invisible scapegoat and then carries on with normal business. Neither seems a punishment to NBC.

      Not punishing NBC gives them an incentive to do this again. Considering they forgot the lesson from faking truck fuel tank explosions; I think it is time for a new incentive.

    3. Robin Goodfellow

      Your assumption is that these sorts of problems are isolated incidents caused by overzealous individuals. I don’t think that is a correct assumption, I think this is just one of the more egregious examples of a systemic problem in media in general. The media has always been horrendously bad at holding itself accountable, it tries to think of itself and its actions as being detached from consequences, though that has never been the case.

  3. DaveP.

    Here’s a reminder: NBC claims to have fired a staffer over its attempt to get George Zimmerman lynched, but refuses to identify who that might be and the person has never stepped forward to self-identify. Since there’s no way to check, and since we’ve all become aware of exactly how little trust one should put into what major networks say, it’s fair to ask: was anyone really fired?

  4. Tom W.

    Well, what do you expect from a media that even TODAY has a story (Reuters) entitled: “Trayvon Martin’s killer sues NBC over racist “myth””

    They can’t even be bothered to mention George Zimmerman by name; simply calling him Martin’s killer.

  5. Gregg

    The lib-dem-msm Axis found the Zimmerman case so very handy to keep the rascism meme alive and well.

    And if am innocent guy gets sent to the slam….well you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet….

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