Just when it seemed that the racial tensions couldn't get any worse after George Zimmerman's “not guilty” verdict regarding the charge of the second-degree murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin, along comes Nancy Grace, the host of a weeknight news/interview program on the HLN cable news network, who did her best to fan the flames even higher.
Responding to lead defense attorney Mark O'Mara's closing argument on Friday night asking the jury to give Zimmerman his life back, the acerbic host growled: “Give Zimmerman back his life? He’s out on bond driving through Taco Bell every night, having a churro.”
When it comes to racism in the South, the Washington Post is content to presume guilt until innocence is proven.
In his July 16 20-paragraph Style section front-pager "Echoes of the past," Washington Post writer Wil Haygood effectively compared the not-guilty verdict in the Zimmerman trial to previous instances where juries in Southern states failed to convict racists accused of murdering black Americans like Emmett Till and Medgar Evers. "A Southern jury -- when it comes to race and the perception that a black person has been wrongly accused or harmed -- operates under the wide whispering shadow of history," Haygood insisted, adding, "[T]here exists a roster of names and cases that has exploded onto the national scene and claimed headlines against the backdrop of race and geography: the Scottsboro Boys, Emmett Till, Isaac Woodward, Medgar Evers, the four girls killed in the Alabama bombing."
On Monday's All In with Chris Hayes, MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson declared that George Zimmerman has become "a kind of patron saint of the right wing in a very serious way" as he complained that he has "been made an icon" and will receive external support in his freedom.
Host Hayes fretted that Zimmerman would not sufficiently have to face his conscience as he quoted a tweet. Hayes:
You would think that when a demonstration turns violent resulting in damages, robberies, injuries, and arrests, the major newspaper in that city would do a separate possibly front-page story on the event.
Not the Los Angeles Times which despite a highly-violent Zimmerman verdict-related rally erupting on Crenshaw Blvd. Monday evening, the print edition of the paper only included the incident in a page six report about national outrage over the ruling:
George Zimmerman haters throughout the media have carped and whined about the fact that there weren’t any African-Americans on the jury despite the law requiring the accused NOT the victim be judged by his peers.
On CNN Newsroom Tuesday, it was revealed that a potential black juror had been struck by the prosecution for committing the crime of being a Fox News watcher (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In the wake of the jury’s "not guilty" verdict in the George Zimmerman second-degree murder trial, numerous voices in the liberal media have been railing against supposed racism in our justice system and American society in general. But for MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts, the verdict is not merely a message about race relations in America; it is a commentary on the status of all Americans who are different.
Filling in as host on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Roberts, an openly gay white anchor, was moderating a discussion of the Zimmerman case when he decided to jump in with commentary of his own. Addressing colleague Melissa Harris-Perry, who hosts a weekend program on the network and who happens to be black, Roberts declared, “I'll say it, honestly, there's a lot of white shame today.” [Video below the break. MP3 audio here.]
On Monday evening, Stevie Wonder told a concert audience in Quebec City that he will no longer perform in Florida or any other state with "Stand Your Ground" laws as a result of the George Zimmerman verdict (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
One of the most important things a journalist is supposed to do is check, double check, and sometimes even triple check sources to make sure the news being reported is accurate.
That's not what happened in the case involving George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, according to Rem Rieder, a former journalism professor and a media columnist for USA Today. Instead, the members of the news media portrayed Zimmerman as “the neighborhood watch captain/'wannabe cop'” who profiled Martin, “an unarmed, hoodie-clad black teenager” out on the streets “simply because he wanted some Skittles.”
Via The Wrap, we learned that on his blog “The Audacity of Despair,” former Baltimore Sun reporter and "The Wire" creator David Simon bluntly attacked the George Zimmerman verdict, suggesting it begs for racial rioting. He had that self-righteously arrogant tone of a former sportscaster who couldn’t keep a job in cock-eyed commentary.
“If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walking toward that courthouse in Sanford,” Simon confessed. “Those that do not, those that hold the pain and betrayal inside and somehow manage to resist violence — these citizens are testament to a stoic tolerance that is more than the rest of us deserve. I confess, their patience and patriotism is well beyond my own.”
Congressman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) made an absolutely absurd statement about the George Zimmerman trial Monday that should disgust Americans on both sides of the aisle.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Martin Bashir show, Rangel said, “I think it's possible if the police had got a black Zimmerman, the question would be whether they would have beat him to death and then threw handcuffs on him and dragged him into the precinct."
Martin Luther King Jr's niece Alveda King made some comments Monday about the aftermath of the George Zimmerman verdict that people on both sides of the aisle should heed.
Appearing on the Steve Malzberg Show on NewsMax TV, King said the NAACP was "race-baiting" and trying to stir up "racial anarchy" by pushing for the justice department to prosecute a civil rights case against Zimmerman.
"The race-baiting media owe George Zimmerman an apology. A jury of his peers has spoken. Zimmerman was acquitted, and that’s that. Any continuation of the media’s unrelenting, divisive, hate-mongering coverage is an absolute disgrace," NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued in a statement released this afternoon.
"Race baiting persists in America because it’s encouraged by the press," the Media Research Center founder and president noted, citing how NBC News employees like Al Sharpton, Joe Scarborough, and Savannah Guthrie have "stirr[ed] hatred because it fits their biased worldview and boosts ratings." Consider the following examples of race baiting in the months prior to the trial:
During a panel discussion on Monday's NBC Today about the acquittal of George Zimmerman, left-wing MSNBC host Toure proclaimed the court case to be evidence of inherent racism in American society: "We have an almost all-white jury. We almost never get justice in that situation, especially in the south....I'm taken back to Emmett Till and Amadou Diallo and Iona Jones and all these other situations where we understand that black life means a little bit less than white life in America." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
MSNBC analyst and liberal bomb-thrower Michael Eric Dyson was also on the morning show panel, and eagerly agreed with Toure's assertion: "No doubt. And you know, 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..."
