I’ve known how to edit audio for more than 30 years now.  I made the leap from using a portable reel-to-reel, splicing tape, a white grease pencil, an editing block, and a razor blade (and scarred fingertips from getting a little too much flesh into the game, so to speak) to the digital realm.  And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, the only editing mistake you can make is when you accidentally clip a syllable or part of a word, or when your in and out points (or marks) are wrong.

Either way, you can correct your mistake.

But, as NBC did to the 911 call George Zimmerman made, to deliberately remove important context and then later claim it was a “mistake” is nothing but cover-your-arse deception.  And if you take a look here, you can see that there’s no way the edit could have been a “mistake.”

While working on the film adaptation of The Heart of Darkness at RKO (which he never finished), Orson Welles called moviemaking the biggest electric train set a boy ever had.  One thing about train sets is that the layouts are malleable.  No matter how much detail you have, you can always take it apart and reassemble it any way you want.

Our production tools allow us to do the same thing.  A major television news organization used those tools to clearly manipulate and deceive and got caught in a lie.