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Trayvon Martin Case Highlights Why Americans Distrust Media
Commentary ^ | 04.05.2012 - 4:45 PM | Bethany Mandel

Posted on 04/09/2012 10:44:36 AM PDT by robowombat

Trayvon Martin Case Highlights Why Americans Distrust Media Bethany Mandel | 04.05.2012 - 4:45 PM

When Americans first heard the story of the death of Trayvon Martin, many in the public and in the media decided on a narrative for why George Zimmerman killed the unarmed black teenager in Florida on the night of February 26. It was decided that Zimmerman, a “white-Hispanic” (should we now start classifying President Obama as the first white-African American president?) pursued and shot an innocent unarmed black teen in cold blood, because of his own racial bias. Over time, details available to the public have come to light as the narrative on the night changed. Many of the new details have emerged because eyewitnesses have come forward and police reports have come to light. There are a significant number of details, however, that have been shaped and then changed by the media and the biased lens they used to frame the case.

One of the key ways in which the media portrayed the story as one driven by racial violence was by playing the audio of the 9-1-1 call Zimmerman placed the night Martin died. While covering the case, NBC played excerpts of the call which made Zimmerman sound like nothing less than an armed member of the KKK. From the call NBC played the audio:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.

After playing that phrase on-air multiple times, NBC issued an apology (of sorts). They have now admitted the audio they played to millions of Americans was edited, and the full context of the conversation between Zimmerman and the 9-1-1 operator was this:

Zimmerman: 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.

Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?

Zimmerman: He looks black.

A blog post on the Washington Post website articulated what was wrong with the statement issued by NBC:

Does the statement adequately address those concerns? On the good front, it acknowledges the mistake and apologizes to viewers for the bad editing. It’s a forthright correction and spares us any excuses about the faulty portrayal. On the bad front, the statement is skimpy on the details on just how the mistake unfolded. Nor does it articulate an apology directly to George Zimmerman, the “viewer” who is most aggrieved by the screw-up. In light of all that’s happened, Zimmerman may be a tough person for a news network to apologize to, but that’s just the point: Apologies are hard.

The fact that this news broke on a Washington Post blog, and on a low traffic one at that, speaks volumes about how the Post views the NBC error as well.

Many proponents of the racial motivation theory pointed to another aspect of the 9-1-1 tape to prove that Zimmerman’s pursuit and shooting of Martin was due to Zimmerman’s bias. CNN was particularly enthusiastic about playing a segment of the 9-1-1 tape’s audio over and over and over, while trying to discern what was being said over background noise and labored breathing. In the segment, a CNN reporter asserted that he was fairly sure he heard Zimmerman mutter a racial slur while chasing after Martin. Now CNN has enhanced the audio even further, and the reporter who claimed Zimmerman used a slur is now suggesting that instead of Zimmerman complaining about “coons,” he was actually probably using the word “cold.” The likelihood of CNN playing the segment on this correction as many times as it played the alleged remarks is pretty slim.

A crucial part of the case which could establish Zimmerman’s claim that shooting Martin was in self-defense revolves around the moments before the gun went off. Was Martin being chased by Zimmerman, as his family claims, or was he pummeling Zimmerman on the ground, as Zimmerman claims? ABC released a video of Zimmerman’s arrest on the night of Martin’s death, hyping up the claim the video didn’t show any signs of injury on Zimmerman’s part, thereby invalidating his claim that Martin slammed his head against the sidewalk multiple times. Later, ABC broke the story that they themselves had edited the tape, eliminating pictures that proved Zimmerman walked into the police station with fresh head wounds. The Daily Caller remarked,

Now ABC News has reversed itself, and somehow it’s an “exclusive.” Not a correction. Not a retraction. An “exclusive.” Their big scoop is that their previous big scoop was wrong.

As with the CNN and NBC “corrections,” this reversal has received a fraction of the airtime that the original inflammatory accusations against Zimmerman received. As the case unfolds and new details emerge in the mainstream media, my immediate reaction has become: “Interesting. I wonder if it’s true.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: abc; bigots; cbs; cnn; cowards; fakebutaccurate; lamestreammeadia; liars; mediabias; nbc; waronerror; yellowjournalism

1 posted on 04/09/2012 10:44:40 AM PDT by robowombat
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To: robowombat

They didn’t even mention the biggest distortion, the photos shown for weeks, of a smiling 12 year old Trayvon, and the mub shot of Zimmerman. Maybe originally those were the only pics they had, but no attempt was made to tell people that the Trayvon pic was 5 years old. It fit the narrative of people like Sheptard Smith who kept calling Trayvon “a child with a bag of Skittles” long after the truth of the incedent had come out.


2 posted on 04/09/2012 11:15:50 AM PDT by Hugin ("Most time a man'll tell you his bad intentions if you listen and let yourself hear"--Open Range)
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To: robowombat
Well if anything good comes from this, maybe just maybe it will be the death of TV journalism. I know I am dreaming.
It won't end Jackson & Sharpton. If Towanda Browley & Duke Lacrosse and many more didn't stop them then nothing will.
3 posted on 04/09/2012 11:34:40 AM PDT by DeaconRed (ZERO supporters are stuck on stupid. . . Always were, always will be. . .)
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To: robowombat

Americans distrust the media because for the most part it seems to work for the Democrat Party


4 posted on 04/09/2012 11:36:06 AM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I sign up for the New American Revolution and the Crusades 2012?)
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To: Hugin

Because of sites like FR I was never misinformed about this case. NBC and the lot of them are purely LIARS and not journalists.


5 posted on 04/09/2012 11:48:47 AM PDT by Gasshog (going to get what all those libs asked for, but its not what they expected.)
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To: robowombat


The hype continues .....


6 posted on 04/09/2012 11:53:58 AM PDT by canuck_conservative
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To: Hugin

LIBERAL LEFT: The more it’s exposed the faster it collaspes. AGW, Obama, MSM just a few examples


7 posted on 04/09/2012 11:54:14 AM PDT by spawn44
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To: robowombat

THE LIBERAL LEFT: The more it’s exposed the faster it collaspes


8 posted on 04/09/2012 11:58:32 AM PDT by spawn44
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To: robowombat
Trayvon Martin Case Highlights Why Americans Distrust Media

There's a reason why they are called "presstitutes".

9 posted on 04/09/2012 12:08:48 PM PDT by Oatka (This is America. Assimilate or evaporate.)
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