Despite 'correction,' N.Y. Times Trayvon tribute is pure lies

In the tiny victory department, I managed to squeeze a “correction” out of the New York Times for its lethally mendacious tribute to fallen teen idol Trayvon Martin a few weeks back.

This tribute perpetuated the lie that launched Black Lives Matter, namely that the racist George Zimmerman stalked and killed the unarmed Trayvon Martin and was acquitted by an all-white jury.

Thanks to independent journalist Selwyn Duke, I now see the “correction” to be very nearly as mendacious as the original video tribute. Duke’s widely reprinted article, “New York Times and Obama Peddle the Mother of All Deceptions,” reveals still another layer of fraud at the self-appointed “paper of record.”

The correction I wrung from the Times involved the Seminole County, Florida, jury. I objected to the video tribute’s portrayal of the jury as “all white.” The reporters who covered the trial for the Times knew better. They could see that one of the six jurors, all female, was black. They never claimed otherwise. The Times should have consulted with its own files.

Adam Ellick, the executive producer of Opinion Video at the Times, honored my objection. “Regarding your comment about the racial makeup of the jury,” Ellick emailed me, “our video included a clip from news coverage at the time. To avoid misunderstanding by our audience, we have offered a correction to that matter and I appreciate you flagging it.”

On the video, there now appears on screen this “correction”: “An earlier version of this video included an audio file in which a television commentator mischaracterized the composition of a jury. It consisted of five white women and one woman of mixed race.”

Describing a juror who appears to have as much African DNA as Trayvon’s mother as “mixed race” was as gratuitous as the Times introduction of the phrase “white Hispanic” to describe Zimmerman.

In each case, the editors “whitened” the individual to heighten the sense of injustice. Had they described Zimmerman as Hispanic, let alone as a civil rights activist and Obama supporter, their audience would have had less reason to feel the programmed emotion, namely outrage.

In the same vein, the knowledge that the jury was proportionately more black than the Seminole County jury pool would have cooled the fury of the protesters. I emailed Ellick, “The ‘mixed race’ juror will probably be surprised to learn that she is now ‘mixed race.'”

Among my many objections, Ellick responded to one other – the editing of Zimmerman’s exchange with the Sanford PD non-emergency dispatcher.

What follows is the actual exchange:

GZ: Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy, uh [near] Retreat View Circle. The best address I can give you is 111 Retreat View Circle. 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.

SPD: OK, and this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic?

GZ: He looks black.

Here is how the Times edited this exchange:

GZ: Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood and there’s a real suspicious guy. This guy looks like he’s up to no good or he’s on drugs or something. He looks black.

As I told Ellick, the Times edited the call to make Zimmerman seem to be a racist profiler. Ellick disagreed. Said he in an email, “On your comment regarding the 911 call, as is our standard, we conducted editing for time to encapsulate multiple lengthy calls that are only part of the overall story.”

Here is where the Selwyn Duke discovery comes into play – with a hat tip to Def-Con News. In April 2012, the New York Times ran an article by Brian Stelter, now with CNN, about NBC’s editing of that exchange between Zimmerman and the SPD dispatcher.

“NBC News has fired a producer who was involved in the production of a misleading segment about the Trayvon Martin case in Florida,” wrote Stelter. As Stelter reported, the producer had “strung together audio clips in such a way that made George Zimmerman’s shooting of Mr. Martin sound racially motivated.”

Stelter continued, “The segment in question was shown on the ‘Today’ show on March 27. It included audio of Mr. Zimmerman saying, ‘This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.'” Sound familiar?

Wait, there’s more from Stelter: “But Mr. Zimmerman’s comments had been taken grossly out of context by NBC. On the phone with a 911 dispatcher, he actually said of Mr. Martin, ‘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.’ Then the dispatcher asked, ‘O.K., and this guy — is he white, black or Hispanic?’ Only then did Mr. Zimmerman say, ‘He looks black.'”

Asks Duke wryly, “Who will now be fired at the Times for what got the NBC producer fired?” The answer, of course, is no one. The media have become that much more corrupt in the last 10 years.

The Times was not done with its mischief. As NBC had done 10 years earlier, the Times cut Zimmerman’s “okay” response to the SPD request that he not follow Trayvon. This created the impression, obliterated at Zimmerman’s trial, that he stalked the “little boy” and killed him.

“I have a hard time believing that that the editing out of Zimmerman’s ‘okay’ to the dispatcher has anything to do with ‘time to encapsulate,'” I emailed Ellick.

Wrote Stelter in 2012, “Inside NBC, there was shock that the segment had been broadcast.” In 2022, inside the New York Times, there was mild irritation. The Time has too much equity invested in the BLM lie to walk back anything meaningful.

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