HLN, the erstwhile CNN Headline News, describes itself as “the national television network that focuses on the ‘must-see, must-share’ stories of the day.” Notice they don’t specify “must-hear,” probably because that would necessitate seeming to give a thumbs-up to network host Nancy Grace’s unedited on-air repetition of a profanity followed by a racial slur.
Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell notes that on Saturday, moments before the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial was read, the hilariously named Grace uttered the words “f**king c**ns” slowly and deliberately on air. Network censors either failed or elected not to bleep the words.
Grace was speaking with Martin family lawyer Daryl Parks when she dropped the f-bomb and repeated the archaic racial slur as proof positive that George Zimmerman’s actions were fueled by racism (transcript follows). She also incorrectly stated that Zimmerman had called 9-1-1 when, in fact, he had called a non-emergency police number:
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I’ll tell you what I think made a difference. When that 9-1-1 tape first came out — and everybody, get ready, this is graphic language — when it first came out that Zimmerman had said ‘f**king c**n’ on the 9-1-1 call, to me, that was open-and-shut that that showed open ill will and hatred. Now they’ve revised it to say he said ‘These punks, they always get away with it.’ I’m wondering if that reinterpretation of what he said made a difference as to a jury finding ill will in Mr. Zimmerman’s heart.
In court, the defense accepted that Zimmerman had said punks as did the prosecution. At no time did the prosecution claim that the defendant had said c**ns.
In his lawsuit against NBC News, Zimmerman cited the network for also claiming he had uttered the racial slur in addition to producing deliberately edited audio which made it look like he was suspicious of Martin because he was black.
As for HLN, Grace’s indiscretion is in direct violation of broadcast standards set by the Federal Communications Commission, which prohibit the use of profanity. Stay tuned for developments.
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- TIME columnist: ‘Preparing for riots after Zimmerman verdict is racial fear-mongering’
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