Why is Cable News So Obsessed with the Zimmerman Trial?

  • submit to reddit

George Zimmerman arrives for his trial in Seminole circuit court in Sanford, Fla. Thursday, July 11, 2013. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Gary W. Green, Pool)

If you have cable television in your home, you probably know more than you want to know about the trial of George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin. But you may still be wondering why this story has attracted so much attention from the media. We called Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert for a critique of the coverage.

Lauren Feeney: Why are the 24-hour news stations so obsessed with this trial?

Eric Boehlert: It’s easy, it’s summer, and it’s lazy — a simple way to be able to cover the same story over and over for two or three weeks. In the old days, unless it was the O.J. Simpson trial, news channels would never give up hour after hour of daytime or primetime to cover a courtroom event. The feeling was, “That’s not really journalism and that’s not why we’re in the news business.” But slowly but surely, the cable news channels have decided to do exactly that. Each year, they seem to pick three or four of these trials and almost randomly devote way too much time to them. Now they’ve decided to do it with the Zimmerman trial, which at its core is a much more serious and important event —- the societal and legal implications are much more important and sober than some of the other celebrity trials that they’ve embraced.

Feeney: Is the coverage any good?  Are they getting at some of the deeper social issues?

Boehlert: No, and that’s the problem. It’s being trivialized. I don’t know how many times you can replay a 911 call and try to determine who’s yelling for help. Was it Trayvon Martin?  Was it George Zimmerman? It’s unlikely we’ll ever have an answer to that question, and yet it’s just hour after hour after hour. The context gets completely lost. The reason the story took on national implications and the reason why there was so much raw emotion last year when the shooting first happened is that a grown man admitted to killing an unarmed black teen and wasn’t charged with any crime. The trial itself is not really that interesting. The trial is not what sparked the controversy and all the raw emotion last year.

Feeney: As I recall, when Trayvon Martin was first killed, it was a story that was mostly covered by the progressive press and focused on the social implications. Now Fox News is advertising “gavel to gavel coverage.” What happened? How did it turn from the Trayvon Martin — the story of the untimely death of a black teenager — to the George Zimmerman story?

Boehlert: I think you’re absolutely right — a lot of the progressive, liberal opinion media was outraged about the story and wrote about it. Maybe the reason they’re not writing about the trial is that so much of the outrage was about the fact that no one had been charged. How can someone admit to killing an unarmed teen, someone who was told by a 911 dispatcher to sit in his car and yet pursued this person and then ended up killing him — how can there be no charge whatsoever? Manslaughter, anything. That was the controversy. They wanted this to be played out in court. They wanted there to be some accountability. So now that there’s a trial — trials are trials and it’s up to the jury.

For Fox it’s always been the George Zimmerman story. It’s always been about George Zimmerman and his innocence and how liberals are whipping up the controversy. Remember, George Zimmerman gave an interview to Sean Hannity last year. Hannity stepped forward as his unofficial defense attorney. Rush Limbaugh has talked about Obama wanted to foment racial unrest. They see the Zimmerman trial, and the issue of race generally, through the prism of their hatred of Obama. So in the right-wing media there has been kind of a meltdown over the trial that’s tapping into the sort of hysterical racial fears that they like to whip up.

Feeney: What are some of the stories that have been overlooked in the interest of this wall-to-wall coverage of this Zimmerman trial?

Boehlert: CNN got in trouble with the blogosphere when there was what basically amounted to a military coup in Egypt. Yes, they covered it, but they seemed awfully interested in going back to a trial about a person being killed in Florida. CNN in the past absolutely owned foreign news, particularly Middle East news. Fox News barely even has a bureau there. That was why CNN was created, for these international crises.

Immigration reform is another incredibly important story, and Media Matters has written regularly about how economic news in general just has completely fallen off a lot of the mainstream media radar, and particularly the cable channels.

