How’s this for chutzpah: On the June 10 Today, did a segment on the difficult process of jury selection for the George Zimmerman trial, given the highly publicized racial issues surrounding the case. NBC’s Carl Quintanilla asked “Today” Legal Expert Lisa Bloom, “Has media coverage already influenced this jury?”
Yes it has, and NBC has more to answer for than most. For a full week in March, 2012 NBC “Nightly News” and “Today,” along with its local Miami affiliate ran audio tape of George Zimmerman’s 911 call the night he fatally shot Trayvon Martin. NBC viewers learned that Zimmerman had said to the 911 dispatcher, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”
As most Americans are painfully aware, the liberal media have already convicted George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin even though the actual trial beyond the jury selection phase hasn’t yet begun.
Count Chris Rock amongst them, for on the FX program that he is the executive producer of – Totally Biased starring W. Kamau Bell – Rock actually said, “George Zimmerman can eat a d—k!” (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As the George Zimmerman trail progresses with the selection of the jury, media has renewed its coverage of the issue which can at times border on obsessive. Last Friday night, Black Entertainment Television (BET) decided to throw their hat into the already incredibly crowded ring and provide their version of news coverage of the George Zimmerman trial and preceding events in a half-hour special entitled, Justice for Trayvon: Our Son Is Your Son. The title plays off of a quote by Trayvon’s mother Sybrina that was made at a rally in support of her son.
The entire controversy centers on the 2012 shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin by then neighborhood watch leader George Zimmerman and the ensuing lawsuit by the state of Florida. The prosecution charged Zimmerman with murder in the second degree while he claims to have shot Martin in self-defense after being attacked by the teen.
CNN's Piers Morgan will use any and every tragedy to bolster his crusade for gun control in the U.S. On his Tuesday night show he hounded George Zimmerman's brother Robert, Jr. over George carrying a gun the night Trayvon Martin died. Morgan also pushed for an age 25-and-under gun ban.
"Obviously, if George had not had a gun on him that night, the distinct likelihood is that Trayvon Martin would still be alive. Does he regret now carrying a gun around like that, do you think?" Morgan asked Zimmerman. "Do you regret that he had?" The trial of Zimmerman has only just begun. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Everyone remembers the extensive front-page coverage The Washington Post devoted to the jury selection and subsequent murder trial of infamous abortionist Kermit Gosnell right? Oh wait, that never happened, but another “local crime story” that occurred well outside the Post's home delivery area seems to be getting much better coverage than the Gosnell trial.
The Tuesday June 11 edition of The Washington Post ran a story on the front page of its Style section highlighting the first day of jury selection in the murder trial of George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. In total, the Post devoted 30-paragraphs to jury selection, yet among major newspapers, when it came to the murder trial of Kermit Gosnell, only The New York Times bothered to cover that portion of the trial.
CNN's Piers Morgan invoked the death of Trayvon Martin to support his case for gun control, but the brother of Martin's accused shooter George Zimmerman had a retort ready on Tuesday's Piers Morgan Tonight.
"You would accept, would you not, that if your brother had not gone out armed with a gun that day, Trayvon Martin would be celebrating his 18th birthday today," Morgan first pressed Zimmerman. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Another black teenager was killed in Florida last week by an older, non-black assailant, and the media - just as they did in the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case - are predictably taking sides before all the facts are in.
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry did her part Saturday saying in a piece about the incident, "This is no country for young black men" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Bill Maher made a truly disgusting comment on NBC's Tonight Show Wednesday.
After host Jay Leno asked who he thought the mystery guest speaker would be at the Republican National Convention in Tampa Thursday night, Maher quickly replied without any hesitation, “George Zimmerman” (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
"Doesn't Trayvon Martin actually have the right to kill George Zimmerman if George Zimmerman is stalking him and the police have told him not to stalk him?"
This question was actually asked Tuesday on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight by schlockumentary filmmaker Michael Moore during a discussion about gun laws in the wake of the shootings in Aurora, Colorado (video follows with transcript and commentary):
This year, as always, Florida is a crucial swing state. Because of that, the liberal media is doing all it can to gin up Democratic base voters, attempting to energize them for the November election by bashing Florida's conservative Republican governor Rick Scott and his attempt to clean up voter rolls of noncitizens, who by definition are not allowed to cast votes. The liberal media, particularly hyper-partisan MSNBC, has also attacked efforts in other states to require voter ID. Florida has had a photo ID law since 2002.
