Posts Tagged ‘NBC News’

Zimmerman Sues NBC

December 7, 2012

Good for him!  George Zimmerman is suing NBC over their reporting of the incident between Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin. Whatever may be said about that incident, and I am not commenting on that here, it is obvious that their reporting was slipshod and perhaps intentionally deceptive. Here is the story I read at the Washington Post.

Lawyers for George Zimmerman filed suit today against NBC Universal Media over a well-publicized editing error that portrayed their client in racist terms in his pursuit of Trayvon Martin on a drizzly evening in February.

“NBC saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so to set about the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain,” states the civil complaint in its opening salvo against NBC.

This is the part to pay attention to.

NBC’s editing of the 911 audiotape in the Martin case became a public fixation after the media-monitoring Web site NewsBusters.org noted editing oddities on a “Today” show broadcast March 27. Here’s how NBC News portrayed the audiotape:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.

The full tape went like this:

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.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?
Zimmerman: He looks black.

Zimmerman thus didn’t volunteer a racial profile of Martin; he was asked to provide it, a point that the lawsuit makes in colorful fashion: “NBC created this false and defamatory misimpression using the oldest form of yellow journalism: manipulating Zimmerman’s own words, splicing together disparate parts of the recording to create illusions of statements that Zimmerman never actually made.”

The suit contends that this and other examples were no innocent mistakes but a deliberate attempt to stir up racial trouble for the sake of higher ratings. I wouldn’t care to speculate on anyone’s motives but I think that the media has to be held accountable. If it turns out that NBC’s reporting of this case was intentionally deceitful, I hope Zimmerman wins the suit and I hope he cleans up.

By the way, I read some of the comments below the article. There is nothing quite so depressing as seeing how stupid many of these people are, on both sides of the issue.

$100 a Pack

April 24, 2012

I don’t smoke and I can’t stand the smell of tobacco smoke in any form, so I suppose I should be thrilled at this story  from NBC News that I found on Drudge.

New Zealand’s Health Ministry has reportedly considered boosting the price of a pack of cigarettes as high as $100 ($81 U.S.) in a bid to make the country smoke free by 2025.

An internal government working paper raised the possibility of upping the cost of a 20-cigarette pack by 30 to 60 percent and tacking on yearly increases of 30 percent, Sky News reported.

With cigarettes now priced at about $16 to $17, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the $100 suggestion seemed like “an awful lot” and could encourage a black market, Fairfax NZ News reported.

Anti-tobacco activist Ben Youdan said it would be more “realistic” to price smokes at “$30 to $40 a pack” over the course of 10 to 15 years as part of a comprehensive campaign to reduce the number of smokers in the country, now around 650,000, according to Fairfax NZ News.

The problem is that while such a policy would certainly reduce the number of smokers in New Zealand, it would also create a black market of untaxed cigarettes. I imagine that if the costs of trying to crack down on illicit cigarettes are considered the savings in health costs created by the reduction in the number of smokers wouldn’t be all that much.


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