FUNNY, WHEN THIS STORY FIRST BROKE IT WAS ALL ABOUT “STAND YOUR GROUND:” George Zimmerman, accused of murdering Trayvon Martin, won’t seek pre-trial ‘Stand Your Ground’ hearing. Then it became all about firing up Obama’s racialist base. But you know, Zimmerman looks pretty Hispanic in this picture. . . .
#NARRATIVEFAIL: Witness in Trayvon Martin Case Lied. Will It Even Go To Trial? “Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, two significantly responsible for the national furor, do not respond to requests for comment.” It was all about heating up the base for November, 2012. That’s over now.
THE ZIMMERMAN TELEGRAM: “NBC sued over Trayvon tape,” according to the New York Post:
We hear Zimmerman’s attorneys are about to file a complaint against NBC and its top executives, naming news president Steve Capus and correspondent Ron Allen, who was the reporter on the scene for the broadcast on “Today” on March 27. He also remained the reporter for the story on “NBC Nightly News.”
A source tells us, “The suit will be filed imminently against NBC and its news executives. The network’s legal department has put everybody in the news department involved with this incident on notice, telling them not to comment.”
Here’s PJTV’s take on how the edit was likely made, from back in April:
“And don’t accuse our staff of doctoring tape….they’re not doctoring tapes.”
– Mika Brzezinski, on MSNBC, at the start of the month.
THIS IS LOOKING MORE AND MORE LIKE A LYNCHING: Detective in Zimmerman case said he was pressured to file charges.
Telling the FBI that he was concerned that people inside the police department were leaking information, Serino cited Sgt. Arthur Barnes, officers Rebecca Villalona and Trekelle Perkins “as all pressuring him to file charges against Zimmerman after the incident,” an FBI report said. “Serino did not believe he had enough evidence at the time to file charges.”
The summary of Serino’s statement does not mention the race of the officers who allegedly pressured him, but sources told The Miami Herald that Barnes and Perkins are black, and Villalona is married to an African-American man. All three, the source said, had been called in by their supervisor and questioned about leaking information in the case.
A request Thursday evening to the Sanford Police Department for comment about Serino’s statement went unanswered. . . . Records released Thursday show that Sgt. Barnes, a 25-year veteran of the department, told the FBI that he believed the black community would be “in an uproar” if Zimmerman was not charged. “The community will be satisfied if an arrest takes place,” the FBI quoted him saying.
The Florida man charged with second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin asked for a new judge in his case on Friday, accusing the current judge of bias.
Lawyers for George Zimmerman filed a motion requesting that Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester withdraw from the trial.
Zimmerman alleged in the filing that Lester made “gratuitous” and “disparaging remarks” about him during a July 5 bond hearing and offered “a personal opinion” in the case.
“In doing so, the Court has created a reasonable fear in Mr. Zimmerman that this Court is biased against him and because of this prejudice he cannot receive a fair and impartial trial or hearing by this Court,” the motion said.
I think that Zimmerman’s lawyers feel the tide is turning.
UPDATE: Steven Den Beste emails: “It’s reminding me of the Duke LaCrosse case. That one ended with the prosecutor getting disbarred for gross misconduct.” Yes, and he did a small amount of jail time, though not nearly enough. Then he went bankrupt.
ZIMMERMAN’S ATTORNEY: Trayvon Martin killed ‘because of his own doing.’
MAYBE THIS IS WHY THEY DIDN’T CHARGE HIM? George Zimmerman Passed Police Lie Detector Test The Day After Trayvon Martin Killing. “Investigators concluded that he ‘has told substantially the complete truth in regards to this examination.’”
TALKLEFT: “My opinion: This is self-defense. Zimmerman was not the aggressor, he did nothing to provoke Trayvon Martin’s beating him, breaking his nose and slamming his head into concrete. He had every right to respond with deadly force to stop Trayvon’s physical attack on him and to prevent Trayvon from getting control of his weapon. . . . I see nothing that amounts to a contradiction or a difference. I see a valid claim of self-defense.”
JACK CASHILL: What the Media Choose Not to Know about Trayvon Martin. “In reporting this news of George Zimmerman’s return to jail, more than a few media outlets showed the dangerously deceptive image of Trayvon as 11-year-old cherub. They did so in the assumption that the narrative was still theirs to control. It is not. The blogs, which have been doing the real detective work on this case, have long since taken control away from them.”
JERALYN MERRITT AT TALKLEFT: George Zimmerman: The Most Likely Scenario.
Why Zimmerman reported Trayvon to the non-emergency number is a red herring. It doesn’t matter if he profiled him or unfairly suspected him of criminal activity. It doesn’t matter that he was a crime warrior. He didn’t break the law. His neighborhood watch program, set up with the assistance of the police, instructed residents to report suspicious activity. That’s what he did. He wasn’t on watch that night, he had a concealed weapons permit, and it wasn’t a crime to get out of his car to see where Trayvon had run off to, so he could tell the police when they got there.
