NBC and ABC Exposed for 911 Call and Video Image with George Zimmerman

George Zimmerman from 2005 arrest.  Image courtesy of AP/Miami Herald/CS Monitor.

George Zimmerman from 2005 arrest. Image courtesy of AP/Miami Herald/CS Monitor.

NBC, who is also facing backlash from the Sarah Palin guest co-host stint on the TODAY Show, is now facing the court of public opinion once again for editing a 911 call placed by George Zimmerman prior to him shooting Trayvon Martin.

Not only is NBC in question, but ABC as well for releasing raw footage from a video taken at the Sanford police department when Zimmerman was brought in for questioning.  ABC has since released a version which has been enhanced by an outside company and displays a gash on the back of Zimmerman’s head.

George Zimmerman at the Sanford police department.  Image courtesy of ABC/DailyMail UK.

Enhanced image of George Zimmerman at the Sanford police department. Image courtesy of ABC/DailyMail UK.

However, both networks have caused the public to once again question whether journalists and media outlets can provide fair reporting of incidents.  “Are liberal media outlets capable of not distorting the facts?” 

NBC has since issued an apology

“During our investigation it became evident that there was an error made in the production process that we deeply regret. We will be taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future and apologize to our viewers.”

Now this is where Above Promotions Company is going to chime in on all of the excitement over the NBC and ABC controversy.

The public is not a patient group.  (Let’s not forget about how many wanted Roland Martin from CNN fired from the network over his off-duty Twitter comments.)  They do not want to await the outcome of a grand jury or the Justice Department‘s findings, they want justice now.  And as it relates to NBC’s editing, the public wants to know who made the error, who was at fault for not checking the error and if anyone was fired.  The official NBC statement leaves too many holes for the public and therefore causing the court of public opinion to find the media guilty of not being a reliable source for information.    ABC rushing to get the exclusive and showing the non-enhanced video was a mistake which only added people to question images being displayed and the manner they are presented. 

In business customers want to know your organization is using the best methods possible to provide the best product on the market.  These errors are like Gucci, leaving the “u” out and printing mass items in error; Chick-fil-a not providing the top of the bun with your sandwich; or  God forbid Toyota sold a car with their missing trunk ornament. 

People do not want a product that hasn’t undergone proper preparation and does not meet high standards.  Even if the public opted to believe the errors were not an attempt to skew the public or help to sell viewers on their version of reporting, the apology leaves to question by viewers, “Is NBC using the best practices in providing the truth?” or “Should we believe the video ABC is showing right now?”

Doubt for any business is huge issue for a brand.  Don’t just look at these networks and wonder why.  Look at your own business and see where it could happen to you.

NBC and ABC are going to have to go back to the drawing board and come up with responses and reporting on themselves which will appease the public and prove their brand is one to respect and for people to trust.

“Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.” – Solon.