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Bending the Trayvon Martin Tragedy To Fit
Townhall.com ^ | July 31, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 07/31/2013 6:11:37 AM PDT by Kaslin

I never thought the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case deserved nearly the attention it got. But reasonable people can disagree about that. What strikes me as unconscionable, however, is the way the supposedly objective media have not only sensationalized a tragedy but at times appear to deliberately bend the facts to fit a desired story line. Maybe it started with the use of pictures of a younger Martin or with the sudden embrace of the term "white Hispanic" to describe Zimmerman in order to more easily paint him as a racist.

NBC News was the most egregious offender on this score. Producers edited Zimmerman's 911 call to make it sound as if he were targeting Martin because of his race. The "Today" show ran audio of Zimmerman saying, "This guy looks like he's up to no good ... he looks black." Those ellipses hide the fact Zimmerman said "he looks black" only after the operator asked him to describe Martin. (NBC has apologized, and Zimmerman is suing.)

Any hope that the editorializing would end with the trial was naive. National Public Radio recently profiled Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother. In response to the tragedy and the trial, Fulton has become a civil rights activist, NPR reported.

It was a deferential piece, and understandably so. Who wants to add to the woman's pain? But there's a difference between deference and advocacy. In a speech to the National Urban League, Fulton said her son was killed "all because of a law, a law that has prevented the person who shot and killed my son to be held accountable and to pay for this awful crime."

And how did NPR's Greg Allen put that statement in context? He told listeners: "Fulton is one of many pushing for a repeal of Florida's 'stand your ground' law." He noted that sit-ins have been staged but that the Florida governor remains "unmoved." And that was it.

Allen then went on to report that one of the jurors told ABC News, "George Zimmerman got away with murder but you can't get away from God." We owe that revelation to ABC's interview with Juror B29, a.k.a. "Maddy." The sole nonwhite juror in the case, Maddy made that remark to ABC's Robin Roberts. The quote went viral across electronic and print media.

The only problem: It's not clear that's what she thinks. As Will Saletan of Slate magazine notes, the video was artfully edited to make it appear as if Maddy generated this thought on her own. But when you watch an unedited segment, she's repeating back a statement by Roberts, and ABC News was happy to let the misinterpretation stand.

Letting misinterpretations stand is the hallmark of the media's coverage of this story. For instance, nowhere in NPR's report did Allen mention that Zimmerman's defense team never mentioned Florida's "stand your ground" law. They argued traditional self-defense. The decision not to arrest Zimmerman in the first place wasn't about that law either, despite widespread insistence that it was.

Much has been made of the fact that the judge's instructions to the jury included the phrase "right to stand his ground," without noting that it is part of a standard jury instruction. As prosecutor John Guy declared, "This case is not about standing your ground."

This is not to say that "stand your ground" laws have no conceivable bearing on the Zimmerman case. Thoughtful critics of such laws, including President Obama, worry that they might create a climate in which people are too quick to resort to deadly force.

But that is an airy justification for the media to treat the law as if it were central to the whole controversy. Is it conceivable that NPR would let, say, a gun rights activist's wildly tendentious interpretation of a law stand without some explanation or context? Why should opponents of "stand your ground" laws get different treatment?

I think part of the answer is that the media and civil rights groups want a consolation prize. They didn't get the verdict -- or the story line -- they wanted. But they need to get something positive out of this. I certainly understand why Trayvon Martin's family feels that way. I fail to see why the media should so eagerly oblige.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 07/31/2013 6:11:37 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Most journalists are very average intellects. But they identify most often with and see themselves as equal to their former college professors, and therefore report from an arrogantly leftist slant.


2 posted on 07/31/2013 6:16:22 AM PDT by BlueStateRightist
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To: Kaslin
National Public Radio recently profiled Sybrina Fulton, Martin's mother. In response to the tragedy and the trial, Fulton has become a civil rights activist, NPR reported.

Look in the dictionary under "useful idiot" to see her picture.

