NPR's Biased Boilerplate: Did You Know White Hispanic Zimmerman Shot Unarmed Black Martin?
What do you get when an already race-focused news organization staffed and run almost entirely by liberal journalists decides that it needs a full race desk alongside its foreign and crime desks? A full 259 separate on-air pieces (not including web-only ones) discussing Trayvon Martin over a 16-month period — 190 of them (80 percent) mention the word "black.". You also get coverage that furthers the narrative of whites targeting blacks. The theme that Trayvon Martin was unarmed was repeated in 89 stories (35% of the Trayvon stories).
Despite NPR always granting complete deference to a mixed-race President Obama being regarded as black, very few NPR journalists used the words "Hispanic" or "Latino" for Zimmerman. While the words were used in 15% of the the 190 articles that mention Zimmerman, only five of them (3%) called him simply "Hispanic" or "Latino."
Keep in mind that the specfific descritpion of Martin as an "unarmed black teenager / teen" alone is used in 16 separate pieces.
Part of the reason for that is the view on the matter by NPR's Vice President for Diversity in News, Keith Woods, who discusses with NPR's journalists the "correct" way to address race. On Zimmerman's race, Woods said: "He's a, you know, he's a white man. Is he the son of a Peruvian mother? Does that make him a Latino? What does that have to do, in the end, with the racial angle on this story?"
Of special note is Michel Martin, host of NPR’s news and talk program Tell Me More. She variously said of Zimmerman that he is a “white Hispanic,” that he is “white and of Hispanic heritage,” and that his “father is white.” Her favorite way of describing his race is to say that his father/family says that Zimmerman identifies as Hispanic. Other NPR's journalists use similar phrasing to Martin's. So even though the words "Hispanic" or "Latino" are used in describing Zimmerman found in 15% of the the 190 articles that mention Zimmerman--vs. 190 pieces (80%) on Martin that use the word "black, only five of them (3%) call him simply "Hispanic" or "Latino." Keep in mind that the specfific descritpion of Martin as an "unarmed black teenager / teen" alone is used in 16 separate pieces.
Noteworthy biased quotes on George Zimmerman by Michel Martin:
-- ”His family tells us that he identifies as Hispanic, but many people sort of see him as white.”
-- ”Shot to death because a neighbor, a self-appointed neighborhood watch guy named George Zimmerman, decided the teenager looked suspicious and took it upon himself to follow him.”
Note: NPR often insists it gets little if any direct federal funding. That certainly isn’t true for their race desk. NPR received a $1.5 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to launch it. That represents direct funding from federal taxpayers.