MRC Calls on Congress to Investigate Comcast / NBC for Journalistic Fraud in Trayvon Martin Reporting

Rejects fake “apology,” activates 100,000+ calls, emails and letters to parent company Comcast and cites FCC involvement in pending Comcast / Verizon deal

Alexandria, VA – Today, Media Research Center President Brent Bozell announces the media watchdog is calling upon Congress to investigate Comcast / NBC News for the intentional editing of the George Zimmerman audio that was broadcast multiple times and subsequently flamed the fires of racial hatred and animosity: 

“NBC is laughing at the public. Last week we said we would have more to say if their behavior in this matter didn’t change.  Given their continued irresponsibility, today we open up a new front. “

To review:

1. From March 19th to March 27th, NBC used their doctored versions of the Trayvon Martin audio clip to give the impression that Zimmerman was a racist. The fraudulently doctored audio clip was used at least five times by the Today Show and NBC Nightly News.  We called on NBC to a) apologize to the public, b) disclose who was responsible, c) explain what disciplinary action they were taking, and d) explain why the public should ever trust NBC again.

2. On March 31st, NBC announced they would investigate themselves.  This is like Nixon investigating Watergate.  So we called on Comcast to investigate NBC.  To date, more than 100,000 emails, phone calls, and letters from Media Research Center members have been made/sent to Comcast’s board of directors demanding such an investigation.

3. On April 3rd, NBC’s public relations department issued a ridiculous, two-sentence non-apology ‘apology.’  No names were provided.  No disciplinary action was taken.  The ridiculous statement blamed ‘an error made in the production process that we deeply regret.’  Reuters reported an anonymous NBC source called it ‘a very bad mistake, but not deliberate.’ And still no apology to NBC’s viewers.  MRC rejected NBC’s non-apology out of hand.

4. Last Friday, NBC informed a reporter for Reuters that a senior producer had been fired.  The excuse given this time was that it was a simple editing decision to save time, which is not only unbelievable, but also proves it was deliberate and contrary to their previous position. And still no apology to its viewers.

“So where does that leave us?  This is a complete violation of the public trust.  Comcast is in the midst of a business deal with Verizon requiring approval by the Federal Communications Commission and the United States Department of Justice; the public policy issues related to the approval of this deal are so critical that the United States Senate held hearings on the matter.

“Some organizations and elected officials have raised anti-trust concerns.  We are now  joining them.

“Today we are contacting appropriate committees in Congress asking them to investigate Comcast / NBC’s public deception in view of the proposed Comcast / Verizon business deal; and Comcast’s duty to the public trust given one of their premier properties – NBC – has advanced this deception and arrogantly refuses to apologize to its own broadcast viewers."

LETTER to the Senate Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee on Comcast NBC investigation

LETTER to The House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet on Comcast NBC investigation

To schedule an interview with MRC President Brent Bozell or another MRC spokesperson, please contact Colleen Sullivan - or Hayley McConnell - or call (703) 683-5004.