Despite the fact that she obsessively covered the George Zimmerman murder trial, it would seem that Nancy Grace, the left-wing former Georgia prosecutor who has become an HLN television host, missed a few things in the actual courtroom proceedings.
Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell notes that on Saturday, moments before the verdict in the trial was read, the hilariously named Grace uttered the words “f--king coon” slowly and deliberately on air. Network censors either failed or elected not to bleep the words.
MSNBC's initial -- not to mention its ongoing -- reaction to acquittal of George Zimmerman on charges of second degree murder and manslaughter was predictably heavily focused on race and laden with melodramatic hand-wringing.
But it may be anchor Chris Jansing who took the cake in early Sunday morning coverage when she asserted that pre-teen boys were "crawling into bed" with their parents in fear that night as a result of the verdict:
On Monday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie suggested to MSNBC host and National Action Network president Al Sharpton that the trial of Trayvon Martin shooter George Zimmerman was not racially charged enough: "Do you think the prosecutors missed an opportunity there, that they didn't explicitly make this case about racial profiling?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
In response, Sharpton pushed his effort to get the Justice Department to charge Zimmerman with civil rights violations: "I think they did, but it also sets up a federal case because you can't say it's been tried, because it wasn't tried. So there is no double jeopardy here because they specifically said this is not about race, which opens the door for the federal government to now investigate..."
CNN's senior legal analyst reacted to George Zimmerman's acquittal on Saturday by tweeting that Trayvon Martin "got the death penalty for buying Skittles in a hoodie."
"I understand it, but still..." CNN's Jeffrey Toobin enigmatically added. He was joined by CNN host Piers Morgan in outrage. "I find it very hard to accept that it's 'lawful' to shoot an unarmed 17yr-old boy dead as he walks home," Morgan tweeted Sunday morning.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was predictably unhappy with Saturday's verdict in the George Zimmerman case. He used it as an opportunity to go after what he calls "shoot first" laws, which people in the real world refer to as "stand your ground" laws.
It was an irrelevant rant, as Politico's Maggie Haberman pointed out: "In the Zimmerman case, neither the defense nor the prosecution ultimately used “Stand Your Ground.” Zimmerman’s attorneys ... presented a conventional self-defense strategy." Problem is, Haberman waited until her final paragraph to note that, and gave readers every impression that the case was about "stand your ground" up until that point (presented in full for fair use and discussion purposes; bolds are mine):
Joe Scarborough might want to reflect on people in glass houses, casting the first stone, beam in your eye—all the adages counseling against hypocrisy, against condemning others for sins without considering one's own wrongs.
In a Politico piece brimming with self-righteousness, Scarborough bemoans the "vulgar state" of American politics and condemns "hyperbolic political pronouncements" about the case. Hyperbolic? We got your hyperbole right here. Does Joe not remember that in 2012, long before all the facts of the case were available, he eagerly condemned George Zimmerman as a "murderer"? More after the jump.
In the hours after George Zimmerman was found not guilty on Saturday evening of any crimes in his shooting of the black 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, many famous people quickly expressed their views on the Twitter social website regarding the trial and the verdict.
The celebrities ranged from a conservative columnist who cried “Hallelujah!” to a football star who posted that the members of the jury should "go home tonight and kill themselves." Other messages expressed thoughts of prayer for those involved with the case, as well as fatal predictions regarding the defendant and the six-woman jury.
Imagine if -- and you'd have to imagine it, because it never happened -- the George W. Bush administration had sent members of its Justice Department to a city where a black man charged with murder was claiming self-defense in the killing of a non-African-American for the purposes of ginning up protests against the accused. Establishment press coverage and would have been justifiably intense.
On Thursday, Judicial Watch revealed that it had obtained documents showing that "a little-known unit of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Community Relations Service (CRS), was deployed to Sanford, FL, following the Trayvon Martin shooting to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman." In other words, DOJ did to Zimmerman what I just noted Bush 43 administration never did and would never have considered doing. JW's bombshell is not news at the Associated Press or at the Politico.
As NewsBusters has been reporting the past 24 hours, the media have been having a hard time hiding their disappointment about the George Zimmerman verdict.
Showing what side she's on in this debate, CNN's Candy Crowley on Sunday's State of the Union asked Governor Pat Quinn (D-Ill.), "Do you think that the American justice system is innately racist?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Now that he has successfully defended himself from criminal charges brought against him by the state of Florida for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman is going to resume a lawsuit he filed several months earlier against NBC News.
Launched in the midst of the state prosecution against him by a separate civil team, the lawsuit is a defamation claim alleging that NBC deliberately altered an audio recording so as to make Zimmerman appear to be racist.
Thanks to the media’s habit of showing beatific, outdated photos of Trayvon Martin, many Americans who only casually followed the trial of George Zimmerman incorrectly believed Martin to have been younger than he actually was at the time of his death. In a Friday interview, Zimmerman’s lead defense attorney, Mark O’Mara admitted that he was one of them.
Speaking with CNN correspondent Martin Savidge, O’Mara denounced what he called a “wonderfully created and crafted public relations campaign” by the attorney for Martin’s family, Benjamin Crump and his allies. According to O’Mara, had they not injected a racial element into the story, Zimmerman would never have been tried.