One other thing I would say about the wall-to -wall coverage is that defenders would say, “Well, the ratings are up.” As though that proves that Americans are fascinated with this trial. But if you look at the ratings, the boost that CNN’s gotten is very modest. They’re doing a primetime show every night, sort of a recap. It’s getting an audience of 4–500,000 viewers in a nation of 330 million people. That might be up 15 percent from what they had in that timeslot, but let’s not pretend that the cable news channels are responding to this massive outpouring of interest from the general public. I just don’t think it’s there.

Feeney: What does the coverage of this trial tell you about the state of journalism today?

Boehlert: I think that they’re looking for the easy fix, and if it means flicking the switch and just taking a courtroom feed for hour after hour, they will do that.


Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush and Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press. He worked for five years as a senior writer for Salon.com, where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. Boehlert has a bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts and is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America.
  • submit to reddit

BillMoyers.com encourages conversation and debate around issues, events and ideas related to content on Moyers & Company and the BillMoyers.com website.

  • The editorial staff reserves the right to take down comments it deems inappropriate.
  • Profanity, personal attacks, hate speech, off-topic posts, advertisements and spam will not be tolerated.
  • Do not intentionally make false or misleading statements, impersonate someone else, break the law, or condone or encourage unlawful activity.

If your comments consistently or intentionally make this community a less civil and enjoyable place to be, you and your comments will be excluded from it.

We need your help with this. If you feel a post is not in line with the comment policy, please flag it so that we can take a look. Comments and questions about our policy are welcome. Please send an email to info@moyersmedia.com

Find out more about BillMoyers.com's privacy policy and terms of service.

  • R G

    It’s big because gun lobbies want no legislation; and because life is sacred and killing must stop at every level; the corporate media has an agenda which is counter usually to what the people actually want and need. Murder ocurred and it was pre-planned because the killer thought he knew how to get away with it,

  • Anonymous

    For many of my 62 years, I used TV mainly for the news.. I have watched it morph into something unrecognizable today.. I removed cable from my life, as todays news, whether its network or cable news is nothing but a circus sideshow, wrestling for ratings. They pander to a dumbed down America, looking only for entertainment rather than world information.. The things important are left in the closet and barely touched on if at all. Network owners are very wealthy individuals or huge corporations, who have a vested interest in what is reported and how it might effect their political ideology.

    In other words, keep feeding the people empty calories to divert their attention away from the real news.. What we see is garbage on a shovel..

  • Anonymous

    I am weary of cable news and tv. We spend about 80 dollars a month for cable and I think it is a waste of money. I would like to cut the cord but my husband wants it so we keep doling out the money. I would like to use the 80 dollars to give to a worthy charity instead. Cable news is propaganda and completely dumbed down.

  • OL GRIFFIN

    no matter what the MEDIA interest or motive, for people to see the ‘theatre’ that passes for JUSTICE is a GOOD thing

  • OZ

    The day we are able to watch channels on demand from different platforms, that will be the end of cable as we know it…but they resist…they know the implications.

  • Anonymous

    Ted Turner had a vision that became CNN & HNN. But, the accountants have taken over so actual journalist staff & knowledgeable people are cut to increase profit margins – too bad. I rarely watch CNN any more at all.

    Re Zimmerman I felt the prosecution missed an opportunity to pin Zimmerman to a board by not pointing out that Travoyn could as easily been an hispanic, or hindu, etc (someone darker skinned at least at a glance) and a young woman, someones wife, grandaughter, a visiting friend. GZ had an axe to grind and went looking for a fight some action to “get even” for dissatisfaction with his life.

    It will be interesting to see what the jury does.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Loving/1040813947 David Loving

    The news sources are lazy – that’s human nature. People are going to believe what they believe regardless of this trial. Hispanic vs. Black, self defense vel non, profiling ,etc. The reality of the trial is guilt or innocence, not whether one agrees with it. In that sense it is all about Zimmerman.

  • 1 less thug

    They been stirring up a race war since it happened. Liberal media hates america.

  • Anonymous

    Pure and simple to the title of the article. RATINGS!!

  • jo

    the right wing news cabal has turned this thing in to a racial litmus test. If the kid was black, he must have been a thug and deserved to die. Just because guns.

