We covered the story of Juror B29, who only went by the name of Maddy, yesterday. In what appeared to be a seamless interview on ABC News, we are now discovering was a cleverly edited video pitched to the nation. However, it is the source that has called ABC out that is most telling, Slate.com.
Yesterday, we presented ABC's version of the interview. Here's what we showed you.
Slate's William Saletan points out what the interview really looked like and there's video evidence to prove it. He writes:
ABC News hasn't posted a full unedited video or transcript of the interview. The video that has been broadcast—on World News Tonight, Nightline, and Good Morning America—has been cut and spliced in different ways, often so artfully that the transitions appear continuous. So beware what you're seeing. But the video that's available already shows, on closer inspection, that Maddy has been manipulated and misrepresented. Here are the key points.
The phrase "got away with murder" was put in her mouth. Nightline shows ABC interviewer Robin Roberts asking Maddy: "Some people have said, 'George Zimmerman got away with murder. How do you respond to those people who say that?' " Maddy appears to reply promptly and confidently: "George Zimmerman got away with murder. But you can't get away from God." But that's not quite how the exchange happened. In the unedited video, Roberts' question is longer, with words that have been trimmed from the Nightline version, and Maddy pauses twice, for several seconds, as she struggles to answer it. "… George Zimmerman … That's—George Zimmerman got away with murder. But you can't get away from God."
You have to watch her, not just read her words, to pick up her meaning. As she struggles to answer, she looks as though she's trying to reconcile the sentiment that's been quoted to her—that Zimmerman "got away with murder"—with her own perspective. So she repeats the quote and adds words of her own, to convey what she thinks: that there's a justice higher than the law, which Zimmerman will have to face. She thinks he's morally culpable, not legally guilty.
Here is the clip of the section in question and notice around the 2:05 mark where the unedited version shows something a little bit less than what appeared in the edited version.
The full footage has yet to be released. However, I think Saletan is exactly right and that media outlets conducting these interviews should not only begin posting their edited versions, but also make available the raw footage of the interviews so people can compare to see if they are dealing honestly with those they interview.
In the same manner that the media manipulated the George Zimmerman 911 call to make him appear to be racist, it seems clear ABC did the same thing to this interview in order to stoke the fires of racial division.
While I still disagree with Maddy over her perspective, I am glad that she was able to set aside emotion and look at the evidence and the law to come to her decision. I would hope that all jurors would do as she did.
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