All that matters legally is whether Trayvon Martin’s physical attack on him caused him to reasonably fear serious bodily injury. Zimmerman’s testimony, which is supported by proof of his injuries and witnesses observing the struggle, is that Martin broke his nose and banged his head against cement. He tried to get up and couldn’t. Using an objective standard, a reasonable person in that situation would fear imminent serious bodily injury if he didn’t react with force.
The state is unlikely to prevail in arguing Zimmerman was the aggressor because to be the aggressor, Zimmerman had to contemporaneously provoke the force Martin used against him. Zimmerman’s profiling of Martin and call to the non-emergency number were not contemporaneous with Martin’s attack. Even if the state could convince a judge or jury that Zimmerman was following Martin, rather than walking back to his car, rendering his pursuit a contemporaneous act, it is not an act that provokes Martin’s use of force against him. Demanding someone account for their presence does not provoke the use of force. Even if it could be construed to be provocation for using force, all it means is Zimmerman had to attempt reasonable means to extricate himself before using deadly force in response. W-6′s steadfast insistence that Zimmerman was struggling to get up and out from under Trayvon, right before the shot went off, fulfills that requirement. Zimmerman will say the same. And no witnesses saw anything different.
Zimmerman should prevail on classic self-defense at trial regardless of stand your ground. Raising stand your ground before trial gives him the possibility of a quicker win, and the opportunity to preview the state’s strategy before it gets to a jury.
The problem for Zimmerman is the notoriety of this case — any judge is going to want to avoid making that call and find a reason to let the case go to the jury.
So in essence, the media — by creating all this “notoriety” via false storylines not supported by the evidence — have hurt Zimmerman’s chances for fair treatment in court. Nice work, folks.
RON RADOSH: The Evidence in the Trayvon Martin Case is Released, and George Zimmerman is Vindicated. Well, there was clearly a fight, and Trayvon Martin had drugs in his system. “The main point is that for all those who jumped to the conclusion that Zimmerman had attacked Martin because he was black, and that it was a racially motivated crime, have some apologizing to do.”
The report neglects to mention that in the 911 tape, George Zimmerman reported to the police dispatcher that Martin seemed suspicious to him because it seemed Martin was “on drugs or something.”
Like the injuries to Zimmerman, the prosecutor’s affidavit does not mention that Zimmerman’s suspicion about Martin was confirmed by the autopsy. As I noted a few weeks back, it just asserts that Zimmerman “profiled” Martin. A disgrace.
It’s just like the old days — a bunch of Democratic politicians and their media lackeys lynching a black man.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Tom Maguire on drugs. Er, well, on whether Trayvon was actually high at the time.
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN UPDATE: Broken Nose, Broken Narrative. “This doesn’t prove that George Zimmerman acted lawfully, but it breaks the narrative that Zimmerman was not injured, pushed by the Martin family attorneys, left-wing blogs, LGF, and many others with an agenda.”
UPDATE: More from Tom Maguire.
THE WAGES OF OUR RACE-BAITING MEDIA: “Justice For Trayvon” Has Led To 15 Gang Attacks . . . So Far.
MORE “JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON.” So can we blame the race-baiting media and politicians for this outbreak of racial violence? Yes, I think we can.
MORE RESULTS FROM OUR POLITICO-MEDIA LEADERS’ CAMPAIGN OF RACIAL INCITEMENT: 2 charged in Oak Park beating motivated by Trayvon Martin killing, official says. How many people might have been spared if the press had reported accurately, and non-sensationally, and had avoided deliberate falshehood in covering this case?
Given the irresponsibility — and downright evil — displayed by our political and media “elites” in this matter, why should we trust their judgment on, well, anything?
During the time Zimmerman was in hiding, his detractors defined him as a vigilante who had decided Martin was suspicious merely because he was black. After Zimmerman was finally arrested on a charge of second-degree murder more than six weeks after the shooting, prosecutors portrayed him as a violent and angry man who disregarded authority by pursuing the 17-year-old.
But a more nuanced portrait of Zimmerman has emerged from a Reuters investigation into Zimmerman’s past and a series of incidents in the community in the months preceding the Martin shooting.
Based on extensive interviews with relatives, friends, neighbors, schoolmates and co-workers of Zimmerman in two states, law enforcement officials, and reviews of court documents and police reports, the story sheds new light on the man at the center of one of the most controversial homicide cases in America.
The 28-year-old insurance-fraud investigator comes from a deeply Catholic background and was taught in his early years to do right by those less fortunate. He was raised in a racially integrated household and himself has black roots through an Afro-Peruvian great-grandfather – the father of the maternal grandmother who helped raise him.
A criminal justice student who aspired to become a judge, Zimmerman also concerned himself with the safety of his neighbors after a series of break-ins committed by young African-American men.
Though civil rights demonstrators have argued Zimmerman should not have prejudged Martin, one black neighbor of the Zimmermans said recent history should be taken into account.
“Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. I’m black, OK?” the woman said, declining to be identified because she anticipated backlash due to her race. She leaned in to look a reporter directly in the eyes. “There were black boys robbing houses in this neighborhood,” she said. “That’s why George was suspicious of Trayvon Martin.”