  • John

    The two biggest stories of the century – the Invasion of Iraq and the economic melt down of 2008 – where were our journalists, the people who are supposed to keep us informed? The American people know dick about the Affordable Care Act – do our “News” networks care? Thank you Eric, for calling the American press what it is – lazy and always bent on profit – damn the country, its money that matters.

  • Ted

    It is a break from do nothing congress and state legislatures. One that wants to go backwards and one that is afraid of what people think of them to go forward

  • Jeanette Le

    why didn’t he just stay in the car…did anyone ask him???

  • Jagged Edge

    I have felt all along that this Zimmerman trial was nothing more than a smokescreen to cover up the fact that there was no real news coverage about the things that Should have been covered. Like all that is going on in the ME and even here at home. Just another way to keep the American people Blinded about what Our government is Not doing.

  • Kernos

    Multinationals or big corporations control the media. They have their own agendas to maximize political, economic and religious power. It serves their purposes to feed pablum to the peasants, whom they distract from real, life-changing issues like climate change, fascism and feudalism, loss of civil rights, loss of the middle class, police militarism and so on. The only place to get important news is on the net where it’s becoming more difficult to get balanced news.

  • Judith K. Claire

    This is about racial profiling. This is about the worth of young, black men. One could wonder about any bias / profiling that the white reporters, experts and others think about when they see young, black men. How many of them live in integrated communities?

  • Sean D Ferris

    This story is not new it happens in every city every day. A young black man dead it the street and the underlying issue is not poverty not ghettos not environment its bigotry its discrimination it hatred.

    .

  • Jon Eric of NJ

    This trial is a farse.I’m not a lawyer but I have good reading skils and understand what I read.This is my interpretation of the Florida “the right to defend yourself law”.If one man is on top of another man banging his head on the concrete the guy on the bottom fearing a bad beating or even death is permitted to use whatever means available to defend himself.Thus George Zimmerman shot Travon Martin.Period and end of story.All the other evidence given at the trail was just fluff!

  • tatateeta

    Stand your ground in Florida is the new lynching. Can’t hang a black person and get away with it? Pass a law that says you can kill people with impunity if you are “afraid” of them.

  • tatateeta

    It’s about inequality and injustice starting at the top with the 5 SCOTUS injustices.This country is broken in just about every way. The Zimmerman trial happens to illustrate the abysmal state of the justice system. Most people live their lives, some with “quiet desperation” and don’t notice what’s going on. The Zimmerman trial is the canary in the coalmine.

  • Joe

    Because his neighborhood is a cest pool of crime where the burglars constantly get away with it. Out of 15 months 8 robberies were committed in his neighborhood. As a neighborhood watchman I can see him disobeying the dispatcher to make sure this particular suspect is in custody of police, at least for questioning.

  • Anonymous

    Bill, have you ever seen or heard of the Moscow based RT (Russia Today) “news” broadcasts? How does one make contact to suggest your show consider doing an
    exposé on these modern day Soviet communist agression propaganda broadcasts (seen on HTz Network, found on KCET and others PBS stations that primarily targets the U.S.A. for about 95% of their stories. I recently saw an ad on NBC advertising the RT website. I was shocked. here’s why:
    They beat the drum 24/7 painting their communist slant on every thing we do (or don’t do) in effort to cut our throats at the bottom of a world wide dog pile they’re working night and day to instigate.
    Much of their footage and interviews are conducted right here in our streets.
    They’re spraying their propaganda world wide to recruit haters, doing all they can to stir them up and bring them down on us.
    I’ve yet to see any mention made of this, I’m wondering why? Am I the only one who’s noticed? NO ONE CARES?
    Would you please consider having a look into this?
    I think our American citizens should would prefer to know about this, and apparently our government doesn’t care…

  • Anonymous

    The media, especially MSNBC and FOX have beat this thing to death. Rather than keeping the viewing public informed, they have over saturated most of us to the point we have stopped listening. And now the hype is about riots if the black community does not get the verdict it believes to be the right verdict. WTF! That will give right wing racist zealots exactly what they want, if that occurs. Frankly, as a 69 year old white male, I concluded early on that Zimmerman was looking to take someone down that night. I believe he knew exactly what he was going to do, because he had “had enough”. It was a senseless murder, period. Now it is “wait and see”.

