The media each day has more to answer for in the Trayvon Martin case. We still do not have all the evidence to render a clear picture of what actually happened on that rainy night, but we do know that recently released photos, videos, and transcripts have been misleading, doctored, or misrepresented. It started with the focus on an out-of-date photo that suggested Mr. Martin at the moment of his death was a tiny preteen, rather than a 6’2” 17-year-old. Given that the alleged crime happened in 2012 when Mr. Martin was 17, it might have been more responsible to publish an existing and available photo that was current. The media then created a special rubric “white Hispanic,” when its narrative of white-on-black crime was endangered by new information that Mr. Zimmerman had a Latino mother, although it normally does not use such terminology for others of mixed ancestry — Barack Obama himself being a good example.
We still do not have any clear audio evidence that Mr. Zimmerman uttered a racial slur as is still maintained. Nor do we yet have clear evidence, by voice analysis, confirming who was calling for help in an apparent fight on an audio tape. But we do know that NBC News altered a transcript of the 9-1-1 call, with the apparent intent to cast Mr. Zimmerman in an unfavorable light as a racist bigot — at a time of heightened racial tensions. Despite loud media assertions that a police video clip proved that Mr. Zimmerman did not have injuries to the head as described in the police report, careful analysis of the tape does in fact seem to reveal a most visible head injury on Mr. Zimmerman.
#more#A final thought. The new consensus position — Bill O’Reilly voiced it the other night on Fox News — seems to be that an arrest and an indictment would be the proper compromise, as the case was turned over to a prosecutor before a judge and/or jury — even though it is not yet clear that the evidence thus far nullifies the initial decision not to charge Mr. Zimmerman with a crime of murder, manslaughter, or assault.
But given all the fraudulence and uncertainty above, and the venom unleashed by the New Black Panther Party, the Congressional Black Caucus, Spike Lee, and the demagoguery of Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Jackson — the best course instead would be still to show patience, as all the evidence is reviewed by the special prosecutor and photos, audio clips, and videos are reexamined with greater scientific scrutiny that may either confirm the initial self-defense conclusion or suggest that there is now enough evidence to warrant a felony indictment.
Either way, the media has embarrassed itself, and the black activist leadership, in and out of government, has demagogued the case, alienated the country, and set back racial relations for some time — as the president weighed in on the case in an utterly incoherent fashion.