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Cable News Overreached in Teenager Shooting
Posting Date: 04/09/2012

Michael McGreer

The cable news media is overreaching in their treatment of the February killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida.

The tragic incident has given broadcasters from the right leaning Fox network and those hosting programs on the left focused MSNBC an opportunity to push their own political ideology. In doing so, they are distorting the issues to the point where a fair trial, should it come to that, will be nearly impossible.

MSNBC is spending countless hours pushing for an arrest of Zimmerman, and an elimination of the so-called “Stand-Your-Ground,” law under which he allegedly seeks protection for shooting Martin

Of course, MSNBC's Rev. Al Sharpton has pulled together the usual suspects to allege that race is behind the failure to arrest Zimmerman immediately after the shooting and contending that more black people are killed under the Stand-Your Ground-law than other races.

Conservative Bill O'Reilly, of Fox News Channel, is questioning the innocence of Martin, and spends hours criticizing his rival hosts on MSNBC for their coverage. He is doing this while also race baiting Oprah Winfrey who questioned the delay in the arrest of Zimmerman.

Geraldo Rivera, on O'Reilly's show, put part of the blame for the shooting on the hood that Martin was wearing when killed,

and the wearing of upturned “hoodies,” as indicators of youths with criminal intents.

Keeping the controversy alive on cable news has prompted race-related demonstrations in numerous cities which are used by the cable networks to keep their political views alive and ratings high.

The shooting should be covered responsibility. That means reporting on the event, keeping up and reporting on the investigative progress, and keeping tabs on events as they unfold in court – if it comes to that. Responsible reporters avoid the temptation to sensationalize at the expense of all those directly involved in the tragedy.

There are legitimate questions concerning the Stand-Your-Ground law and its cousin the “Castle” law. Essentially, these laws allow the killing of another for protection of property or when an individual “feels” threatened. The “Castle” law, in particular, revives the adage that “if you kill someone be sure to drag their body onto your property.”

For decades, deadly force was unjustified to protect property, nor was it justified when a potential victim had a clear way to retreat from the danger.

If anything good is to come out of all this irresponsible opining and the tragedy itself, let it be an overturn of the “Stand-Your-Ground” and the “Castle” statues that make the killing of human beings a potential sport.


  • Posted Date: 04/09/2012
    I'm just an audio guy.. I make no claims to anything else. I took the 911 call with the most audio informatiion regarding screams, pulled down some of the louder noises (the actual shot and a few times the woman caller gets a bit loud) so they don't hurt you while listening to the softer noises... Then ran it at a slower speed and pitch corrected it 100 percent true. Anyone with an ear for music can tell not a note has been changed.. Digital affords you this luxury. In the analog days we had to physically slow the tape/medium down and you lose pitch and clarity. THIS AUDIO IS NOT ENHANCED per sey.. not like enhancing a photo.. the only enhancing has been to adust volume levels so you don’t hurt your ear listening to everything at relative volume levels. There are a few swirling artifacts in this copy because I had to compres the wav file to a 128 kbps mp3 to fit on my page so you had a player to hear it on.. These artifacts are slight and will not distract. This exercise is just a way to access the call and hear things you would not of as easily (but every bit of audio information from the original is still there) just listening to the raw recording. Akin to slowing down video without the frame per second limitations.
    By: 333maxwell
  • Posted Date: 04/10/2012
    MikeM, perhaps the reason you focused on Fox News is they command the top 13 spots of 30 in monthly cable news ratings, ahead of MSNBC at #14 and CNN Newsroom at #30. So, by sheer numbers you will see Fox News more frequently, which I’m sure is your cable news network of choice. However, nowhere do you mention the selective editing of the 911 call by NBC (where a producer was fired) nor do you mention the numerous times MSNBC reviewed the “perp” walk tape at the police station and claimed lack of bruising on Zimmerman (only to have enhanced video show otherwise). I watched MSNBC viewing that tape multiple times and proclaiming emphatically it was not self-defense. Those 2 instances alone carried significantly greater influence to viewer’s opinions than your O’Reilly or Geraldo example. Maybe that’s why O’Reilly spent “hours criticizing his rival hosts on MSNBC”, to get at the truth and expose shameful journalism. Also, did you note that Geraldo, who is Hispanic, not a “white Hispanic” as the New York Times branded Zimmerman, apologized for his “hoodie” comment?
    By: Reality
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