President Obama made a surprise appearance at today’s White House briefing. He chose to speak on Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman situation.
Byron Tau at the Politico and Ben Shapiro at Breitbart.com’s Big Government have initial reports. Let’s compare them, shall we?
First, Tau’s take at the Politico (both items reproduced in full because of their brevity and for fair use and discussion purposes; bolds are mine):
President Obama: ‘Trayvon Martin could have been me’
President Barack Obama responded Friday to the controversy over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
“I said [earlier] that this could have been my son….” he said, in extended, surprise remarks in the White House briefing room. “Another way of saying that is, Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
But Obama reminded Americans that progress on the issue of race has been made.
“Things are getting better,” Obama said. “Each successive generation seems to be making progress in terms of changing attitudes.”
The Martin case drew national attention after the unarmed teenager was shot and killed while walking home from a convenience store by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. After a short trial, Zimmerman was acquitted by a Florida jury last week, causing a national stir.
Now, here’s Breitbart’s Shapiro:
OBAMA: ‘TRAYVON COULD HAVE BEEN ME’
Speaking at the White House on Friday, President Obama addressed the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin for the first time since 2012, when he declared that if he had a son, he’d look like Martin. This time, Obama said, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
Obama also said, “Reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. Once the jury’s spoken, that’s how our system works.”
Obama said he was “bouncing around” ideas with his staff on how to respond to the Zimmerman verdict, adding, “I think it is going to be important for us to do some soul searching.” Pushing against Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, Obama stated, “If Trayvon Martin was of his age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?”
Finally, Obama went into the racial complexities of the Martin situation: “If a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.” He did say, “As difficult and as challenging as this whole episode has been, I don’t want us to lose sight that things are getting better…We’re becoming a more perfect union, not a perfect union, but a more perfect union.”
There’s little doubt that Shapiro brought out far more newsworthy items in his available verbiage than did Tau. Obama’s distracting mention of “Stand Your Ground” — which was not relevant in any way, shape, or form in the Zimmerman trial — and his speculation about a “different outcome” if Martin had been white are far more newsworthy than the “we’re making progress” pap Tau relayed at the Politico.
Clear advantage: Shapiro. Someone should ask Tau to visit the lost and found to see if his news judgment might have been turned in there.
The White House doesn’t have the full text up yet. I believe it will be available here when that occurs. When it does, comparing it to what the establishment press decides to report about it might merit another post.