3 posted on 07/31/2013 6:20:23 AM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree (July 4, 1776: Declaration of Independence. Nov 6, 2012: Declaration of Dependence. R.I.P. America.)
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To: Kaslin

All leftist minds work the same way. When this story was published, leftists immediately saw how this could be molded into something that it wasn’t.

Evil White people preying on innocent Black children. White Guilt. Reparations. Feed the race industry. Boost 0bama’s popularity. Great opportunity.

Didn’t matter that the facts didn’t fit the agenda. The media control minds and decided that they would change the facts.


4 posted on 07/31/2013 6:27:13 AM PDT by I want the USA back (Media: completely irresponsible traitors. Complicit in the destruction of our country.)
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree

Rachel Jantel said on the stand that Creepy-ass-Cracker was not a racial slur. She was telling the truth. But only half way. remember, she’s new school. People who heard cracker are Richard Pryor old school. According to the Urban Dictionary, “ass-cracker” is someone who engages in Anal Sex and she said “Trayvon’s not that way”. This was Gay Bashing aka “Whoop-azz”.


5 posted on 07/31/2013 6:29:31 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Kaslin
Fulton has become a 'civil rights activist'

So what does that mean?

6 posted on 07/31/2013 6:29:39 AM PDT by Altura Ct.
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To: Kaslin

Your headline “bend to fit” reminded me of an unpublished, closely held, tongue-in-cheek unwritten Work Order sometimes resorted to by Manufacturing Engineers when confronted with a scheduling crunch.....and which might have been right at home in the DILBERT comic strip:

POUND TO SIZE, FILE TO FIT AND PAINT TO HIDE.


7 posted on 07/31/2013 6:30:43 AM PDT by Tucker39
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree

Yeah, where was all her concern for her son when she gave away two years after his birth? From what I understand, she made a decent living-government work, of course.

And what’s with this hedging language “appeared to”? The media didn’t “appear” to twist and spin the facts, they outright did do it.

I wish the mother of the 18mo who was shot in the face and killed, had been able to stand her ground while armed, or the mother of children who worked in a bakery to support them.

More rights for criminals, disarm the law-abiding-between that and confiscatory wealth redistribution, why bother anymore?


8 posted on 07/31/2013 6:31:52 AM PDT by mrsmel (One Who Can See)
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To: Kaslin
What strikes me as unconscionable, however, is the way the supposedly objective media have not only sensationalized a tragedy but at times appear to deliberately bend the facts to fit a desired story line.

It what the libtard media ALWAYS does.

9 posted on 07/31/2013 6:32:05 AM PDT by CPOSharky ((The government way) If it ain't broke, fix it till it is.)
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To: Altura Ct.
Fulton has become a 'civil rights activist' So what does that mean?

She's now on the payroll, because she helps with fundraising.

10 posted on 07/31/2013 6:32:23 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: massgopguy

So, St Skittles engaged in some profiling.


11 posted on 07/31/2013 6:32:53 AM PDT by mrsmel (One Who Can See)
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To: Kaslin
Good morning Kaslin.

First, nothing new about this story. We know how the liberal media is.

Second..."sudden embrace of the term "white Hispanic" to describe Zimmerman in order to more easily paint him as a racist."

That's not new either. The black community is always trying to make everything racial. I think their agenda is to keep this up until everyone who isn't black with cower away from accusing them of anything...(i.e., run stops signs, pull out in front of people...break into stores when they riot...cops can't say anything cause then they are profiling).

Third, T. Martin is not the only young black boy killed un-necessarily. Why "worry this bone"?

Finally, the black community and the liberal media seems to have forgotten that T. Martin said, "creepy a$$ cracker." But hey that's not racist, is it?

The Hating Whitey continues.

12 posted on 07/31/2013 6:33:35 AM PDT by beachn4fun (Face it - an aging body is not pretty...no matter how many times you tack it up.)
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To: Altura Ct.