The tragic February shooting death of Trayvon Martin also led the Left to work up attacks on the Sunshine State's Stand Your Ground laws. But new polling shows that the media's attacks are just not working. Sure, Gov. Scott himself is personally unpopular, but the policies he's pursuing are, reports Steve Bousquet of the Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times (emphasis mine):
When George Zimmerman shot black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, the media were quick to accuse the 28-year-old Hispanic of being a racist, but new information gathered by the FBI indicates that Zimmerman did not shoot the youth because of his race.
Dozens of friends, coworkers and neighbors indicated that the neighborhood watch volunteer became involved in an altercation with Martin because of the “hoodie” or hooded sweatshirt the youth was wearing. Indeed, the FBI report released on Thursday included an interview with Sanford Police Detective Christopher Serino, the lead investigator in the case, who said that members of local gangs, who call themselves "Goons," often wear hoodies.
Bill Maher on Friday made another in a long line of disgusting remarks about Mitt Romney and Republicans being racist.
In the concluding segment of HBO's Real Time, the host encouraged Romney to choose Trayvon Martin's assailant George Zimmerman as his vice presidential candidate to "personify [his] campaign theme of 'I Think The Black Guy’s Up To No Good'" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Last night (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), yours truly questioned how the Associated Press could have two identically worded stories with different headlines -- "Cache of evidence in shooting, still huge gaps" and "Amid evidence cache in Martin case, questions nag" -- posted at its national site.
This morning, Paul Colford, Director of AP Media Relations posted a comment at BizzyBlog which included a request that I note his communication with me at NewsBusters. Mr. Colford's note and my response follow the jump:
Update: An AP official has responded to this post. That response, and my reply, are here.
Note: A sentence which erroneously reported the Eastern Time Zone equivalent of a story at the Kansas City Star has been removed.
The Associated Press appears to have done something unusual in its coverage of the the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case on Monday. Two identically worded stories with differing headlines are still at the AP's national site.
It is more than a little odd that the story with the earlier headline ("Cache of evidence in shooting, still huge gaps") is still present. The headline grossly mischaracterizes the nature of the publicly released data. The same story with a different and more accurate headline ("Amid evidence cache in Martin case, questions nag") is also still there. I don't think I've ever seen this happen at AP, especially not for over 24 hours (the time stamps on the two stories are both late Friday afternoon). Graphics with the two examples follow the jump.
It's becoming clearer and clearer that no matter what evidence comes out concerning the Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Florida, America's media will support him.
On HBO's Real Time Friday, host Bill Maher actually said, "I just want to say if I had a son he would not look like Trayvon Martin, but I hope he would act like him" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Since that awful Sunday in Sanford, Florida, back in February, the media have shown time and time again they don't understand how the American justice system works.
Take ABC legal analyst Dan Abrams who on Thursday's Nightline said, "So even if Zimmerman was on his back, even if he was losing a fight, he still has a lot of explaining to do and is going to have to prove that Trayvon Martin was the initial aggressor" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
The New York Times's Serge Kovaleski reported from Sanford, Fla. on the many "missteps" in the police investigation into the fatal shooting of black youth Treyvon Martin by George Zimmerman: "In Martin Case, Police Missteps Add to Challenges to Find Truth." Of course, the Times and the rest of the media have made plenty of their own mistakes in covering the volatile case.
Kovaleski's front-page story Thursday glided over a scrap of data pointing toward vindication for Zimmerman: "...One witness, though, provided information to the police that corroborated Mr. Zimmerman’s account of the struggle, according to a law enforcement official."
In his first public response to the Trayvon Martin shooting, President Obama famously said in March, "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."
CNN legal analyst Mark NeJame, after uncovering a picture of George Zimmerman's relatives during his investigation of this matter, told Piers Morgan Thursday, "If President Obama has indicated that his son would have looked like Trayvon Martin, then most respectfully, if you look at these pictures, his grandparents and great-grandparents would have looked a lot like George Zimmerman's grandparents and great-grandparents (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"It is inconceivable that had a white mob set upon two black Americans the media would sit it out."