Read the whole thing, which is a bit more nuanced than the earlier reporting.
POLITICS IN THE ERA OF HOPE AND CHANGE: Marion Barry: Let’s get rid of Filipino nurses along with those ‘dirty’ Asian shops.
HERE WE SEE THE RESULTS OF OUR MEDIA HATEMONGERING: Man Beaten, In Critical Condition, Told “Now, that’s justice for Trayvon.”
UPDATE: Prof. Stephen Clark writes: “The Martin case and its fallout are part of a narrative of racial tension, class division, social exclusion, and all the other catch phrases associated with social activism, that many representatives in the media hold dear as a portrait of an America seething with discontent just below the surface. Don’t be surprised if, as Obama’s fortunes wane, incidents like those of Mobile are insinuated to be a future consequence of his electoral defeat: any weapon to hand, even fear. It will be a long, annoying, summer and fall. November can’t come soon enough.” Indeed. I think, however, that all of this stuff hurts him more than it helps — first by contrast with the postracial narrative of 2008, and second by making him look more like a corrupt, demagogic big-city mayor than a President.
JOHN HINDERAKER: Have Our News Organizations Gone Crazy?
I wrote here about MSNBC’s campaign to tie the Koch brothers to George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin. That effort was, it is fair to say, insane, but it apparently inspired one or more liberals to take MSNBC’s theories a step farther. Someone wrote–I think it was on Facebook–that Koch Industries had paid for Zimmerman’s legal defense and/or put up his bail money. Other liberals happily repeated the claim, to the point where Snopes deemed it a rumor worth addressing.
The claim is not only false, but entirely baseless and, in fact, stupid. There is no connection whatsoever between Koch Industries or the Koch brothers and George Zimmerman. None. Further, while the Koch brothers have championed a number of libertarian causes, gun rights have not been among them. In the one instance where Koch Industries is known to have lobbied on a firearms issue, it was against a proposed liberalization of firearms laws in Florida. And the brothers have no history of participating in the defense of criminal defendants. Further, while this is not my area of expertise, I doubt whether it would even be legal for Koch Industries to pay for an unrelated person’s criminal defense. So the assertion that Koch Industries is paying for Zimmerman’s defense or contributing to his bail lacks the remotest shred of plausibility.
That doesn’t matter. The important thing is to give the base someone to hate, and the base isn’t picky about facts. And the base is pretty much their only audience anymore, anyway.
THE WAGES OF MEDIA- AND ADMINISTRATION-SPONSORED RACE-HATRED: Suspect: I Beat Up White Man Because I Am Mad About Trayvon Martin Case.
When will Obama, and NBC, be held to account for their racial hatemongering?
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Investigate Nugent But Not Farrakhan?
We need to remind the administration and the Secret Service that “Braveheart” is only a movie and that Nugent is no more likely to ride a horse down Pennsylvania Avenue wielding a medieval battle-ax than Obama was to bring a handgun to the first presidential debate. . . .
Meanwhile, an administration that let the New Black Panthers avoid criminal charges for wielding a billy club outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008 and that ignored the bounty placed by the Panthers on the head of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin shooting is concerned about Nugent.
Did anyone in the liberal universe or administration take note when Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said at Lemoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday that “people tomorrow, maybe in a few days, are gonna kill their leaders who’ve been selling them out”?
Farrakhan added: “That’s why we’re in this shape that we’re in right now, because we had corrupt people, or people that started off good and got corrupt.”
We’re not sure if calling people criminals is worse than calling them corrupt, but Ted Nugent didn’t say any leaders would die as a result. Farrakhan did in a statement that no one in the so-called mainstream media obsessed over or that anyone in the administration wanted to talk to him about.
Speaking of opposition by the Tea Party and others to Obama administration policies, union leader Jimmy Hoffa Jr. said “let’s take those SOBs out,” except he didn’t abbreviate “SOB.” But no one in the liberal universe called that a threat, despite volumes of documented union violence.
It’s all politics, and the Secret Service, by getting sucked into this, is doing at least as much harm to its reputation as did the hookers in Cartagena.
TOM MAGUIRE: Trayvon Martin: Reuters Finds Bandages On Zimmerman, But Why Now? “It’s interesting to see Reuters letting a bit of the air out of a story the media helped inflate.”
SO MUCH FOR HOPE AND CHANGE: The Trayvon Martin Case and the Growing Racial Divide.
Polls show that the Trayvon Martin case has split the country apart over perceptions of race and justice, in ways that may dwarf the polarities of the O.J. Simpson trial days of 1994. Or does the new friction simply reflect an ongoing erosion in relations since 2009? Or is it all hype, and things are still about as they were?
This tension was not supposed to have increased with the election of Barack Obama, who ran on “healing” and “unity,” and who was proclaimed by supporters as ushering in a new post-racial age.
Here I list a few random examples of the new racial furies and conclude with the two irreconcilable narratives.
Like pretty much all of Obama’s promises, that one didn’t come true.