  • Anonymous

    I have to admit my own obsession with this case in favor of Trayvon Martin. Perhaps I just need to give it a rest and let the jury decide. After all, Zimmerman has now stood trial. That is what we wanted. Regardless of the outcome, the best response is to find a way to improve our justice system and go on with our lives.

  • tl

    You’re an idiot.
    First of all, it’s cesspool, not cest pool. Sigh.
    More importantly, what makes a kid walking back to the place where he was staying “this particular suspect?”
    Because he was young? Male? Black?
    Martin was an innocent kid who was attacked and shot by a lunatic wannabe cop with a gun. The unarmed kid was shot dead, and the pretend Kojak is on trial.
    And you’re still an idiot.

  • REBEKAH.MAJORSMANLEY

    DEFINITELY NOT THE END OF THE STORY- THEY ARE FOREVER LINKED REGARDLESS IF ZIMMERMAN GOES TO PRISON OR NOT. FOREVER FOR GENERATIONS TO COME IS THIS NOT THE END OF THE STORY. ZIMMERMAN IS MANY MOM’S NIGHTMARE. SADLY HE SET THE HORRIBLE COURSE OF TWO LIVES TO RUIN.

  • Christy K Robinson

    I think Fox’s commentators jumped in because of the “stand your ground” gun issue. They’re pandering to their gun-totin’ demographic, rooting for Zimmerman’s exoneration and his vigilante victory over police.

  • moderator

    Please remember to read and follow our comment policy. Personal attacks or hate speech will be deleted and you will be unable to participate in any future discussions.

    Thank You
    Sean @ Moyers

  • Mr. Mann

    I don’t support Florida’s, or any other state that has a “Stand Your Ground Law. I feel that this type of legislation allows a person to become judge, jury, and executioner, at their caprice; afterwards justifying their action as always being in self defense. Therefore I feel that every murder committed using the “Stand Your Ground” justification, needs to be thoroughly investigated. I’m happy to see that the parents of Trayvon Martin are challenging this law. Media coverage is important, in that it exposes the barbarism of this type of legislation.

  • j9morr

    Nobody even mentions who (big money) owns the media and why they would rather we focus on the trial rather than, for instance, climate change, congress working for the rich, economic inequity in the world, etc.

  • Trudidiva

    All comments miss the point. It’s so they can ignore the relentless assault on women in Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Virginia etc etc etc.

  • Richard La France

    Mr. Moyers, the outcome of the Zimmerman case is the reason we are so obsessed with this trial. As a former resident of Florida, I could have correctly predicted the outcome but, ever optimistic, I had hopes that Zimmerman would be found guilty.

    Then again, we must be masochists because we’ll sit and read, as I did, comments about the ‘not guilty’ verdict and, although many important people in this nation made appropriate comments, respecting the Martin family’s loss and feeling quite horrible about the verdict.

    Then comes the wicked witch of the Western world, Ann Coulter, and tweets, “Hallelujah!” Why this woman is allowed in public is beyond me. Her mouth spews venom and her ears are deaf to rebuttal to her ignorance.

    I disagree with your interviewee’s view on the coverage of this trial. The Egyptians are on their own, as they should be, and as strong people will always right any wrongs that have been committed against them. What Mr. Boehlert says about CNN not spending much time on the Egypt issue is totally inaccurate. I was watching that day and note that this issue was seldom interrupted for any other news, period. If he’s referring to CNN’s Headline News Station, there might be less of a likelihood that Egypt’s news would overtake the Zimmerman trial because CNN Headline News devotes a good deal of time to major trials in America and has several hosts presenting the details of those trials.

