When the media become the story

When the media become the story

April 2, 2012

By Katy Grimes

By now everyone in America knows the name of Trayvon Martin, the 17-year old tragically killed on February 26 by a Florida neighborhood watch captain. While the details of the case are still suspicious at this point, and have even been altered in some reports, one fact remains: a young man is dead.

Instead of reporting on the facts as they came out, the media have become the story, and tragedy has been overshadowed by melodramatic story telling.

The media have doctored facts, ignored facts, covered up facts, altered photos and drawn incorrect conclusions to fit an agenda. It used to be that journalists were fired for knowingly distorting a story or altering facts and documents.

The death of Trayvon Martin is tragic enough without the elite mass media dog-piling all over one another, desperate for a piece of the action. In doing so, the media knowingly prevented the facts from getting in the way of sexy, morbid, delicious and damning headlines.

Politicians Join The Story

Never passing up a media opportunity to grab headlines by exploiting someone, politicians have now jumped on the bandwagon by donning hoodie sweatshirts on the floor of the U.S. Congress and in California’s state Capitol. In what was probably the biggest public relations blunder of the decade, they all looked like idiotic thugs — as does everyone else who wears a hoodie.

Let’s not forget that the purpose of wearing a hoodie is to cover the face and look like a tough guy. Is there any coincidence that nearly every bank robber, home invasion burgler and 7-11 robbery suspect wears a hoodie?

Race-Baiting Mob Mentality

Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and other black leaders have inserted themselves into the fray, fueling a mob mentality and a dangerous rush to judgment.

In one more of his typical race-baiting statements, Jackson told media Trayvon Martin’s death shows how “blacks are under attack” and “targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.”

Jackson could not have made a more despicable and irresponsible statement.

“We want George Zimmerman in court with handcuffs behind his back,” Sharpton told media.

In one of the most stupid moves yet, Actor/Director Spike Lee grossly exacerbated the media frenzy by tweeting Zimmerman’s home address — only Lee tweeted the wrong address, putting a retired couple at risk for their lives in his zeal by encouraging people to protest at the home. The couple had to vacate their own home after receiving threats from the crowds congregated outside their residence. Lee has since apologized to the elderly couple, and paid a settlement for their suffering as well as expenses incurred.

MSNBC political analyst and Democratic fundraiser Karen Finney blamed Republicans for Martin’s death and said, “[Republican politicians] reinforce and validate old stereotypes that associate the poor and welfare as criminal behavior with African-Americans and people of color, calling us lazy, undeserving recipients of public assistance. In the case of Trayvon, those festering stereotypes had lethal consequences.”

Trayvon Martin’s mother, Sabrina Fulton, has said that Zimmerman killed her son “because of the color of his skin.” Fulton has, however, applied for two patents for the phrases, “Justice for Trayvon” and “I am Trayvon.” The phrases are now being sold on hoodie sweatshirts.

The New Black Panther Party has issued a bounty poster and offered a $10,000 bounty for the “capture” of George Zimmerman. But Zimmerman is not on the run, nor has he been charged with anything yet. “Child killer of Trayvon Martin — Wanted Dead or Alive,” the poster reads.

This case is sounding more and more like the Duke Lacrosse team case, also tried and convicted in the media, and by vicious, lying public officials.

In the middle of an election cycle, apparently anything goes.

The Facts We Know

On February 26, 17-year old Trayvon Martin, a black male, was walking in a gated neighborhood in which he did not reside.

Martin was on suspension for 10 days from school. In the past several months, Martin was suspended from school three times, once for the possession of drug paraphernalia.

George Zimmerman, an Hispanic adult male, Neightborhood Watch captain for the neighborhood, saw Martin in the neighborhood, felt he was suspicious and called 9-1-1.

Zimmerman was carrying a licensed, loaded gun.

The Miami Herald reported that, in the gated community Zimmerman lived and voluntarily patrolled, there were eight burglaries, nine thefts and one shooting in the past year. Neighbors said Zimmerman was a dedicated Neighborhood Watch Captain, and had even prevented and solved some neighborhood crimes.

Zimmerman identified himself as an Hispanic, and was a registered Democrat.

Martin and Zimmerman had a verbal and physical altercation.

Police arrived and found Zimmerman bleeding on his face and from the back of his head, and  had grass stains on his back.

Martin was shot by Zimmerman and died at the scene.

President Barack Obama inserted himself into the story and said at a news conference that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin.

The ‘Facts,’ As Reported By Mass Media

Here are the “facts,” as reported by the media:

A “racial conflict” in a Florida neighborhood resulted in the brutal killing of an innocent black teenager, by a white man.