So said Fox News's Bill O'Reilly Monday about the media's almost total silence about a white couple that was attacked by a crowd of young African-Americans three weeks ago in Norfolk, Virginia (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Another head has rolled behind NBC’s iron curtain as the troubled, so-called "news" network continues to drop the guillotine on those responsible for the deliberately misleading edits to Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call.
NBC has now fired three people from two different offices over at least two different edits of George Zimmerman’s now infamous 9-1-1 call prior to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Both edits were clearly designed to portray Zimmerman as a racist while raising tensions in an already volatile situation. This latest firing from NBC once again goes unexplained. NBC’s actions vindicate the Media Research Center’s original point that NBC's two-sentence (non)apology was an insult, and that this is a network out of control.
CBS's Bob Schieffer ended Sunday's Face the Nation by disgracefully connecting the 20th anniversary of the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles to Trayvon Martin.
After showing videos of the King beating as well as the aftermath of the criminal trial, Schieffer stated - with a black and white picture of the Sanford teenager on the screen - "When the Trayvon Martin case came to public attention this year, King said the screams on those tapes reminded him of his own" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It's been several weeks since NBC disgraced itself by repeatedly airing doctored audio of George Zimmerman talking to a 9-1-1 dispatcher but the network has yet to apologize on the air, hoping instead that its paltry efforts of firing a lone producer and conducting an investigation into the matter but not releasing a report to the public would be sufficient.
Incredibly, it was a New York Times columnist, David Carr, who decided to confront the network on how that just isn't enough. NBC News president Steve Capus admitted his efforts have been insufficient but tried to spin away why his network hasn't bothered to tell viewers about its propagation of fraudulent journalism.
Geraldo Rivera on Friday accused MSNBC anchors of not caring at all about the evidence concerning the shooting of Trayvon Martin and instead "cheerleading for the conviction of George Zimmerman."
Appearing on Fox New's The O'Reilly Factor, Rivera specifically pointed his finger at Martin Bashir, Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell, Al Sharpton, and Ed Schultz (video follows with transcript and commentary:
Bill Maher on Friday cursed out his audience for not laughing at one of his jokes.
When his HBO Real Time attendees fell totally silent after the host said the judge in Florida gave Zimmerman bail under the condition that he can shoot the kids in the British-Irish boy band One Direction, Maher raised both middle fingers at the crowd saying, "F--k you...You can get the stick out of your a--. It's just a joke" (video follows with transcript and commentary, serious vulgarity warning):
Maybe it's time for MSNBC's Chris Matthews to retire.
On Friday's Hardball, the 66-year-old host actually said that people's view of the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case is impacted by "so much history ever since the first slave arrived in the United States" (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Liberals have leapt on the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida to push for the repeal of "stand your ground" laws and to demand tighter gun control. (MSNBC'S Karen Finney blamed "the same people who stymied gun regulation at every point.") This would be like demanding more funding for the General Services Administration after seeing how its employees blew taxpayer money on a party weekend in Las Vegas.
We don't know the facts yet, but let's assume the conclusion MSNBC is leaping to is accurate: George Zimmerman stalked a small black child and murdered him in cold blood, just because he was black.
If that were true, every black person in America should get a gun and join the National Rifle Association, America's oldest and most august civil rights organization.
NBC incessantly talked about race and racism after the Trayvon Martin shooting, but on Monday race took a back seat to guns as the problem at the heart of the case. On Monday's Today show, host Matt Lauer cited comedian Bill Cosby and asked if the media has focused too much on race "when guns are the real problem?"
Thus the liberal discussion shifted from race to guns as the Today's Professionals panel responded in the affirmative. Attorney Star Jones avowed that "the issue is guns."And citing his own business experience, former CNBC host Donny Deutsch insisted "when you go after the guns you're solving problems." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
Bill Maher on Friday told what many would consider a rather racist joke.
After commenting at the beginning of HBO's Real Time that it was Friday the 13th, the host warned his audience, "If a black cat crosses your path it is bad luck – except in Florida where you’re allowed to shoot it" (video follows with transcript and commentary):