ABC News has been caught in a clear-cut case of journalistic malpractice this past week. No matter your feelings on the Trayvon Martin case, this is indisputable evidence of the media trying to advance a narrative – and failing miserably.
ABC was apparently so excited about having obtained exclusive police surveillance video last week, that they posted it and subsequently came to their own conclusions. The headline blasted, “Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman.”
Other media lapdogs ran with it, to the point where the lawyer for Trayvon Martin’s parents referred to the video as “the smoking gun“.
You know who actually went out of their way to perform research and produce actual journalism regarding the video? Conservative blogs.
The Daily Caller posted a still image the following day which appeared to show a laceration on the back of George Zimmerman’s head. Liberal’s such as Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher mocked the Caller’s attempt at video analysis, while posting the original ABC video yet again.
But then, Dan Riehl over at Big Journalism followed up on the video report, finding further evidence that ABC had falsely presented the clip as evidence that Zimmerman had lied about being assaulted.
Riehl’s report read:
A new High Definition clip from the same video appears to make clear that Zimmerman had a gash or wound of some kind on the back of his head. That would be totally consistent with his version of events on the night in question and opposite the impression ABC News gave its viewers.
Big Journalism called the ABC video-based report reckless and revealing of nothing after it first aired. ABC’s presumed ability to enhance and review video before airing only makes their report all the more outrageous. Given analysis by Breitbart Media and the Daily Caller already performed, the ABC video appeared to be inconclusive, at best.
The new High Defintion clip from the police video Breitbart TV is releasing means that any determination beyond that the video is inconclusive is shoddy, if not intentionally unethical, journalism. To date, ABC has offered no official response to the broad and convincing criticism of the disingenuous nature of their aired report.
And now the DC and Big Journalism have had their vindication, with ABC News having to issue a ‘clarified’ version of the video, showing gashes and welts on Zimmerman’s head.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
ABC News has re-digitized video of George Zimmerman taken shortly after Trayvon Martin’s shooting.
The video was unveiled as an exclusive this morning on “Good Morning America.” ABC was the first news organization to show the original tape.
Reporter Matt Gutman said the clearer video shows “what appear to be a pair of gashes or welts on George Zimmerman’s head.”
Neighborhood Watch volunteer Zimmerman has said he shot 17-year-old Trayvon in self-defense. The video shows Zimmerman arriving at the Sanford Police Department within an hour after the shooting.
Gutman said the video had been “clarified” by Forensic Protection Inc. Former FBI Special Agent Brad Garrett told ABC that the clearer video shows “marks on the back of Mr. Zimmerman’s head.”
I’m glad ABC finally took the time to have the video reviewed by experts and clarified, but perhaps they should have done that in the first place.
Whether or not the clarified video will receive as much coverage as the original remains to be seen. But one thing is for certain – none of the hard working journalists at the Daily Caller and Big Journalism will receive any credit for revealing the failed media narrative pushed by ABC. ABC alone will receive praise, none of it deserved.
Stunned. So very stunned and saddened. An absolutely crushing blow.
It is difficult to write with a feeling of having been kicked in the gut, but it’s the only thing I can think to do right now.
In just his early forties, media crusader, common sense conservative, and friend to many, Andrew Breitbart, has passed away.
The first time I ever ‘spoke’ to Andrew was in a chat on Facebook, when I asked if he were looking for any new writers at Big Government. I didn’t expect a response, yet he quickly got me in touch with the editors and we were off and running.
When his book, Righteous Indignation came out, I shot Andrew an e-mail asking if we could do an interview. Again, I figured he was being inundated with a myriad of requests, so I wasn’t holding my breath. Within minutes he had texted me his cell phone number.
Throughout these last few months, we’ve had a chance to discuss voter fraud, the Occupy movement, and other political stories which were run through the stable of Andrew’s ‘Big’ sites.
The point being, the fact that a man of his stature was willing to give someone like me the time of day, showed the kind of character Andrew exhibited. I can only imagine the greatness that those close to him knew and saw on a daily basis.
After my wife had a chance to meet Andrew Breitbart, and we both had the opportunity to watch his speech at CPAC this year, I wrote the following:
Breitbart says what a lot of people think in regards to liberals, the mainstream media, and the Occupy movement, but don’t have the courage to say.
Whatever you might think of Andrew, he lived his life and championed his cause full throttle. His life was something we could all learn by.
From Big Government:
With a terrible feeling of pain and loss we announce the passing of Andrew Breitbart.Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles.
We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.
Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.
Andrew is at rest, yet the happy warrior lives on, in each of us..
It would be easy to say ‘Rest in Peace, Andrew’ but there’s just no way he would want that.
So… Keep fighting the good fight, sir.
Thanks so much to Benny Johnson and Accuracy in Media for the video tribute.