The media and their representatives should be held to account for their judgments and actions with regard to the Trayvon Martin case. The actions on the part of the press involved incidental and accidental misstatements as well as I believe calculated race baiting tactics. In the case of these race baiting tactics these representatives in the media should be investigated and where and if appropriate prosecuted for incendiary actions.
Among the Medias many misrepresentations had to do with Zimmerman age 28 being older than the 17-year-old Martin and “much larger” as well. When the facts were known Zimmerman stood just 5 foot nine and 170 pounds while Martin was 6 foot one in 150 pounds. Zimmerman had also been portrayed as an overzealous vigilante, a nut case who made nearly fifty 911 calls in a year. The calls it turns out were in fact over an eight-year period and were not 911 calls at all but rather went to a nonemergency number. The racial component was magnified by early reports that Zimmerman was white, while he is actually a Latino. On the other side friends, classmates and family members have all described trade on Martin is easy-going teenager. But some conservative media outlets have gone to shocking lengths to make Martin look more like a troubled teen. The daily caller published Martin’s twitter feed that became part of a broader campaign to smear Martin for being suspended from school for possessing an empty bag with traces of marijuana. As though this would’ve been some kind of reason which deserved what happened. There were newspaper accounts were published story suggested that police believe Martin Beck Zimmerman “with a single punch” before the shooting, as if it were “established fact,” when it was just Zimmerman’s account.
Then there is ABC news who acquired surveillance video from security cameras at theSanfordpolice station where George Zimmerman was taken for questioning. The network claimed that Zimmerman did not appear to show signs of a struggle and had no blood or bruises calling into question his claim that he shot Martin only after the unarmed teenager punched and attacked him. Now of course after having stirred up quite a lot of feelings against Zimmerman ABC is walking back its claim after an enhanced version of the video does appear to show an injury on the back of Zimmerman’s head. Zimmerman’s father contends that ABC new his son was cleaned up by paramedics even before going to the police station. NBC for their part use the damning audiotape of Zimmerman’s 911 call, the neighborhood watch volunteer told the dispatcher that a young man was acting suspiciously in this gated community. The today show played an edited snippet from the call and would Zimmerman said “this guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.” That was their original report but when the network ordered an internal investigation after media watchers pointed out that the first sentence came a Zimmerman described what he saw in the second sentence where he says “he looks black” was Zimmerman’s response when the dispatcher asked, “is he black, white or Hispanic?” But that question was left out of the news clip. When NBC or certain members representing them portrayed that exchange in the way they did that wrongs Zimmerman it amounts to editorial malpractice at the least and perhaps more felonious charges at the most.
The Trayvon Martin case in my opinion is a tragedy for Martin and for his family and friends, one that should not have occurred and resulted in this teenager’s death. Trayvon Martin was murdered but not in the ruthless coldhearted manner that much of the media wishes to portray. Regardless of that George Zimmerman though not the horrible racist murderer that some would have you believe should face justice for his reckless actions. Eventually justice will be done in the Martin case and eventually George Zimmerman will pay whatever price is called for under the law and by a civil society. There will be no price paid by the media or its representatives and that to me is a horrible miscarriage of justice. I would call upon federal state and local authorities to investigate these serious race baiting actions taken by media representatives and prosecute those involved with the harshest of penalties. This case should never have been about race or white and black but should’ve always been about right and wrong.