“Deceptive audio editing by NBC
Between March 19 and 27, 2012, the NBC Nightly News, NBC's Today show, and NBC's network-owned Miami affiliate WTVJ NBC6 ran segments which misleadingly merged parts of Zimmerman's call. On one version of the recording played by NBC, Zimmerman was heard saying, "This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something... He's got his hand in his waistband, and he's a black male." In another what was played was, "This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black." In the original 9-1-1 recording, Zimmerman said: "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." The 9-1-1 operator then asked: "OK, and this guy, is he black, white or Hispanic?", and Zimmerman answered, "He looks black." The phrase, "He's got his hand in his waistband, and he's a black male" came several exchanges after that point in the conversation.
Erik Wemple of the Washington Post wrote that NBC's alterations "would more readily paint Zimmerman as a racial profiler. In reality... Zimmerman simply answered a question... Nothing prejudicial at all in responding to such an inquiry... To portray that exchange in a way that wrongs Zimmerman is high editorial malpractice..."
NBC issued an apology for "an error made in the production process that we deeply regret," but never apologized on the air. The network said that the Today show and Miami edits took place in two separate incidents involving different people. A Miami-based NBC News producer lost her job, WTVJ reporter Jeff Burnside was fired, and two other employees were disciplined. Lilia Luciano, who was the reporter on broadcasts containing both edited versions of the audio, was also fired, and her aired reports on the Trayvon Martin story, along with the misleading audio, were removed from the Today website.
On December 6, 2012, Zimmerman filed a defamation lawsuit against NBC alleging that they intentionally edited the phone call so that Zimmerman would sound racist. The lawsuit said, "NBC saw the death of Trayvon Martin not as a tragedy but as an opportunity to increase ratings, and so set about to create the myth that George Zimmerman was a racist and predatory villain." A NBC spokeswoman said the network strongly disagreed with the accusations that Zimmerman made in the complaint, stating; "There was no intent to portray Mr. Zimmerman unfairly and we intend to vigorously defend our position in court."
In an interview after the trial verdict, Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl predicted NBC would lose millions settling a defamation lawsuit.
Surveillance video mistake
ABC News obtained a surveillance video of Zimmerman walking unassisted into the Sanford police station after the shooting. An officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman's head, but ABC originally said that no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video. The Daily Caller disputed this claim, and posted a still from the ABC video which showed an injury on the back of Zimmerman's head. ABC later reported that it had "re-digitized" the video, and said that this version showed "what appear to be a pair of gashes or welts on George Zimmerman's head," but the story's main focus was on a doctor who claimed it was unlikely that Zimmerman's nose had been broken.
Misleading reporting after the verdict
In his July 26, 2013 column, Slate journalist William Saletan accused several major news organizations of editing interviews with "Juror B29" to make it appear that she maintained Zimmerman had gotten away with murder when she had not actually done so.[368\\”