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NYT: George Zimmerman sues NBC for defamation

From The New York Times.

George Zimmerman, accused of second-degree murder in the shooting of Trayvon Martin earlier this year, filed suit against NBCUniversal on Thursday, alleging that the company’s editing of his voice on a 911 tape constituted defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The suit, filed in circuit court in Seminole County, Fla., asked for a jury trial. A spokeswoman for NBCUniversal said in response to the suit, “We strongly disagree with the accusations made in the complaint. There was no intent to portray Mr. Zimmerman unfairly. We intend to vigorously defend our position in court.”

The suit charges that journalists at NBC News intentionally edited Mr. Zimmerman’s statements to make him appear to be a “racist, predatory villain.”

The edits of a 911 audio recording — which removed an intervening question from the operator directly asking Mr. Zimmerman what race Mr. Martin was — occurred three times on NBC’s “Today” show, first on March 20 in a story by Lilia Luciano; on March 22 in another story by Ms. Luciano; and again on March 27 in a story by Ron Allen.

Read more here.