TOM MAGUIRE: Stand Your Ground – Is It Part Of The Trayvon Martin Case, And How? “The duty to retreat is not at issue if Zimmerman really was flat on his back getting pummelled. However, Stand Your Ground did create the basis for his pre-trial hearing.”
JUSTICE: Eric Holder Praises Al Sharpton.
More: “Good lord, what an ugly place we are in right now. Who would have thought that in the last year of Obama’s presidential term, the public mind would obsess over race at this level? I’m recalling the media coverage of election night, 2008, and the inauguration, when there was a rhapsody of closure and a feeling — some called it ‘hope’ — that we had entered a new era of harmony. How did we get sucked into some nightmare parody of the past? If it’s not Obama’s fault, can he at least do something to yank us up out of this awful place? In 2009 or even 2011, he would have given a speech. He would have believed he could rescue us with a speech, perhaps because we kind of thought he could. Maybe no one believes anymore. There’s a hope vacuum, and look what’s moving in.”
PJTV: Trayvon Tragedy: Manufactured Racism? How NBC Edited Racism Into the George Zimmerman 911 Call. In an edit bay, demonstrating why this wasn’t a simple “mistake.”
YOU DON’T NEED A WEATHERMAN TO SEE WHICH WAY THE WIND IS BLOWING: In case you missed it, Al Sharpton stood up Trayvon Martin supporters yesterday.
TOM MAGUIRE: Trayvon Martin and the Silence of the Times.
The NY Times maintains its eerie silence on the Trayvon Martin case. On April 1 they delivered a comprehensive review and impressive diorama of the Martin killing, which culminated a week of extensive coverage and commentary.
Since then they have had zero bylined original reporting and one column, by Charles Blow, on the story which fascinates America and especially the left. Why the shift?
From a different tack, let’s check the four bylines from the comprehensive April 1 piece and ask, ‘where are they now’? . . . Eventually the meta media watchers who report on the processes that deliver the stories will take up the question of why the Times’ coverage of Trayvon Martin is flatlining.
Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: Reader M. Simon writes:
I think the reason they are cooling it is that it has come to their attention that a race war is not in their interest. I notice Sharpton is cooling it as well.
From what I’m seeing it is too late.
PROFESSOR JACOBSON: DOING THE JOB THE ALLEGEDLY PROFESSIONAL MEDIA WON’T:
The latest wildfire spreading through the media and blogosphere is that armed neo-Nazis are patrolling Sanford, FL, in anticipation of trouble if George Zimmerman is not charged in the killing of Trayvon Martin. In what has become a prime example of media malpractice, none of the major publications spreading the rumors bothered to check with local law enforcement. I did, and the Sanford Police deny any indication of neo-Nazi patrols. . . .
For The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Mediaite, and The Daily News to spread such thinly-sourced claims without verification at a time when racial tensions already are high is irresponsible in the extreme.
Remember when people were saying that if we left news reporting to the blogosphere we’d just get a bunch of unsubstantiated rumors and spin?
The editing was not a technical issue of production. It was a substantive issue of content, and the “error” happened to fit a thesis of racist homicide while making the network look like a watchdog hero. It seems to me to have been error with a purpose. . . .
What happened is a terrible tragedy, and it is understandable that many would react emotionally. But many have also seen journalistic unfairness in all of this. Jack Pitney, a professor at Claremont McKenna College, recently told the Christian Science Monitor that the story “undermines public confidence in mainstream news media, which is already pretty low.” He noted PEW already says 77 percent of Americans think the press is generally unfair.
News is in a stage of dramatic transition. Newspapers and broadcast networks are in decline as new media — cable TV, blogs and more — are making themselves felt in ways both scary and encouraging. No one knows where it will end. This much we can bet on: If mature media forsake reasonable standards, it will end badly.
For them, certainly. And there’s not much of an “if,” here. It’s been clear since RatherGate, at least, that they’re willing — indeed, happy and, among their peers, even proud — to lie in the service of promoting Democrats. It’s only embarrassing when the public catches on.
Related: Uncorrected: Charles Blow Finally Returns To The Scene Of His Journalistic Crime. “So we have moved past a grieving family and on to a national cause for racial justice. And of course Trayvon Martin’s death is now an illustration the Largerer Narrative of America’s lack of racial justice. Hence the media enthusiasm to enhance the narrrative (ABC, NBC, CNN, NY Times) at the expense of tedious facts relating to the loss of one young man’s life and the destruction of another’s.”
INDEED: “It is likely that, if not for conservative new media, the misleading edit, which inflamed racial tensions in the Martin case, and which was repeated by Stetler’s own New York Times, would have gone unnoticed and uncorrected. As it is, the producer responsible for the edit at Today has been fired, but the individual who made the same edit to the earlier MSNBC story (since corrected) has not been identified or disciplined. Nor has anyone at any other outlet or network — many of which made similar selective editing choices — been punished.”
