By now, you know that yesterday, under intense pressure, NBC finally (claims to have) fired the “seasoned producer” responsible for the previously inadvertent edit of the Zimmerman dispatch call to make it appear that he was racially profiling. NBC won’t release the name of that producer, though it’s widely thought to be someone whose name I’m withholding, until we know for sure. Why is NBC withholding the name? They will say that it is in order to spare the man embarrassment, and that much is likely to be true. But it seems that they bowed to the inevitable when Fox and the righty blogs wouldn’t let go of the subject, and if I had to guess, I’d say that he was sent off with a substantial severance package in exchange for not exposing Executive Producer Brian Williams’ role in the deception.
We, and many other blogs, noted a couple of days ago that certain people who claimed they had heard Zimmerman describe Martin as a “coon” in that audio retracted after using filters to clean it up, stating that instead it sounds as though he’s saying it’s “f*cking cold” instead. And it turns out that injuries to the back of Zimmerman’s head are visible in the video from the police station that was deployed originally to argue that his claims of having had his nose broken and his head pounded into the pavement by Martin were false.
As Tom Maguire and others pointed out, MSNBC’s ‘experts’ who claimed that the voice screaming for help in the background of a 9-1-1 call could not have been Zimmerman have made snap judgments—and in one case a potentially self-serving snap judgment—that cannot be admissible under any circumstances in a court of law. Zimmerman’s brother and Martin’s family both claim that they hear their own party’s voice in that role.
Putting all of that aside, for now, it seems that when Zimmerman was taken into police custody, one of the reasons that he was released is that they performed a voice stress analysis on his claims of how the confrontation and shooting went down, and determined from that evidence that he was likely telling the truth (Reuters via Dollard via BigBlue). This puts those relying on the tapes for confirmation of Zimmerman’s guilt in an awkward position; either such voice information is presumptive evidence or it is not, and the voice stress tests were carried out in a much more controlled environment than the background sounds caught in the 9-1-1 recordings.
As a rhetorical matter, too, this should be a lesson . . . though the usual parties likely will have learned nothing . . . that it is best to keep some of your evidence withheld until such time as your adversaries have leaped to their conclusions. That is what Breitbart did in the ACORN matter, with devastating effect.
So, cue the bitter clingers who will now claim that Zimmerman passed because he is a compulsive liar, or that it’s a cover-up, or that the voice stress analysis was improperly administered. By and large, they will be the same people who ran with the Michael Kobulnicky story and have yet to issue any corrections or retractions, because what is actual justice when you have a narrative of justice to serve?