If Mitt Romney is to overcome his problem with Hispanic voters, he is going to have to start by changing a lot of minds in central Florida.
A key battleground in a vital swing state, the region is home to growing numbers of non-Cuban Hispanics who have always been viewed by Republicans as open to their economic and social views but reluctant to back the party in part because of its position on illegal immigration. With Mr. Romney having taken hawkish stances on immigration during the primary season, he and his campaign are now trying to shift the debate to what they feel will be friendlier terrain -- jobs.
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):
Imagine if you will a Republican city councilman anywhere in the United States railing against Asian-American small businesses and Filipino immigrants who work as nurses in local hospitals. The national media would swoop in with critical attention to the matter and demand Republican politicians all the way up to apparent presidential nominee Mitt Romney to renounce the racist politician.
But when it comes to D.C. Councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry (D), alas, there's no national media attention devoted to the racist ex-convict's sentiments about the Asian-American community in the nation's capital. While the Washington Post and Politico have done their part -- Politico even noted a political consultant calling on Barry to step down as a Democratic convention delegate -- our search of Nexis reveals that neither ABC, CBS, nor NBC have covered the story on their morning or evening news programs.
Despite NBC's refusal to engage in any transparency regarding its internal investigation into the airing of two fake audio recordings of George Zimmerman, information about how they made it onto the air is continuing to leak out.
According to a Southern Florida television news blog, the creator of at least one of the false audio clips was a correspondent with NBC's Miami affiliate WTVJ named Jeff Burnside. According to SFLTV, Burnside was the person responsible for editing Zimmerman's call to 9-1-1 which made him appear to be racially motivated in his pursuit of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. That manufactured audio was then taken by NBC News and run on the air:
One certainly got that feeling watching Sunday's Meet the Press as guests David Brooks and Helene Cooper both expressed concerns about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney potentially picking a "white guy" to be his running mate (video follows with transcript and commentary):
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.
As NewsBusters previously reported, CNN's Don Lemon two Saturdays ago advocated journalists actually say the N-word in news reports rather than the more politically correct, sanitized version we've grown accustomed to in recent years.
On Sunday, I chatted with Lemon about this issue - along with Big Journalism's Dana Loesch - on CNN Newsroom (video follows with transcript and lengthy commentary):
MSNBC on Monday featured 9/11 truther and network analyst Toure to slam the "paternalistic" Bill Cosby for suggesting the Trayvon Martin shooting is more about guns than it is about race. Toure derided this "dangerous sentiment" as "not at all true" and implied that the popular comedian is dumb: "But in terms of nuanced political thinking, [Cosby] has not shown himself to be a big fan of that."
Toure used Cosby's recent comments as a jumping off point to scold the former sitcom star: "And he has quite often said things that put him into the category of, with friends like these, who needs enemies?" Specifically, Toure bashed Cosby for talking about "a lack of morality in the black community." News Nation host Tamron Hall was so taken aback, she sputtered, "But Bill Cosby is not anti-black. What are you saying?" [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
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):
Last week, CNN had to walk back its assumption that George Zimmerman uttered a racial slur in his 9-1-1 call, and now an affidavit from the prosecution in the case says no racist words were voiced.
CNN first suggested on March 21, according to its "sophisticated" audio editing, that Robert Zimmerman said "f***ing coons" on his 9-1-1 call. But the network had to throw water on that assumption once they re-assessed the audio clip, changing Zimmerman's words from "coons" to "cold." [Video below the break. Audio here.]
In a statement totally disconnected from the reality of media coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting, on Thursday's Today show, NBC chief medical editor Nancy Snyderman proclaimed that the case, "...underscores the fact that we don't talk about race enough in this country and that race does matter, it's always under the surface."
NBC alone – not to mention the other networks or MSNBC – made race so much of a central issue to the tragedy that the network aired a story that dishonestly edited a 911 call from accused shooter George Zimmerman to make it seem as if the neighborhood watch volunteer singled out the black teenager for his race.
While the network issued an apology on paper and fired the producer responsible for the false editing, NBC News has yet to apologize on air for the report, which appeared on Today.