Plus this: “The questions are only just beginning on Editgate. The release of the news of the firing just before the holiday weekend smacks of a cover-up; more than that, we know that the edit itself was not restricted to the Today show. Brian Williams and the brass at NBC News must provide answers. They are responsible for editorial output, not an unnamed producer. And they must be held responsible for an irresponsible and dangerous edit apparently deliberately designed to twist the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman story along racial lines.”
I remember when people who exploited racial tensions for political gain, and inspired crowds to lynch-mob levels of fury, were considered beyond the pale of civilized society. Personally, I think they still are.
POLL: Trayvon case shows ‘blacks, nonblacks’ split. “Black Americans and Americans of other ethnicities have widely-divergent views of the Trayvon Martin case, according to a new poll that shows the black community overwhelmingly believes he was murdered and that police let his killer get away due to racism.”
THE WALKBACK CONTINUES: CNN Enhances Zimmerman 911 Call Again — And Reporter Now Doubts Racial Slur Used.
Related: ESPN ‘Grantland’ Writer Twists George Zimmerman’s Actions. “The story, by Wesley Morris, is about a photograph of the Miami Heat NBA team, all dressed in hoodies to identify with Trayvon Martin.”
Also: Zimmerman Racial Slur Narrative Falling Apart. “Since the beginning of this case I have urged caution not to jump to conclusions. The questionable narratives suggest I was correct.”
SHELBY STEELE: The Exploitation of Trayvon Martin. “The absurdity of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton is that they want to make a movement out of an anomaly. Black teenagers today are afraid of other black teenagers, not whites. . . . Trayvon’s sad fate clearly sent a quiver of perverse happiness all across America’s civil rights establishment, and throughout the mainstream media as well. His death was vindication of the ‘poetic truth’ that these establishments live by.”
TOM MAGUIRE: Trayvon Martin – Are There Any Media People In New York City? “There is a conference on voice biometrics in New York city April 3-4. Will any media be there?”
More on this at TalkLeft.
IS THE TRAYVON MARTIN WALKBACK becoming a stampede? “Heckuva job by the media. We may have race riots in Florida so I hope they enjoyed their time on the fashionable side of this story.” Stay tuned.
UPDATE: Reader James McNash writes:
I was wondering if there are possible legal ramifications against news agencies if they are found to have selectively edited the evidence that they have broadcasted. If Zimmerman is found innocent, can he file a lawsuit (for libel and/or slander) against these agencies especially if the intent was to do harm to Zimmerman? Or is the news media immune to these cases?
It seems to me that Zimmerman’s reputation is destroyed, all because of the media, and it would be a shame if the media can walk away with no accountability.
Much of what they have done — for example, using the middle-school picture of Trayvon Martin almost exclusively in their coverage — isn’t actionable. The deceptive editing of the 911 call, however, might rise to the level of “actual malice,” thus supporting a libel action even though Zimmerman is a public figure.
Trayvon Martin was reportedly targeted by community watchman George Zimmerman because he was wearing a hoodie.
So how did Zimmerman ever get the idea that someone in a hoodie might be suspicious? From the Obama Administration, of course.
President Chaos Umpire! “Chaos Umpire sits, And by decision more imbroils the fray. By which he Reigns.” Video at the link.
UPDATE: Related: CBS Miami: Crowds Smaller Than Predicted At Bayfront Trayvon Rally.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: From the Trayvon Martin Tragedy to a National Travesty. “Whites are far more likely to be murdered by blacks than vice-versa, despite the latter comprising only 11-12% of the population—again to no national outcry. The distinction in this case was that Martin was black. Zimmerman was not. The rule in America is apparently that only rare white on black crime—not far more common black on black, or black on white, or white on white—is symbolic of larger pathologies, both past and present. In earlier decades of American history, the reverse was more likely true: black on white crime aroused public furor in a way white on white or black on black or white on black crime did not. That fact in time was accepted as clearly symptomatic of racial bias, but the inverse of that today is said not to be.”
JOURNALISM NARRATIVE MANAGEMENT: Tom Maguire critiques CNN: “CNN pretends to reprise the witnesses to the Trayvon Martin shooting and aftermath. They paint a picture of a ‘fair and balanced’ effort but omit ‘John’, the most important eyewitness to the scuffle that preceded the shooting. John says Zimmerman was on the ground getting beaten and calling for help; odd that CNN missed that.”
It’s still unclear exactly what happened on that night, but it’s pretty obvious what’s happening in the press now.
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: NBC News Charged With Misleading Editing in Zimmerman 911 Call.
In the NBC segment, Zimmerman says: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”
The full version, though, unfolds like this:
Zimmerman: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”
911 operator: “Okay. And this guy, is he white black or Hispanic?”
Zimmerman: “He looks black.”
It’s as if they’re pushing a predetermined narrative regardless of the evidence or something.
UPDATE: Reader Michael Costello emails: “ABC did the same thing. Aren’t these the same people who accused Andrew Breitbart of deceptive editing?” Yeah, go figure.
THE TRAYVON MARTIN CASE: “A very unattractive descent into tribalism.” Hope and change!