Jesse and Al with bigger hair and more makeup...


13 posted on 07/31/2013 6:34:38 AM PDT by homegroan (Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option....)
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To: Kaslin

Goldberg is an idiot. Did he just crawl out from under a rock? This guy has spent too many hours in the DC martini lunch set. Get real jerk! This country is under COMMUNIST OCCUPATION and you’re writing columns months late about a garbage pickup in Florida manipulated by the HOMO erectus in the White Hut!


14 posted on 07/31/2013 6:38:34 AM PDT by Doc Savage ("I've shot people I like a lot more,...for a lot less!" Raylan Givins)
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To: beachn4fun; All

“They didn’t get the verdict — or the story line — they wanted. But they need to get something positive out of this.”

The very essence of advocacy journalism.


15 posted on 07/31/2013 6:41:24 AM PDT by marktwain (The MSM must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: mrsmel
More rights for criminals, disarm the law-abiding-between that and confiscatory wealth redistribution, why bother anymore?

Yup, as plain as the nose on our faces.

16 posted on 07/31/2013 6:44:55 AM PDT by beachn4fun (Face it - an aging body is not pretty...no matter how many times you tack it up.)
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To: massgopguy

Yours is the first cogent explanation of “creepy ass cracker” that I’ve seen. I had no idea that the meaning depends upon where the hyphen goes. Thus, a “creepy-ass cracker” is a white guy who looks a little off. But, a “creepy ass-cracker” is a homosexual, perhaps a predatory one.


17 posted on 07/31/2013 6:46:21 AM PDT by TruthShallSetYouFree (July 4, 1776: Declaration of Independence. Nov 6, 2012: Declaration of Dependence. R.I.P. America.)
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To: beachn4fun

All it does for me is make me more determined to keep my distance in every way possible, because being white, if a black person takes issue with me, I am automatically wrong and full of hatred for disagreeing.


18 posted on 07/31/2013 6:49:51 AM PDT by mrsmel (One Who Can See)
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree

Funny how quickly that term found it’s way into the dictionary. (have to remember the hyphen in the future).


19 posted on 07/31/2013 6:53:25 AM PDT by beachn4fun (Face it - an aging body is not pretty...no matter how many times you tack it up.)
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To: mrsmel

I feel ya!


20 posted on 07/31/2013 6:54:06 AM PDT by beachn4fun (Face it - an aging body is not pretty...no matter how many times you tack it up.)
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To: mrsmel

My observation of a lot of these incidents is
“if a black person FINDS AN EXCUSE to take issue with you, you’re in for a beat down”.


21 posted on 07/31/2013 6:55:45 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: beachn4fun

They have an agenda, and they have the Martin-Zimmerman incident.

They should have taken a pass on this one like they do on other cases, because it doesn’t fit.

Pick one that fits the narrative better.


22 posted on 07/31/2013 6:57:04 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: Kaslin
What strikes me as unconscionable, however, is the way the supposedly objective media have not only sensationalized a tragedy but at times appear to deliberately bend the facts to fit a desired story line

This is not new. They've been doing this since at least 1995, and probably much longer than that (Cronkite's reporting on the Tet Offensive comes to mind...)

Journalists are, by and large, a despicable, loathsome group of people, deserving of utter contempt and distrust.

23 posted on 07/31/2013 7:07:08 AM PDT by Sicon ("All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." - G. Orwell)
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To: Kaslin

Sybrina Fulton is this year’s Chindy Sheehan.


24 posted on 07/31/2013 7:18:55 AM PDT by Mr Radical
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To: Kaslin

The Media and Race Hustler’s Portrayal of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin Event through Manipulating the Facts to Match their Narrative:

• Slightly-built 8th grader, Trayvon Martin, is walking home in his graduation cap and gown minding his own business, munching on some Skittles candy.

• Aryan Nation member George Zimmerman is driving through the neighborhood looking for young, black men to racially profile.