Martin was a “good boy” and was on suspension only for five days for something “non-violent and minor.”

Zimmerman was identified first as a “white” male, then a “white Hispanic,” and an overzealous Neighborhood Watch captain.

Zimmerman was said to have aggressively pursued Martin, and initiated the altercation leading to the shooting.

Since the story broke, the media have been using a photo of Martin from five years ago, in which he looks like a sweet little kid.

Media outlets finally are using a current photo of 17-year old Martin, but lightened his skin and softened his features.

Don’t Let The Facts Get In The Way of A Good Story

A recently identified witness has reported seeing George Zimmerman on the ground with
Trayvon on top of him, punching him. The witness told police and the media that Zimmerman screamed and yelled for help. But the victim’s family says they also have a witness who said that Zimmerman was on top of Martin before he shot him.

The facts are still coming out, but not as fast as media reports calling for the prosecution of Zimmerman.

Former NAACP leader C.L. Bryant has accused Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton of “exploiting” the Trayvon Martin tragedy to “racially divide this country.”

Bryant said people like Jackson and Sharpton are being misleading in suggesting there is an epidemic of “white men killing black young men.”

“The epidemic is truly black on black crime,” Bryant told the Daily Caller. “The greatest danger to the lives of young black men are young black men.” Bryant said he wished civil rights leaders would focus their protests on those problems.

“Why not be angry about the wholesale murder that goes on in the streets of Newark and Chicago?” he asked. “Why isn’t somebody angry about that six-year-old girl who was killed on her steps last weekend in a cross fire when two gang members in Chicago start shooting at each other? Why is there no outrage about that?”

Bryant said he worries that “people like Sharpton and those on the left” will make Martin’s death a campaign issue in the presidential race; but it already has become a campaign issue, thanks to the media, which are now in the business of making the news.

5 comments

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  1. Rob McMillin
    Rob McMillin 2 April, 2012, 07:46

    A truly awful column, politically-minded in the worst way. For anyone really interested in what a good timeline of the Trayvon Martin murder case looks like, it can be found here. Obama’s commentary is immaterial to the events of that night. The “facts as reported by the media” fails to mention who made these misreports. It also elides the recently released police surveillance video of Zimmerman in which he showed no physical scars from having his head thrust to the ground.

    For a libertarian organ — and by this, I generally mean one that should be (in this case, rightly and especially) skeptical of government — this piece shockingly favors the police, based on an incomplete and politically-minded reading of the evidence.

    Reply this comment
  2. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog 2 April, 2012, 08:28

    Mr. McMillin: Other videos may show an injury to Zimmerman’s head: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/03/31/MSNBC-Admits-Zimmerman-Head-Injury

    And he may have been cleaned up by medics before being taken to the cop shop.

    As the liberal, Democratic Talking Points Memo wrote in a summary of the case: “Surveillance video of Zimmerman inside the police department on the night of the shooting appears to show him without any obvious cuts or bruises on his head or face. This could be explained by the fact that Zimmerman received medical attention at the scene and the video is grainy enough that it’s impossible to know his condition with real certainty. It could also be explained by him having never been injured. [ABC News].”
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/03/trayvon_martin_george_zimmerman_basics.php

    It looks like this is turning into another liberal/conservative racial litmus test, like the O.J. trial 17 years ago. Although it’s somewhat different because Zimmerman is a Latino, and a registered Democrat.

    Too bad. Personally, I’m waiting for more facts. Unlike the media that Katy wrote about.

    — John Seiler

    Reply this comment
  3. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog 2 April, 2012, 08:56

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of the story.

    Let me share some links for the doubters: Washington Post on NBC altering the 9-1-1 call made by Zimmerman — http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/post/nbc-to-do-internal-investigation-on-zimmerman-segment/2012/03/31/gIQAc4HhnS_blog.html

    Altered photos of Trayvon Martin: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=23e_1332772669

    Baltimore Sun addressing biased reporting: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-martin-liberal-letter-20120329,0,2753626.story

    should I keep going?

    – Katy Grimes

    Reply this comment
  4. David H
    David H 2 April, 2012, 08:58

    Thank you for the article. For years we have seen an increase in this type of false accusation and media trial reporting. It is certainly a mob mentality. Satan himself knows how to make a majority sympathize with a wrong doer, just as he led a third of the angels to rebel against the government of God, for no justifiable reason. The world already demonstrated that it will choose a murderer and thief over the innocent. Barabbas over Christ, to condemn the innocent and let the guilty go free.

    Reply this comment
  5. queeg
    queeg 2 April, 2012, 09:23

    Be careful…..the media will “DUKE” you……

    Reply this comment

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