The central criticism of the George Zimmerman trial is that there was one. It was simply impossible to convict him of anything beyond a reasonable doubt.
The central criticism of the coverage of this trial was that there was any. How did this story merit consideration as national news? Why was the death of Trayvon Martin a thousand times more newsworthy than any other person shot on an American street? Answer: because Al Sharpton and other race-hustlers wanted it that way.
Liberal journalists loved to suggest that the lives of young blacks in America are worth less than white lives. This was not a maxim in the coverage (or to be more accurate, shocking avoidance of) the trial of inner-city Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
But when 17-year-old black boys are shooting other black teenagers? Yawn. In the 20-day period of the Zimmerman trial, the Chicago Sun-Times reported four minors – three teens and a five-year-old boy — were gunned down in the president’s adopted hometown of Chicago. Those victims will not be adopted as a cause by Sharpton & Co. Their deaths generated zero coverage by the national “news” media.
Like the jurors, most Americans saw the confrontation between Zimmerman and Martin as unnecessary and tragic. But that doesn’t make it a murder. It doesn’t make it an occasion for our “news” media to pander to liberal “civil rights” leaders and sound the wildly inccurate alarm that America hasn’t moved an inch on racial matters since 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered in 1955.
Twitter is like alcohol: it can lead people to show their true colors. Associated Press writer Cristina Silva asked “So we can all kill teenagers now? Just checking.” HBO star Bill Maher tweeted “This is America, waddya expect? The only thing [you] aren’t allowed to kill in an instant is a fetus.”
CNN disgraced itself on Twitter by ignoring the facts. “I find it very hard to accept that it’s ‘lawful’ to shoot an unarmed 17-[year]-old boy dead as he walks home,” tweeted Piers Morgan, as if Martin never caused Zimmerman’s head wounds. Supposed legal expert Jeffrey Toobin also ignored the head-banging fight: “Trayvon got the death penalty for buying Skittles in a hoodie.”
MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing swooped in shortly after the verdict to declare some kind of anti-black plague had descended on the country. “I think there is one thing that is undeniable. And that is, the result of this case, there are 12-year-olds who are crawling into bed with their parents tonight out of fear.”
Stay classy, MSNBC.
The Sunday shows were poisonous. CNN host Candy Crowley baited Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn: “Do you think that the American justice system is innately racist?” At least Quinn resisted, suggesting “The American way is color-blind.” On MSNBC, anchor Thomas Roberts proclaimed, “I’ll say it. Honestly, there’s a lot of white shame today.”
PBS talk-show host Tavis Smiley, who’s forever complaining that President Obama isn’t radical enough for blacks, was brought on ABC’s “This Week” to trash the public. “I think this for many Americans, George, just another piece of evidence of the incontrovertible contempt that this nation often shows and displays for black men.”
NBC blurred into MSNBC on Monday morning, when anchor Savannah Guthrie stooped to asking Al Sharpton if the prosecutors hadn’t relied enough on attacking Zimmerman as racist.
NBC also interviewed MSNBC host Toure and MSNBC analyst Michael Eric Dyson. “I’m taken back to Emmett Till and Amadou Diallo and Aiyana Jones and all these other situations where we understand that black life means a little bit less than white life in America,” proclaimed Toure.
Dyson agreed: “I have two sons, and my son texted me and said, ‘How do I protect my two black boys who are very young?’ So for us it’s a reminder, it’s a kind of deja vu all over again and it’s a negative appraisal of the American soul.”
No one who had a more positive opinion on America’s racial harmony was invited.
The Washington Post ventured there as well, explicitly comparing Trayvon Martin to the fictional victim of racism in “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Writer Wil Haygood strongly implied it was another Southern injustice like “the Scottsboro Boys, Emmett Till, Isaac Woodward, Medgar Evers, the four girls killed in the Alabama bombing.”
Haygood did talk to Southern lawyer Bill Baxley, who stuck with reality. “I think it was just difficult for the prosecution. You did have a guy [Zimmerman] with some kind of injuries.” Even if the America-bashing media didn’t want to acknowledge there was “some kind” of inconvenient truth.