At issue: Media’s advance conviction of Zimmerman

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Russ Jones,Chad Groening (

A media watchdog group is speaking out on the media's coverage of the recently concluded, high-profile George Zimmerman case.

Since the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012, there has been nonstop media coverage of the case out of Sanford, Florida. And since the verdict was announced on Saturday night, media outlets and well-known celebrities have been reacting to Zimmerman’s acquittal. Some commentators believe the mainstream media's "court of public opinion" attempted to determine the verdict in advance of the all-female jury.

Graham, Tim (MRC)"The media wants to think it’s reasonable here in realizing there is no reason to riot,” says Tim Graham, director of media analysis for the Washington, DC-based Media Research Center. “However, it is lining up a whole bunch of people to complain about the inherent racism of America and the devaluation of the lives of black youth."

The MRC spokesman believes there is much disgust within the media that the verdict did not find the former neighborhood watch volunteer guilty. The media expert calls the bias "left-wing invective."

"[According to the CNN expert], it's the sort of idea that he [Martin] was killed because he bought Skittles and a hoodie," he comments. "What part of banging the guy’s head into the sidewalk do you not understand? He was not just walking down the street and got shot. That would be an outrage everyone could understand. In this case, clearly the shooter had some injuries that [indicate] there was an attack going on."

A March 2012 article in The New York Times described Zimmerman as a "white Hispanic." Graham cites that as a defining moment illustrating bias in American journalism.

‘Just let it ride’

Meanwhile, a black conservative activist believes Zimmerman has every right to now be left alone and allowed to pursue a normal life.

In a recent appearance on ABC World News Tonight, George Zimmerman's parents said they do not know if their son will ever be able to return to a normal life, given the attention the case has garnered. Darryn “Dutch” Martin, an advisory board member of the Project 21 (The National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives), says Zimmerman should not have to leave the country.


"He might want to keep his head low for a while until this whole situation dies down. I believe that time heals all wounds,” Martin tells OneNewsNow.

“But he’s an American, and he has every right to earn a living and to go on about his business as a private citizen as an American as anyone else,” he continues. “I hope that cooler heads will ultimately prevail and people just leave this man alone and just let it go. A jury of his peers has spoken. Let's just let it ride."

Despite Zimmerman’s acquittal, the U.S. Justice Department has stated it will review evidence to see whether any federal criminal charges are warranted in the case.

Earlier article: Advice to feds on Zimmerman case – stay out of it

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