Trayvon Martin and Media Bias

I wrote an article about Trayvon Martin a while back. In the article I pointed out that the media was painting a innacurate picture of both Martin and Zimmerman. It was an obvious media bloodbath aimed at demonizing guns and subsequently Zimmerman.

New details have emerged confirming everything I said. Trayvon wasn’t a baby-faced kid. He was a man prone to disciplinary problems, drug use, and perhaps even violence. I’m not saying getting into a little trouble and smoking a little weed makes you evil, but it’s certainly a stark contrast to the innocent 12 year old news outlets showed us immediately following the shooting.

I think the interesting thing about this case is less about if Zimmerman is guilty, gun laws, or even civil rights. The interesting part is the glaring issue of media bias and the media’s ability to drastically affect public opinion. The media painted Zimmerman as a racist murderer, guns as the enemy, and Martin as an innocent boy – all before a shred of evidence had been gathered – most people bought every word without question.

6 thoughts on “Trayvon Martin and Media Bias

  1. conservative2cents

    You know what bothers me about the media’s portrayal of Trayvon? I think they think that he was your average everyday black kid. That is, that they think he’s about as good as we can expect a black kid to be. Or worse, that the difference between black and white should matter more than the difference between decent and indecent. Decent black folks are being abused by the media who, lest they be on the “wrong side”, have chosen to ignore the facts of the case: a thug thuggishly attacked a man who successfully defended himself. This thing should never have been about race.

    True story: Sunday night, I was up late. I heard something in the back yard. When I went to investigate, I found a man there. I confronted him, and was prepared to fight, if it had come to it. He said that he was looking for his dog and that he thought it may have wandered in my open gate. Who knows? It sounded plausible, but I didn’t act as if that excused him coming onto my property at 1:00am. I told him to leave, and he did.

    Should I tell you if the man was white, black, or Asian? Does it matter? Is this a story about race? If he had attacked me, would race then matter?

    1. Atticus Post author

      Your story is a great point. Does race matter? Certainly not – but if they man in your back yard was Black and you would have been forced to defend yourself (and subsequently found yourself in the news) it would be all about race.

  2. philebersole

    Atticus, it seems to me that the most significant fact about the Trayvon Martin case was that police came upon an armed man in his 20s standing over the dead body of an unarmed teenager, and didn’t attempt a serious investigation of what happened until there was an uproar in the press.

    The other significant facts, in my opinion, are that in the minutes leading up to the fatal shooting, Trayvon Martin was where he had a right to be, minding his own business, and George Zimmerman was doing something he had no business doing. Nobody in the Neighborhood Watch in my neighborhood carries a loaded weapon, and I am truly glad they don’t.

    From what I’ve read, neither Trayvon Martin nor George Zimmerman was an angel. That doesn’t mean Trayvon Martin deserved to die, and it doesn’t mean that George Zimmerman is not entitled to a fair trial.

    George Zimmerman’s guilt or innocence hinges on what happened during the few moments preceding the fatal shooting, and we will always lack one vital bit of evidence concerning this—namely, Trayvon Martin’s testimony.

    Here is a link to a Washington Post blogger’s thoughts about Trayvon Martin’s photo which you might find interesting.

    1. Atticus Post author

      Thanks for the link Phil and I think you made great points. I think mistakes were made on all sides of this situation – Zimmerman, the media, and probably by Martin himself.

      One thing though – If evidence shows that Martin was beating up Zimmerman and Zimmerman used the gun to stop the beating (potentially save his own life?) I think that is certainly a different situation than if he just shot a guy who seemed suspicious because he was black.

      The whole thing is a mess, but my overall problem with the story is how the media painted Zimmerman (and guns) as a monster and Martin as an innocent angel. Whether Zimmerman is convicted or not is less my point, but more about the bias reporting.

  3. philebersole

    I suspect that neither of us will ever know for sure what happened between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin in the few minutes leading up to Martin’s death. And in case of doubt, the defendant under our legal system is entitled to the presumption of innocence.

    Here is one scenario I think is [i] possible [/i]. Trayvon Martin, a skinny teenager just turned 17, sees this burly adult man who seems to be stalking him. He gets scared; he thinks maybe some kind of a pervert is after him. Instead of fleeing, he decides to stand his ground and attack Zimmerman.

    If that is what happened, the whole tragedy is a result of bad judgment, not homicide under the law. The lesson is that it is a bad idea to have self-appointed peace officers wandering around in the nighttime with loaded guns.

    My desire when I first heard of the case was to have the police and prosecution do their duty, and not shrug off the killing of a teenager, whether because he was black or for some other reason. I am willing to leave it to the jury to decide on legal guilt or innocence.

    I agree with you that there was a lot of sensationalism and character assassination on both sides. But without the uproar in the press, the case [i] might [/i] never have been properly investigated.
    My desire when I first heard of the case was to see a


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