Jon Stewart Rips Right-Wingers A New One

    When Unarmed Blacks Are Killed By Cops

    No Wrongdoing With Benghazi

    Right-Wingers Fuel Racism And Paranoia

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why Not Some GOOD News Of The Shooter?

Thomas Lindaman writes:

For weeks, we've heard Trayvon Martin's story, but few attempts have been made to give George Zimmerman the same treatment. Now that Zimmerman has been charged and released on bail, Reuters has given us a more comprehensive view of his recent history. I appreciated this view of Zimmerman, but I have a question:

Why the delay?

With the speed of communication technology these days, I don't think Reuters had to do a lot of research for their Zimmerman piece, certainly not as long as they took to release this piece. A quick Google search
shows Reuters spent a lot of time mentioning Martin's name in various contexts, but very little directly about Zimmerman himself. When mentioned, it was rarely before mentioning Martin's name.

So, why the change of heart? Because their media malpractice has already done its damage.

This is a game the mainstream media play on its consumers: report a story one way until their desired effect is reached, then do a story on the other side so they can claim to give balanced coverage of the story.
Of course, the magnitude of coverage blows that notion out of the water to anyone paying attention. If 99% of your coverage is devoted to one side and 1% is devoted to the other, there is no balance, only advocacy.

A nice effort, Reuters, but too little, too late to avoid being guilty of media malpractice.

Actually, most of the articles in the mainstream media have been cautious of how to paint either one of them.

What was stated in those other mainstream articles that was slanted?  That Trayvon was a teenager in high school?  That he was unarmed?  That he had no prior history of violence?  That he wasn't in a gang? That Zimmerman followed him and got out of his vehicle against the advice of the dispatcher?  That Zimmerman shot Trayvon?  These are facts! 

The only annoying mainstream media things I've seen are how lazy they were in showing old pictures of both Trayvon and Zimmerman when newer ones were released, and the idiotic 911 edit made by that NBC affiliate (probably unintentional, but I'm glad NBC fired that producer for pure incompetence if nothing else).

This was just a fluff piece to make Zimmerman look better, and should be viewed as such. Tons of information is missing and downplayed in that fluffnutter piece.  The majority of it isn't even relevant to the case. 

And it sure looks like Reuters bought a bunch of pictures. Copyrighted them, too.  Given all of the attacks and accusations leveled at Trayvon's parents for putting out a few pictures that were only a few years old, we now know that Zimmerman's family had put out a picture that was 11 years old, pictures in that article were over 20 years old.  But that whole Reuters story lacks sources throughout, and is clearly biased. Was that part of the deal to get the photos? I don't recall reading an in-depth article with so little in the way of crediting sources!  The problem with that lengthy pro Zimmerman article is that the majority of statements about his life are simply anecdotal. They are not backed up by citing the source nor by giving any "official" facts. If this article was a college paper, it would be graded a "D" because it lacks sources and citations.

You majored in journalism, Lindaman.  You know this to be true.

Notice that many of the "facts" noted in the Reuters article only match previous stories told by Zimmerman's family during their media tours?

I never felt Zimmerman went after Trayvon with the intention of killing him.  Nor have I ever believed Zimmerman was a flaming racist that just hates all black people, nor do I believe Zimmerman said "coons" on the phone.  But I do feel he profiled Trayvon, and that made Trayvon "suspicious" in Zimmerman's eyes. Zimmerman already had a black subject steal items from his own porch, and the police let one suspect Zimmerman reported get away because they arrived too late.  That's why Zimmerman says to the 911 operator how those "assholes always get away."  Zimmerman was pissed and wasn't going to let this one leave.

He was taught in Neighborhood Watch not to follow people, and not to carry a gun. Zimmerman should have waited for the police in his truck, and he should have stopped following Trayvon and immediately returned to his truck, as he was advised.

We know the homicide detective at SPD felt Zimmerman was lying, because his statements were inconsistent.  He also told a contradictory story of events to his own father.  Heck, Zimmerman was even inconsistent at the bond hearing, when he stated he thought Trayvon was just a few years younger than him.  He clearly calls him a "kid" to the dispatcher.  Why would an innocent person lie?

Also, the screaming 911 call favors Trayvon, because the person screaming for help simultaneously stops screaming when the fatal shot was fired, and never screams again.  If it was Zimmerman screaming for help, he would have continued to scream for help.  We don't need professional voice experts or family members to analyze the screaming voice, this is common sense.  Whoever that was crying for help was incapacitated to complete the cry for help. We hear the person yell “Heeeee…” and then the gunshot put an end to the yelling. It was Trayvon screaming for help. 

And even if we ignore those obvious facts, and pretend it was Zimmerman screaming for help, it doesn't sound like his head is being repeatedly smashed into concrete while he's screaming, does it?  He did get some scrapes on his head during their scuffle, but nobody seemed concerned about getting x-rays for head trauma.

Regardless, I think the prosecution bungled things by charging Zimmerman with 2nd degree murder.  Unless they're holding out some breakthrough evidence, that's going to be tough to prove.  Manslaughter would've been a better charge.  Zimmerman could very well walk.

Sanford Police made a decision to not charge, even as the homicide detective asked for a manslaughter charge. He was overruled by the powers that be.  They dismissed it before they truly looked at all the evidence, or dismissed it without looking for further evidence.  SPD dropped the ball, especially for not testing Zimmerman for drugs and alcohol, which they did to Trayvon's corpse

But I blame Zimmerman for the position he's in today. It's his own fault. He made a really bad judgment call.  You can’t shoot someone simply because you've decided you don’t like the way the fight is going.   Zimmerman had no right to pursue, while armed, a neighbor whom he believed to be a criminal without any justification for such belief. Someone chasing you through the dark is a threat, and Zimmerman had no special right to harass and threaten his neighbors by randomly pursuing them their own neighborhood.  Pursuing a stranger through the dark, while armed, is not a "neutral" event. It is an aggressive act against another human being. Ignoring any events that occurred after that, Zimmerman was the aggressor who deliberately put another human being in fear of their personal safety. 

That piece is an entertaining read, to be sure.  But it sure isn't journalism.