Why Such Media Slant in the Trayvon Martin Case?

This is a good starting point to clear up a few misconseptions regarding this case.

Reading articles on a few of the most popular media outlets it would seem like an innocent, baby faced, young teen, was viciously shot down in cold blood by a racist white supremeist who didn’t like blacks in his all white neighborhood. None of those “facts” are truth though – so why all the media distortions?

The neighborhood in question is in fact mostly non-white (51%), Zimmerman (the shooter) is hispanic/multiracial (not white), Trayvon is a 6ft 2inch man (not a baby faced boy), and Zimmerman was found with grass stains on his back and cuts on his head (indicating a struggle).  Why are those fact ignored and other mis-informations propogated?

Yes, this was a tragedy.  No matter how you slice it – a young man being killed and another man possibly facing charges for murder is a mess.  The reporting has been horrible though – at best biased and at worse the reporting has served to boost ratings and divide the country along racial lines.  What’s the end game?

When I take a quick look on a few of the “Top Articles” on CNN I immediatlely notice the agenda.

The first article reads “CNN poll: Majority call for arrest in Trayvon Martin shooting”. My first thought is “Why does what a few ill-informed CNN readers think matter anyways?”  Why is this top news?  Of course most CNN readers think this – had I soley relied on CNN articles I would be saying the same thing!

Don’t beleive me? Here are the last five articles on CCN regarding this case:

“Calls for justice rage on a month after Trayvon Martin’s killing”
“Monday: Trayvon Martin outrage, was this a hate crime?”
“Rallies, ‘scream-outs’ planned coast to coast in support of Trayvon Martin ”
“Congregations pay tribute to Trayvon ”
“Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. on Trayvon Marting shooting: “Justice denied is humiliating” ”

This one is the first line of the most recent article from ABC:

The attorney counseling George Zimmerman, who shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin as he was walking home from the store with a bag of Skittles…

This is the image the media pushes us:

Image from ABC news

A more thorogh investigation points to Trayvon not being quite so inncocent:

Image the media ignores.

Is the Media biased? Yes.

The truth is that no one has all the facts of this case, period. Not many of us really knew Trayvon nor Zimmerman. We can’t be character witnesses or speculate on their motives. We have no idea what happened.  Except for possible witnesses no one can even comment on how the whole incident occured. The case is ongoing yet people – especially the ratings whores writing for the media – are there to speculate. This is a pure effort to sway public opinion – one based largely on a case made to look like a hate crime. I can’t help but ask myself why. Why the slant?

I feel for the families involved. It’s sad that this happened. Terrible. We shouldn’t let this be a point of division for us though, but rather one we can all agree on. Lets treat eachother better.

For the media – stop pushing an agenda, please.

17 thoughts on “Why Such Media Slant in the Trayvon Martin Case?

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  3. philebersole

    In homicide cases or rape cases, it is almost always the victim, not the accused killer or rapist, who is put on trial. The allegation is that they were wearing something or doing something that made the attack justifiable.

    The basic fact of the story is that you have an unarmed teenager who had committed no crime was stalked, confronted and shot dead for no good reason.

    The reason this is a big story is that it is a common pattern, with the victim almost always black. And the response, as almost always happens in such cases, is to attack the reputation of the victim..

    The Sanford Police Department leaked information that Martin was expelled from school for possessing a marijuana baggie. I don’t approve of teenagers smoking dope, but this is not unusual behavior in this day and age. Al Gore and Newt Gingrich smoked marijuana in their youth.

    You published a picture of Trayvon Martin which I suppose is the worst and most menacing thing somebody could come up. I suppose menace is in the eye of the beholder. Both of your pictures look the same to me – a smiling young teenage boy.

    It’s true that Martin was roughly as tall as Zimmerman. It also is true that Zimmerman outweighed him by more than 50 pounds. In this respect, I recall a young black man who was a member of my church who really was taller and heavier that either of these guys and sometimes menacing looking. He was also the sweetest-tempered kid you ever could know; his classmates called him the “gentle giant.” Anyhow none of this is a justification for taking a human life.

    The fact that the gated community is 51 percent black meant that Trayvon Martin’s presence was not suspicious. The fact that Zimmerman is Hispanic (an ethnic heritage) as well as white (a racial category) is, in my opinion, neither here or there.

    As to why some incident becomes a big news story and some other roughly equivalent incident does not is as big a mystery to me, after having worked 40 years on newspapers, as it is to you. Certainly there is no shortage of incidents of unarmed black people being killed in “misunderstandings.” I think you would need to be an expert on chaos theory to explain it.

    1. Atticus Finch

      The ONLY way I see this killing justifiable (but no less tragic) is IF Martin was actually attacking Zimmerman as Zimmerman reports. None of the other details (race, height, etc.) are important to me at all.

      I simply point out the reporting because the cases I see all point those facts out – many times incorrectly.

      I think as far as Martin’s background and appearence – it was interesting to me that the media painted him as a baby faced boy that couldn’t possibly have attacked Zimmerman – which is the key to this case.

      Martin was absolutely able. He is not a baby faced kid. There are photos of him throwing up gang signs, reports of him with drugs, etc. That does say something about his character – which would make it very different from how the media paints him. Even if these facts are completely irrelevant to the case – it is none-the-less interesting that the media skewed or ignored them.

      This isn’t a reflection of all black or all white people. It’s simply a reflection of that specific individual’s character. If he was an all A’s student with no history of trouble making that would tell me something completely different about him. If he was a white kid with the same type photos I would come to the same conclusion.