JOHN HINDERAKER: “President Obama has fanned the flames of hatred in the Trayvon Martin case, and has not said a single critical word about the outrageous actions of the New Black Panthers, who offered a $10,000 bounty on George Zimmerman–the same New Black Panthers on whose behalf Eric Holder quashed a federal criminal prosecution; or of Spike Lee, who tweeted a wrong address for Zimmerman, presumably to facilitate harassment or even murder; or of the many liberals who have posted on the @killzimmerman Twitter feed; or of the many other Democrats and liberals who have indulged in an orgy of hate with respect to Mr. Zimmerman. President Obama’s interest in the victims of violence is selective: he cares if they look like the hypothetical son he doesn’t have.”
In other words, he’s a racist hatemonger. Just to be clear. So much for hope and change.
Hope is what he promised. Hate is what he’s delivering.
UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan has never heard of scheduled posts, apparently. I was happily asleep at 3:18. Funny that someone who’s been blogging as long as Sullivan has never heard of scheduled posts. He seems to live in an insular little world. But still, you’d think that one of the interns would have known.
As for “nutball,” well, I think it’s entirely fair to call a man whose political machine spreads racial and gender division for political advantage a hatemonger. Sullivan has his own reasons for feeling grateful to Obama, of course, and that may color his views.
But at least some people are showing some sense: Civil rights leaders condemn Sharpton’s call for escalated civil disobedience. But where was Obama?
NARRATIVE-TENDING: ABC News doctors Zimmerman video to peddle false story in Trayvon Martin case. As I keep saying, stay tuned. Here’s the Daily Caller story.
NEW CIVILITY: ‘Kill Zimmerman’ Twitter Account Launched. “Barack Obama has remained silent as the usual suspects have been busy stirring up hate aimed at George Zimmerman, the Florida Hispanic involved in the shooting death of 17 year-old Trayvon Martin. Now the anger has taken a new twist, breaking out on Twitter with an account named ‘Kill Zimmerman.’ It features an image of Zimmerman in crosshairs.”
Pretty much everything under discussion is irrelevant here, right down to the political framing: A Hispanic Democrat shoots a black guy and somehow it’s the fault of white Republicans. Because, I guess, everything is.
The good news is, most people say they don’t know enough to have an opinion on whether Trayvon Martin was murdered or not. That speaks well of them, given the nonstop media onslaught. “Thank you, people of all colors, who refrain from judging where you have not studied all the evidence. This is heartening news of rationality and respect for due process.”
CLAYTON CRAMER: How Common Are Deaths Like Trayvon Martin’s? “What I found quite startling as I compiled those reports over the years is how few incidents I found where concealed weapon permit holders used those guns in a way that was lawful but foolish. The case that was most obviously analogous to the Zimmerman-Martin tragedy took place in Aurora, Colorado, on November 13, 2004.” Going on 8 years ago.
#MEDIAMATTERSFAIL: Media Matters writer ‘sorry’ after blasting Drudge for Martin photo. “A senior analyst with the liberal activist group Media Matters tweeted an apology on Tuesday after calling journalist Matt Drudge a racist and accusing him of using a phony photo of Trayvon Martin.”
On the upside for Media Matters, this is the most attention they’ve gotten since the Daily Caller series on them ended.
EVALUATION: Compare The Left’s Reaction To Gabrielle Giffords And Trayvon Martin. “Turns out the guy who shot Trayvon Martin is a registered Democrat. The reaction from the left is crickets at best.”
DO THE DUMBASS THING: Elderly Couple In Fear Over Spike Lee Tweet: Star erroneously linked Floridians to man who killed Trayvon Martin. “Bewildered by their sudden–and erroneous–connection to Martin’s killer, the elderly couple’s distress can only be heightened by posts made by Twitter and Facebook users who threaten to visit their residence in search of Zimmerman. Or other posts that goad followers to vigilante action.”
This is what happens when people succumb to rank prejudice and mass hysteria.
JIM TREACHER: Open-and-shut Trayvon Martin case gets cluttered up with facts. “No, these new facts aren’t ‘complicating’ or ‘deepening’ the issue. It was deep and complicated already. Our moral, ethical, and intellectual superiors in the media have tried and failed to make it shallow and simple.”
And yet they’re always saying it’s people on the right who can’t handle nuance and want everything to be black-and-white.
WELL, TO BE FAIR, DEMOCRATS IN THE SOUTH HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF VIOLENCE AGAINST PEOPLE OF COLOR: Narrative Interrupted: George Zimmerman a Registered Democrat. Will someone ask Obama about this?
More here: “According to the document, Zimmerman’s race is officially listed as Hispanic.” But there’s this: “It is unclear whether he voted for President Barack Obama in 2008.”
UPDATE: Reader Bert Rollen writes: “Heh, I bet he doesn’t vote for him this year.”
Plus: Trademarking Trayvon?
TOM MAGUIRE: Trayvon Martin – Basic Geography May Cut Against Zimmerman. Well, stay tuned.
