New York, NY – Media critics have called on NBC News’ “World News Tonight” anchor Lester Holt to apologize for airing edited bodycam video of the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant and leaving our part of the 911 call in order to protect the false narrative of police shooting an unarmed black girl.
“Lester Holt needs to go on the air tonight, John, and apologize on behalf of NBC News, of the ‘NBC Nightly News’ because tensions are far too high in this country right now. The stakes are far too high,” Joe Concha, a media and political columnist from The Hill, told FOX News.
“Don’t tell me this was just another innocent mistake and something that was left on the edit room floor accidentally,” Concha insisted. “This appears to be driving a narrative, and it could end up costing people their lives, their businesses — if this thing is not corrected immediately.”
The shooting in Columbus, Ohio occurred just minutes before the guilty verdict was handed down in the murder trial of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on April 20.
Protests broke out immediately afterwards in Ohio fueled by the narrative that Columbus police had shot an unarmed black teenage girl.
Bodycam video released less than 24 hours after the incident showed that Bryant knocked one girl down and was going for another girl with a knife in front of police when she was shot.
“That is a key element to the story, isn’t it? Yet, if you watched the ‘NBC Nightly News’ last night with Lester Holt — remember, that show still gets 8 or 9 million viewers a night — you saw two very key parts of the story left out.”
Concha pointed out on FOX News that NBC News had edited out several parts of the 911 call, including when the caller said “she’s trying to stab us.”
“They also did not show the knife in the attacker’s hand,” Concha said.
“So then what we have here is by not showing those two things in terms of the 911 call incomplete and also in terms of the knife, is the narrative gets blown up as a result, those viewers and on other parts of social media as well are led to believe this is a rogue cop that shot an innocent girl instead of a cop who did his job and perhaps saving another girl’s life when the attacker was going after her with a knife,” he explained.
FOX News’ John Roberts, who was interviewing Concha, agreed and said “when you cut things down in a way that completely loses the context, you are not fully informing your viewers.”
The conservative Media Research Center’s news analyst, Nicholas Fondacaro, went after Holt on Twitter, posting “@NBCNightlyNews deceptively edited the 911 call for the Columbus police shooting, casts doubt on the need to protect a life.”
In their report on the officer-involved shooting in Columbus, Ohio, NBC Nightly News deceptively edited the 911 call to leave out the part where the caller says a girl was "trying to stab us." They also don't show viewers the knife in the attacker's hand just before the shots. pic.twitter.com/r5uXD1qDb1
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) April 22, 2021
Fondacaro posted the NBC News clip and compared it to the same news reports done by other networks.
“In stark contrast, CBS Evening News showed the important part of the 911 call,” he tweeted. “’These grown girls over here trying to fight us, trying to stab us,’ the caller says. They also slow down the video and zoom in on the knife in the attacker’s hand.”
“For World News Tonight’s part, ABC also shared the important part of the 911 call where the attempted stabbing was mentioned,” Fondacaro tweeted. “They also stopped the video and highlighted the knife.”
Concha, Fondacaro, and other media critics have called on Holt and NBC News to stop twisting the narrative.