• Zimmerman spots Trayvon in the dark by the glow of his halo hovering over his sweet, innocent head.

• The skinhead takes chase.

• The young black football star trys to outrun him, but he is trapped by a “No Enter” sign and the speed of the Klansman’s truck.

• Trayvon, faced with certain lynching and death or disobeying the law, makes his stand to defend himself.

• The little angel Trayvon attempts to reason with his attacker, but the illiterate racist Zimmerman will have none of it.

• Zimmerman jumps out of his truck and asks Trayvon, “Any last words?”

• Tryavon’s young, innocent face looks into the eyes of his executioner and replies, “World Peace.”

• The skinhead screams, “White Power!”, as he unloads his fully automatic assault rifle into Trayvon.

• If not for the Republican party’s refusal to limit huge magazines, Trayvon may have survived but that cowardly racist conservative Zimmerman, unfettered by their lack of legislation, unloads hundreds of rounds into the future Nobel Peace prize recipient, Trayvon.

• Then, the psychopath criminal thug, Zimmerman, bashes his fist into his own nose, breaking it, and then lies on his back, pulling the bullet-riddled Trayvon’s body on top of his and repeatedly pounds the back of his head on the sidewalk while yelling for help.

• When the deed is done, Hilter incarnate, Zimmerman, steps back into his gas-guzzling, fossil fuel truck.

• As he leaves the scene, all he can see is Trayvon dying and looking up at his “Bush-Cheney 2004” bumper sticker disappear into the night.

• Given these indisputable facts, the media and race baiters proclaim that Zimmerman got away with murder and the poor innocent victim Trayvon had nothing but goodness in his heart.


25 posted on 07/31/2013 7:20:41 AM PDT by HotHunt
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To: Kaslin

“Producers edited Zimmerman’s 911 call”

It was NOT a 911 call. It was a non-emergency number used for the purpose he used it.


26 posted on 07/31/2013 7:34:07 AM PDT by Tomato lover
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To: beachn4fun

It’s increasingly obvious to me that for many in the black community, there are only two colors. Black, and not-black, which explains why they often go after Asians, Hispanics, and Jews in their Knock-Out King games, and in their race rhetoric.


27 posted on 07/31/2013 7:47:08 AM PDT by A_perfect_lady (The only uniform Obama respects is the hoodie.)
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To: A_perfect_lady

That could explain why they treat each other as if they belong to a “secret soriety”.


28 posted on 07/31/2013 8:04:04 AM PDT by beachn4fun (Face it - an aging body is not pretty...no matter how many times you tack it up.)
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To: Kaslin
"Thoughtful critics of such laws, including President Obama..."

The author makes a statement here completely unsupported by evidence.

29 posted on 07/31/2013 8:06:36 AM PDT by whd23 (Every time a link is de-blogged an angel gets its wings.)
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To: whd23

He might be correct on the thoughtful critics part, but that arrogant pos occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave is anything but thoughtful. Except when it benefits him and the rats


30 posted on 07/31/2013 8:12:57 AM PDT by Kaslin (He needed the ignorant to reelect him, and he got them. Now we all have to pay the consequenses)
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To: Kaslin
The worst misportrayal is still the one that O'Reilly is hanging onto.

O'Reilly is saying that Zimmerman did think that Martin was "suspicious" because he was a black youth and he was wearing a hoodie.

I say that Zimmerman was suspicious only because he knew the owner of the unit that Martin was near and knew that Martin didn't belong there because he knows the circumstance of the owner in the unit. Martin didn't have to be black or wear a hoodie for Zimmerman to know that Martin wasn't a resident of THAT particular unit.

That's why Zimmerman was suspicious of Martin.

-PJ

31 posted on 07/31/2013 8:29:25 AM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: TruthShallSetYouFree

This idiot gave birth to this hood, but was NOT his mother. She only became his mother when the money came rolling in.


32 posted on 07/31/2013 8:43:03 AM PDT by gunner03
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