UPDATE: Or maybe not. Maguire emails: “After reviewing the Zimmerman 911 call it is pretty clear that the police report cited the first address he mentioned, not the final location he suggested meeting the officers. That second location seems to be pretty much on top of where the shooting occurred.”
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER: Former NAACP leader accuses Sharpton and Jackson of ‘exploiting’ Trayvon Martin.
HATE AND RACISM IN THE 21ST CENTURY: An Unfortunate T-Shirt Hits Florida Streets In Wake Of Trayvon Martin Killing.
Plus, there’s a Facebook page dedicated to killing George Zimmerman. Facebook has removed it, but here’s the screenshot. Note that they misspelled “racist.”
CLASS PROBLEMS: “The incident at Florida Atlantic ended when campus police used a Taser on the student and took her to a mental health center, but not before she had uttered a stream of racially charged profanities, screamed death threats and smacked at least one classmate (see image above). Students in the classroom, though, seemed more interested in filming the spectacle than helping the instructor regain order.”
This, however, strikes me as dumb: “Classrooms can be effectively managed if faculty members set ground rules about the kind of behavior they expect.” Watch the video, and then ask if the problem was a lack of ground rules. If you don’t know that kind of behavior is unacceptable, you shouldn’t be in college.
But note this: “In the case of the Florida student, she gave a poised and confident interview to a local TV station about Trayvon Martin, the Central Florida teenager who was shot dead by a neighborhood watch volunteer, the night before her outburst in the classroom.”
With a single punch, Trayvon Martin decked the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who eventually shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old, then Trayvon climbed on top of George Zimmerman and slammed his head into the sidewalk several times, leaving him bloody and battered, authorities have revealed to the Orlando Sentinel.
That is the account Zimmerman gave police, and much of it has been corroborated by witnesses, authorities say.
UPDATE: Reader David Horwich writes:
IMHO, what’s going in in the WH these days is really, really bad poll numbers. How else can one explain an investment in clearly polarizing issues like picking a fight with both the church and Rush Limbaugh, race-baiting with Trayvon, a flirtation with an advocacy of gay marriage, Stalin-esque striking down of voter ID laws, et. Al. The softness in numbers with the black population must really be stark, otherwise, why bring this stuff up? There’s no upside with independent voters with any of these issues.
It does seem that way — a pre-election period in which Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan have high profiles doesn’t seem optimal for an allegedly post-racial Presidency. But perhaps they feel that it’s better to have people talking about absolutely anything other than gas prices, the debt, and ObamaCare.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Trayvon Martin Case Heading Toward Political Abyss.
Meanwhile, as evidence of how far we’ve come from Obama’s 2008 promises, a reader emails: “Maybe. Just maybe….all this continually more violent rhetoric of the Left’s ‘new civility’ is just build-up for something in the way of a REAL October Surprise. And a rather violent one at that. Just keep looking for the indicators…..”
See, this isn’t the Hope And Change we were looking for.
HEATHER MACDONALD: Why Manipulate the Tragedy of Trayvon Martin? “So determined has the New York Times been to fit the shooting into its favored racial story line that it has been referring to the Zimmerman as a ‘white Hispanic,’ contrary to its usual practice of referring to Hispanics without any additional racial characterization.”
Plus this: “Blow’s fear that his children will be blown away by a white is particularly ludicrous in New York City. Blacks commit 80 percent of all shootings in the city — as reported by the victims of and witnesses to those shootings — though they are but 23 percent of the population; whites commit 1.4 percent of all shootings, though they are 35 percent of the population. Add Hispanic shootings to the black tally, and you account for 98 percent of all of the city’s gun violence. In New York, as in big cities across the country, the face of violence is overwhelmingly black and Hispanic.”
Yes, but racists see everything as distorted by a haze of fear of The Other.
THINGS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED THIS WEEKEND:
Walter Russell Mead: How Green Gullibility, Hyperpartisanship Are Wrecking The Climate Movement.
A new book from Niven, Pournelle, and Barnes. On Kindle, for $2.99.
The NHTSA Nannies Attack In-Car Navigation. Tar. Feathers.
Silence and Demonize: Tulane Prof Blasts Music To Drown Out Gingrich Speech.
Ranking law schools by debt load per graduating student.
I THINK IT’S BECAUSE HE’S HISPANIC. HE SHOULD SUE: College Kicks Out Man Who Killed Trayvon Martin.
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Our Modern Lynch Mob. “We went from the beer summit to Trayvon Martin’s resemblance to the boy the president never had. In each case, facts did not matter. . . . The role of a president is to rein in the mob, not to unleash it. The latter is what community organizers do; the former is what makes statesmen. Yet on issue after issue — anti-terrorism, global warming, government ethics, and racial relations — a frenzied mob, egged on by the media and demagogues like Barack Obama, have almost stormed the jail, only to dissipate when met by either evidence, or the knowledge that the incarcerated was one of their own — as if they had never screamed and threatened in the first place.”
I wonder if Tom Friedman will write another column praising this brutally clear-eyed analysis. . . .