Some reporters have been so determined to prove that George Zimmerman's shooting of Trayvon Martin on February 26 was due to racism that they've been willing to go to virtually any length to find evidence that supports their claim, even against the recommendations of fellow journalists not wanting to rush beyond the evidence.
The case of CNN's rush to promote the idea that Zimmerman had uttered a racial slur during the call is perhaps the best example of this.
The media is beginning to investigate Mitt Romney's Mormon faith and its racial history, and CNN continued the race narrative on Wednesday morning when it wondered if Romney is simply writing off the African-American vote.
Apparently, CNN never got the memo that Herman Cain all but officially endorsed Romney on Tuesday. Citing a Daily Beast report that Romney has no high-profile African-American endorsements or staffers, CNN's Carol Costello went ahead and asked if the candidate was "kissing off African-American voters". [Video below the break. Audio here.]
On ABC's The View Tuesday, as co-host Whoopi Goldberg supported Saturday's call by CNN's Don Lemon for reporters to say the N-word when quoting folks that have, the censors actually bleeped her when she said the word herself (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart surprisingly took on NBC News Monday for the network’s dishonest editing of George Zimmerman’s 911 call regarding Trayvon Martin.
Less shocking, the Daily Show host also took some punches at conservatives for how they handled this story including Media Research Center president Brent Bozell (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary):
Following up on P.J. Gladnick's NewsBusters story about reports of non-existent neo-Nazi "patrols" in Sanford, Fla. in response to potential racial violence there, ABC News.com's Candace Smith apparently hasn't gotten the memo that there are no such patrols going on. As Gladnick reported two days ago, Professor William Jacobson of the Legal Insurrection blog did the legwork that reporters like Smith are supposed to do. Get this -- he e-mailed the Sanford Police Department and simply asked them if there were indeed neo-Nazis patrolling the streets of Sanford. "No confirmed reports" was the reply. Jacobson then -- get this -- followed up by asking the police if they just weren't yet aware of any patrols: There was "no indication" of any such patrols, the Sanford police responded.
When NBC's "Today" show played the audio of George Zimmerman's call to a Sanford, Fla., police dispatcher about Trayvon Martin, the editors made him appear to be a racist who says: "This guy looks like he's up to no good. He looks black." What Zimmerman actually said was: "This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something. It's raining, and he's just walking around, looking about." The 911 officer responded by asking, "OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?" Zimmerman replied, "He looks black." NBC says it's investigating the doctoring of the audio, but there's nothing to investigate; its objective was to inflame passions.
In his Associated Press article titled "Old photos may be deceptive in Fla. shooting case," Matt Sedensky pointed out that the photos carried by the major media were several years old and showed Zimmerman looking fat and mean and Martin looking like a sweet young kid.
For the second time in roughly two weeks a CNN employee has said "f--king n--ger" on the air.
The most recent vulgarity came from CNN national correspondent Susan Candiotti Sunday during a report on the shooting spree in Tulsa, Oklahoma (video follows with transcript and commentary, serious vulgarity warning):
Not at all surprisingly, Georgetown University professor and MSNBC contributor Michael Eric Dyson on Sunday made the case that the criticism of President Obama's harsh remarks to the Supreme Court this week were racially motivated.
Fortunately for the sane component of those that view ABC's This Week, George Will and Peggy Noonan were there to add some desperately needed reason (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Breitbart.com has noted that it took about 17 hours before the dam broke, but now the Associated Press and United Press International both have stories on NBC's decision to fire a Miami-based producer over the editing of George Zimmerman's 911 call.
The AP story, which has a time stamp of 12:03 p.m. at the Wall Street Journal, plays it pretty straight (posted in full because of it relative brevity; the item's author, as shown here, is Television Writer Frazier Moore):
NBC News has fired the producer it says was responsible for creating the deceptive audio recording of George Zimmerman communicating with a 9-1-1 operator, according to the New York Times.
The network is still refusing to release the name of the producer, although according to Times reporter Brian Stelter, the producer is based in Miami and has worked there for a number of years. According to Stelter's network sources, NBC is still insisting the deceptive edit was not done deliberatiely. The network has refused to say how exactly someone could accidentally have edited the tape to make Zimmerman appear to be racially motivated: