Pew Study Illustrates Media Bias in Trayvon Martin Case

After a tumultuous month of media coverage and press conferences, Florida special prosecutor Angela Corey announced on Wednesday that neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was formally charged for the February 26 killing of black teenager Trayvon Martin.  Declining to offer any details as to how she arrived at the decision to press charges, Corey suggested: “That’s why we try cases in the courtroom.”  Regrettably, most pundits and media outlets do not have the same respect for the criminal justice process.

A recent Pew Center study on the media’s handling of the Martin case found substantial differences in the way the story was reported between cable news outlets.  For example, between March 19 and March 28, MSNBC devoted nearly half of its airtime discussing the case.  The most popular topics of discussion were Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and the city of Sanford’s questionable racial history.

Fox News, on the other hand, devoted only 15 percent of its airtime to the case and most stories focused on Martin’s past, statements in Zimmerman’s defense and the media’s handling of the story.  According to the study, CNN, which spent 40 percent of its time covering the story, offered the most balanced reporting on the case.

The study did not address the instances of incorrect or even outright fraudulent reporting on the part of the media.  CNN was forced to correct its initial reporting that Zimmerman uttered “f—ing coon” on his 911 call after an improved audio revealed he most likely uttered “it’s f—ing cold,” referring to the weather.  NBC fired a producer after conservative bloggers caught the network airing a selectively edited 911 tape which created the false impression that Zimmerman’s confrontation with Martin was racially motivated.

Fortunately, the jurors who will decide Zimmerman’s fate will only hear the established facts of the case as determined by Florida’s rules of evidence, without any spin or manipulation.  However, one still has to wonder how the extensive, and often unsubstantiated and biased, media coverage of the killing will influence the jury.  Thanks to the media, It seems just about everyone in America now has some preconceived notions of what happened that night in Sanford.

No matter what the outcome is, the slanted media coverage on both sides assures that nobody can really come out a winner in the case.  If the verdict results in vindication for Zimmerman, many Americans will never be able to accept the outcome and will almost certainly blame institutional racism or other nebulous demons.  Zimmerman, who has been in hiding for weeks after receiving death threats, will never again be able to enjoy a normal life.   If a jury finds him guilty, Martin’s family will still never again feel entirely whole.  For anyone who truly cares about “justice,” either outcome should be equally tragic.

Comments

Comments

  1. [...] Pew Study Illustrates Media Bias In Travon Martin Case [...]

  2. This design is spectacular! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

  3. Lawlessnes Brings Destruction says:

    “No matter what the outcome is, the slanted media coverage on both sides assures that nobody can really come out a winner in the case.”
    “Slanted media coverage on both sides”? Is debunking lamestream media social engineering spin “slanted” because it’s contrary to blatant liberal fabrication, omission. and fables contained in their alleged “coverage”?
    Yes, it IS “tragic” that those who call out for the conviction of George Zimmerman WON’T accept the TRUE, and VERIFIED FACTS of his innocence despite the revelation of NBC’s deceit.
    Sucks to be them. Maybe they can replace the editor they fired with Dan Rather.
    He’d be a good fit.

  4. Weldon says:

    A background check needs to be put in place for specific folks who hold certain
    job positions.

Polititainment

'SNL' remakes Schoolhouse Rock
“Saturday Night Live” hit today’s political process right on the nose during the show’s cold open. Spoofing Schoolhouse Rock’s “I’m Just a Bill,” Kenan Thompson as the bill tried to explain how he becomes a law. But before he can make his way  to President Obama’s desk to be officially signed into law, Obama beats him […]
Foxx talks dancing with Christie, McCain
Who could possibly forget this epic photo? Late night host Jimmy Kimmel certainly hadn’t, so when he had the chance to interview actor Jamie Foxx Wednesday night, he simply had to get the back story. Foxx has been the host of this annual charity event for several years. “What’s interesting is that every year that […]
Jon Stewart on Christie's 'pig problem'

Jon Stewart got into Chris Christie’s “pig problem”—which wasn’t quite what Stewart thought it was at first.

Rogen: 'Amazing' to smoke in White House

Seth Rogen told The Hill in a recent interview that he believes he is now on a "list" of individuals banned on from President Obama's residence because of his recent tweet expressing his desire to smoke marijuana in the White House.

Kimmel's insightful e-card rant

Kimmel's broadside against e-cards raises an interesting point about the way Democrats have encouraged their followers to pass along birthday well-wishes to their party's elected officials and leaders.

White House

Obama: Voters want ‘new car smell’ in 2016, Hillary would be ‘great president’
President Obama still has two years left in office, but with the GOP overhaul in the midterms and his waning popularity, most people are already looking to 2016. Including, it seems, Obama himself. He said the best part of running for president after a two-term president is that “you can stake out your own positions” […]
Obama spurns GOP with expansive immigration orders

WASHINGTON (AP) — Spurning furious Republicans, President Barack Obama unveiled expansive executive actions on immigration Thursday night to spare nearly 5 million people in the U.S. illegally from deportation and refocus enforcement efforts on "felons, not families."

After multiple hacks, the federal government’s cybersecurity plan remains on hold

The federal government is not having the best time with cybersecurity of late.

Obama to announce executive action on immigration Thursday

President Obama announced Wednesday afternoon that he will unveil his unilateral plan for immigration reform to the nation in a primetime address Thursday.

Reports: Obama could unveil amnesty for illegal immigrants within days

President Obama is set to unveil a comprehensive, unilateral plan for immigration reform that includes amnesty as soon as next week, according to a report Thursday.

Congress

Missing Lois Lerner emails may have been recovered
Some 30,000 of former Internal Revenue Service director Lois Lerner’s missing emails have been recovered, according to senators leading the investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups. Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and the committee’s top Republican, Sen. Orrin Hatch (Utah) told reporters Friday that the Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration is working […]
Rep. Bachmann finds the smoke-filled rooms of DC
Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann may be on her way out of Washington, but that didn’t stop her from finally finding her way to the often criticized smoke-filled rooms of DC. On Wednesday, the Congresswoman seemed to be enjoying her a last bit of recess down time with a cigar and a perfectly appropriate tweet. After […]
Rand suggests a wardrobe change for 'King' Obama
Sen. Rand Paul (R- Ky.) took to Facebook to suggest an Obama wardrobe change following the president’s comments that he will use the executive branch to push his immigration agenda. Post by Rand Paul. “This isn’t about immigration reform. This is about his usurping of power that the Constitution didn’t give him,” Paul said in an interview […]
Senator: 'There could be violence'

Retiring Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn has issued a stark warning about the fallout from President Obama's immigration plan.

Pro- and anti-NSA Republicans vote down reform

Senate Republicans banded together to kill a National Security Agency reform bill, but some did it for entirely opposite reasons.