DOES THIS MEAN THE PRESS ACTED STUPIDLY? Black friend defends shooter of Florida teen. “George Zimmerman is not a racist and cried for days after shooting dead a black Florida teenager, a black, longtime friend of Zimmerman said on Sunday in a sympathetic portrayal of a man maligned by critics as a trigger-happy bigot. Zimmerman, 28, a white Hispanic, shot Trayvon Martin, 17, in what he said was self defense during an altercation in the gated community Zimmerman was watching on February 26 in Sanford, Florida. After attracting little notice initially, the case gained widespread attention, sparking protests and renewing a national debate about race.”
Actually, it’s a national debate about press irresponsibility and political dishonesty. And the more information that comes out, the less there seems to be to debate.
“All these people who are threatening George, what makes them any better than the person they think he is?” Oliver said. “You’ve got all these people wanting to lynch the man and they don’t know the whole story. There are huge gaps that are being filled in and interpreted without evidence.”
Yep. The “have you no decency” crowd is once again demonstrating its utter lack of decency.
UPDATE: Blog comment of the day: “Remember Obama saying about Major Hasan [how] we shouldn’t jump to judgement?”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Ouch.
MORE: Reader John Oglesby writes: “Zimmerman is a ‘White Hispanic’? t seems they’ll use whatever fits their narrative. If a Caucasian man had shot a hooded Zimmerman, there’s no way they’d be calling him a White Hispanic.” No, then he’d be a Latino, full-stop.
NEW WITNESS IN THE TRAYVON MARTIN CASE: 17-year-old was ‘beating up’ gunman, according to anonymous witness.
Related item here. Well, as I said, stay tuned.
UPDATE: More comments from Tom Maguire. “Yesterday I noted Obama’s remarks and offered that our President was not speaking stupidly. Upon booth review, I beg to differ. . . . No apparent evidence? Zimmerman had a cut on the back of his head, a bloody nose, and grass stains on his back. Some (presumaby disputed) witness accounts say that Trayvon Martin was on top and beating him. There may not be conclusive evidence, since we don’t know what precipitated the scuffle, and there may not be evidence that Trayvon Martin was doing something wrong when Zimmerman first called 911 to report suspicious behavior but to say there is ‘no apparent evidence’ that Zimmerman fired in self-defense is the quality of reporting we have come to expect from the Duke Lacrosse cheerleaders. All The News That Advances The Narrative.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Not so new: Reader Jeff Brown notes this report from Feb. 27:
Investigators with the Sanford Police Department are still trying to figure out exactly what happened during an altercation which resulted in a fatal shooting in the Twin Lakes area. The shooting happened just after 7 p.m. Sunday evening on Twin Trees Lane. A man who witnessed part of the altercation contacted authorities.
“The guy on the bottom, who had a red sweater on, was yelling to me, ‘Help! Help!’ and I told him to stop, and I was calling 911,” said the witness, who asked to be identified only by his first name, John.
John said he locked his patio door, ran upstairs and heard at least one gun shot.
“And then, when I got upstairs and looked down, the guy who was on the top beating up the other guy, was the one laying in the grass, and I believe he was dead at that point.”
So Trayvon Martin was on top of a guy he was beating, and then he got shot. I suppose this doesn’t entirely prove self-defense, but it should certainly count as “apparent evidence” — evidence that was apparent long before the media and Al Sharpton (but I repeat myself) began packaging the narrative here.
STATISTICS: CRIME AND THE NUMBERS GAME:
The present media wave about the tragic death of Trayvon Martin is for me, an outsider, a fascinating lesson in race, politics, and media perversity in America.
The impression is being generated that young black men are continuously hunted by white men, and killed.
So I wanted to know the exact figures. The most recent, those of 2009, I could find are on the site of the Department of Justice, called Crime in the United States. . . . The main problem for young black men is not violent white men chasing them. It is black on black violence.
But there’s less political hay to be made.
Related: Tom Maguire on Jesse Jackson, Obama’s Grandma, and looking down on welfare recipients. “FWIW, I deplore the attitude Jackson is promoting here.”
SO I DON’T HAVE MUCH TO SAY ON THE TRAYVON MARTIN STORY beyond the stuff I’ve linked on stand-your-ground laws, but I am puzzled by one thing: Dem groups are flogging this because they think it’s good for them, but how can it help Obama — who ran as a post-racial figure who would help America put its racial divisions to bed, a sort of anti-Al Sharpton — to have Al Sharpton leading protests and Louis Farrakhan threatening violence?
Sure, it stirs up the base, or part of it anyway — how Florida Latino voters respond may be different — but doesn’t it just add to the unfavorable contrast between Obama 2008 and Obama in 2012? Or are Sharpton, et al., basically tossing Obama’s interests aside to pursue their own? And is that some sort of indicator itself?
Is this true? I don’t know, but you could say that about most of what’s been reported on this case, which is why it’s a bad idea for people to get too far ahead of the story. Stay tuned.
TOM MAGUIRE ON TRAYVON MARTIN: Who Are You Going To Believe, Me Or Your Lying Ears?