As noted earlier in the week, the mainstream media’s narratives in the Trayvon Martin case are falling apart one by one, thanks – in part – to the presence of bloggers digging for information the mainstream media has not, and due to New Media outlets like the Daily Caller, which has done an good job on casting doubt on a supposed “smoking gun” video released by ABC that allegedly shows “no injuries” on George Zimmerman post-arrest. The Daily Caller has also posted pictures and transcripts from Trayvon Martin’s two Twitter accounts, which paint the 17 year-old in a starkly different light than the years-old baby-faced photos the MSM have used in reports.
Instead of acknowledging these facts, some in the MSM are suggesting it’s conservative bloggers/websites that are engaging in “cherry-picking” – as exemplified today by New York Times Lede blogger Robert Mackey:
Bloggers Cherry-Pick From Social Media to Cast Trayvon Martin as a Menace
For the second time in a week, a conservative blog has published excerpts from what it described as a Twitter feed maintained by Trayvon Martin, the Florida teenager who was shot and killed last month by a neighborhood watch volunteer patrolling a gated community.
The new blog post on the dead teenager’s social media account, which features an image of him making an obscene gesture and quotes from a message that includes an abbreviation for an obscenity, was posted on The Daily Caller, a site founded by Tucker Carlson, a conservative pundit, and Neil Patel, who once worked as an adviser to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Like the site’s previous post on another Twitter feed apparently maintained by Trayvon Martin, the information published on Thursday seems to have been selected to reinforce the argument that the victim of the fatal shooting was a menacing figure who might plausibly have been mistaken for a criminal. That impression is reinforced by the fact that while the post mentions and links to what appears to be a MySpace account set up by Trayvon Martin in 2009, The Daily Caller’s editors chose not to display any of the many photographs posted there that show him in a far softer light:
Mackey goes on in the piece describing other alleged incidents of “cherry-picking” by conservative writers, but instead of cutting to media experts for informed commentary about whether or not noting there was a different side to Trayvon Martin than the one portrayed by “respectable” news outlets like the New York Times, Mackey consulted with … Slate writer Dave Weigel. Yes, the same Dave Weigel the Washington Post once hired as a blogger to “represent conservative voices” on that site who,in reality, favored mocking conservatives over “representing” them fairly.
Unsurprisingly, Weigel found no issues with Martin’s writing about using Glocks on females, crude suggestions about ejaculating, disrespect for women, and apparent fondness for smoking pot. No, none of that makes him a candidate for “cold-blooded murder” (a term Trayvon fanatics have falsely used to describe his killing), but it doesn’t make him the squeaky clean baby-faced “little boy” being portrayed by the mainstream media, either. In fact, some of the references to Glocks and beat-downs suggest he could be the type of person who would purposely use violence against someone else.
Critics of my commentary will say I’m engaging in “blame the victim” – not really. I’m just a proponent of FAIR journalism. Let’s learn who both parties were – the CURRENT versions. The details of how the confrontation that night started are UNKNOWN, and insinuating that the only victim was Trayvon Martin that night and that George Zimmerman was not a victim himself that night (if his story is true) is nothing more than irresponsible journalism until these details are somehow confirmed/clarified.
Critics will also point out that George Zimmerman “had a police record” while Trayvon Martin did not. That’s true. Here is the extent of George Zimmerman’s record:
Court documents obtained by msnbc.com show that George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer accused of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was previously accused of domestic violence, tussling with a police officer and speeding.
According to the documents, Zimmerman went to court in 2005 and 2006 for these incidents.
Msnbc.com reports that in 2005, Zimmerman was arrested and charged with “resisting officer with violence” and “battery of law enforcement officer.” He was 20 years old at the time and both charges are third-degree felonies.
According to the report, the charges were reduced to “resisting officer without violence” and then waived when he entered an alcohol education program. Msnbc.com reports that accounts indicated Zimermann shoved an officer who was questioning a friend for alleged underage drinking at a bar.
Msnbc.com reports that in 2005, Zimmerman’s ex-fiancee, Veronica Zuazo, filed a motion for a restraining order and alleged domestic violence. Zimmerman counterfiled for a restraining order against Zuazo. Both restraining orders’ were granted.
In December 2006, msnbc.com reports that Zimmerman was charged with speeding — but the case was later dismissed when the officer failed to show up in court.
So since 2005, George Zimmerman has not been arrested for anything that could be remotely suspicious/violent. In fact, as far as we know, he’s been an upstanding citizen of his community. We do know he utilized 911 in his role as neighborhood watchman, including reporting that a 7-9 year old black boy was wondering around alone near a busy street – the 911 call log notes Zimmerman indicated he was concerned for the boy’s welfare.
Yeah, this guy sounds like a boiling cauldron of repressed racist rage, doesn’t he? Not.
But yet, the narrative set by the media can simple be found in two pictures that are not current of either person. The photo you see most often used of George Zimmerman is a mug shot from back in 2005-2006. The picture you’ve seen most often of Trayvon Martin, looking like your average 12 or 13 year old, is undated but looks several years old, if current pictures are any indication. Why? Why not show a more current picture of Zimmerman in a suit and tie, and Trayvon Martin with grills in his mouth?
Narrative. The media want you to think George Zimmerman has this sinister criminal history that would indicate he was “exactly the type” to “murder” a fresh-faced black “kid” walking home with a bag of Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea. Not only that, but don’t think the description of Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic” isn’t deliberate. The implicit suggestion here is that Zimmerman’s “white racist side” came out the night Trayvon Martin was killed. Based on those two pictures and descriptions and nothing more, you would think that’s exactly how this case shakes out. You’d never think there might be another side to this story, a possible other story that maybe George Zimmerman is closer to telling the truth than the media wants you to think.
None of this is by accident. It’s not a conspiracy, folks. This is just how the media operates. You see, THEY aren’t biased for showing photos that they know will influence viewer/reader opinion as to implied character of the images shown, but YOU are — not only for pointing it out, but for conducting your OWN investigation and reporting on the side of the story the media has conveniently not done out of a willfully blind sense of political correctness and, of course, a desire to carry out “social justice journalism.”
The mainstream media (note: NOT opinion columnists), who are supposed to be in charge of keeping not only the government honest but who are also supposed to be writing and publishing stories in a way that allows the READER to draw their own conclusions rather than having the WRITER do it for them, apparently hasn’t gotten used to the fact that there are New Media types who exist to keep Old Media honest.
Hopefully one day they’ll get over it. In the meantime, the beat goes on.