      Also, people keep pointing out the 50lbs difference between Zimmerman and Martin. THat makes 0 difference. It just tells me Zimmerman was out of shape. I used to train fighters and I would take an in shape 17 year old over an overweight mid-aged man any day of the week…

      It’s still to early to tell, but I would be very interested to hear the facts about the inncident. Did Zimmerman shoot from the ground off his back after a sucker punch which broke his nose or did he provoke and start a fight that lead to Martin’s tragic death? That is the key.

  4. amelie

    I am so with you on this and glad you posted it. This is a cheap shot from the media and Zimmerman has already been convicted in the eyes of the American people. What happened to due process? What happened to a fair trial with evidence? Is this even the United States anymore?

    In my lifetime I’ve been quoted and in the newspaper twice (no big deal, just small local stories). Both times the paper got about half the information wrong. Not skewed – just flat-out wrong.

    And just because the police have information that does not mean that more information will not surface to help our understanding of what happened. But then why are we surprised – Americans accept Creationism and deny climate change even when sorely lacking evidence. We are an anti-science society. We don’t want facts. We want emotions.

    MSNBC has turned this into a ”right wing versus left wing” issue. It’s nauseating. Thank you for being the voice of reason in a sea of nonsense.

    1. Atticus Finch

      Thank you Amelie! It makes me feel better that others out there are remaining a bit more level headed.

      I wish everyone would take a step back, put aside their emotions, and let the evidence speak for itself.

      In either case we should use this case as a point of agreement, not something to divide us.

  5. Pingback: Allen West on Trayvon Martin case: No one should use this to ‘push an ideological agenda’ | American Freedom

  6. Snort

    I personally don’t know either one of these people, so I won’t comment on if they were good or bad.

    But what I will say is that people have a right to shoot dead an attacker.

    Criminals of all colors, blacks include, should be warned, you may get shot and killed if you act dumb with the wrong person.

    1. Atticus Finch Post author

      There is certainly an argument to be able to protect your own life. However, people have to be very responsible with that liberty. Taking a life should be the very last option.

      The media has done a very bias and poor job of reporting this case though. It’s an interesting case.

  7. JStef

    I know very little about this story. I do remember when the incident first occurred that people were outraged that Zimmerman wasn’t arrested. And I remember thinking to myself – why? Was there any reason to believe that the police are corrupt? Was there any reason to believe that the police are incompetent? Was there any reason to believe that the police were not upholding the law as it was written? That was a red flag for me to let this one go. It had media circus written all over it from day one.

    No matter what you think or feel about any given situation or set of circumstances, you should always respect due process of the law. More often than not, given the necessary time and resources to review the evidence in a case, the truth will prevail and justice will be served. If you rush to judgement and quickly punish the accused, you can never recover from your potential mistakes. Personally, I would rather let 10 guilty persons go free than convict one innocent man.

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  9. Jaded_One

    I would hope that at this date you’ve become aware of the basic facts of this incident. The incident occurred on 2/27. In the 911 call Zimmerman made to police, you can clearly hear the dispatcher tell Zimmerman NOT to pursue Trayvon. Now, with Florida’s “Stand your Ground” law, the evidence would seem to support Trayvon”s actions under this law. He was being pursued, he turned and faced his attacker.

    What is most disturbing is that a life was lost and yet it took public outcry to prompt further investigation. By 3/12/12 there was still no closer look into the shooting and it wasn’t until 3/19/12 that the Justice Department launched an investigation.

    Whether or not Zimmerman is convicted is up to the courts. He IS innocent until proven guilty and this will be a convoluted case. The tragedy is that a young adult was killed under questionable circumstances and that it took authorities being pressured by media hype to investigate further.

    1. Atticus Finch Post author

      My intentions in this post wasn’t to say who is guilty or not guilty nor to say that Florida’s laws are justified. I solely want to point out the media’s bias in coverage when this incident first happened. I think it was biased and irresponsible reporting that could undoubtedly affect the outcome of this case. In any case, I think mistakes were made, the law isn’t a good one, and the media coverage was poor.

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  12. Lew from NYC

    This story without a doubt has implications of liberal media bias written all over it. Proof of my statement is that there has never been an honest debate about the horrific crime stats concerning both intra and inter racial crime stats concerning young Black males. The facts speak for themselves most Black men and women are killed by Black males who in addition commit more serious crimes against people of other races and nationalities. Our liberal sensationalist media intentionally spotlights stories that suit their agenda which is why this second degree Florida murder has turned into a national story. But larger questions like why aren’t Black males who travel into White areas to commit crimes not labeled as racist are never discussed. I am not defending the actions of Zimmerman as he seems to have been in an emotionally charged and confused state of mind concerning his actions. But the fact remains that Black males do as a group commit more crime against Whites, Hispanics and Asians then vice versa. As far as innocent young people getting killed in our country one has to look no further than the horrific murder rates of Chicago a city with some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. The reason why our liberal media doesn’t highlight the high crime in ethnic areas is that undermines their socialist agenda. They would have to admit that their welfare policies have helped to destroy the two-parent family, encouraged single parenthood and our public schools have become day care centers instead of educational institutions. And despite all the finger pointing by Black radicals most of pathologies of the their inner city communities are self-created like for instance drug and alcohol abuse whose by products have been criminal gangs and the spread of STD’s like Aids. And the still soaring high school dropout rates which in today’s economy insures a life of poverty. It’s time for a new Black leadership that will openly and honestly address the problems that are destroying their own neighborhoods and stop playing both the “race and victim status” cards.


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