    CNN still has the best of international reporters. For political news one might choose MSNBC for the leftist view and Fox News for lies and deceit and a bunch of smug people hating on America and our President. I prefer MSNBC because their slant is in my direction – which includes the LGBT community. On the day Munsi (Mursi?) was removed from power in Cairo, MSNBC, with regular hosts who cover different issues, included the incident along with all other news they felt worthy of broadcasting.

    Finally, in times like these, we need to be clearly focused on matters of concern for America. We have the Republicans raising the ire of decent people who don’t need the challenge of Republican bull crap on top of other every day challenges. Republicans of the Tea Party set are bent on making innocent people feel guilty for taking help from the government when the majority of Americans would rather help the needy with our taxes than to give our taxes away to useless politicians who will spend millions upon millions of dollars trying to repeal Obamacare 38 times as of this week, who will take money from big business lobbyists, the NRA, and other shady organizations that are questionable in the freedom and liberty department and take advantage of our tax dollars simply by accepting them as pay for doing nothing for what they’re being paid to do. And that pay is for the rest of their lives, not just the terms spent in office.

    When they deleted the SNAP program from the farm bill and two Democrats (only two!) spoke out to shame them, the Republicans behaved like a bad audience at the Appollo and booed them and demanded their comments not be taken down for the Congressional Record. Not to mention that there is still that nasty attempt to take a wrecking ball to Social Security and Medicare and a hand shaker of a Democrat who takes the Republicans’ word on matters like filibuster.

    We have the State of Michigan (where I was born) where a dictator (Sen. Rick Snyder) has declared that no matter who wins the popular vote in an election, he will be the one who decides who will be seated in that post. Moreover, he has given the cities of Benton Harbor and Detroit over to a private individual whose job is to fix the problems. Instead he steals public land and decides the Detroit River is a good place to….well, I imagine you already know all this.

    I just want to say that the point of your interview took a wrong turn by having Mr. Boehlert speak for the people when it appears more that he is speaking for himself.

    Thank you. You are among my heroes.

  • Richard La France

    It would be great if they would take our haters to Russia and never let them out again. I quit worrying about an attack by Russia after I realized that hiding under a desk at school would not protect us from a nuclear blast or misguided youths carrying guns here in America.

    The Republicans are doing a bang-up job themselves of turning this country communist. They really don’t need the help of the Russians. I’m sure the Russian immigrants in this country would fight “the old country” tooth and nail if they tried anything because they found the good life over here after the hell they experienced in Russia.

    But, yes, it would be good to see a Bill Moyer interview or expose on what you mentioned above.

  • observer

    because it has to do with a person being able to shoot and kill at will. apparently that is very important to some people. the paranoid people.

  • Richard La France

    It’s all of the above, I’m afraid, and more. Each generation is growing more bent on heartless killing be white against black or any other color, including his own, or in reverse for all the races.. We are all alike in that respect. Peer pressure has gang thugs killing each other just to win points and rise up in their particular gangs. Color isn’t always the issue, but in Florida it has always been an issue. It’s a scary place to live if you’re black, gay or a Yankee. I am two of those three and I left within a month after graduating high school.

    Sean D. Ferris, I truly hope that the outcome of this trial, which has now been decided and everyone knows the verdict, doesn’t lead to rioting because that will only bring about the destruction of more black lives and that is not the desired outcome.

    Americans who care what happened to Trayvon go far beyond the black community and any financial limits and our hearts are so bitter over the loss of this young man’s life and the outcome of the trial.

    I’m not saying this because I’m afraid of rioting. I’ve lived through three riots (Detroit 1 / Los Angeles 2) and neither time were the hearts of people who hate black people softened in any way. But those of us who listen and can think have helped to make the adjustments in favor of the black community and we are standing with the parents of Trayvon Martin tonight in hurt and sorrow for their loss and for the beauty and strength of a fine young man that is now gone but for memory.

    George Zimmerman will be haunted forever for what he did to Trayvon and there will be plenty of people who will shun him and make his life a living hell.

  • Anonymous

    And not do anything about living wage jobs, infrastructure, healthcare, voting rights, etc.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, they show us what they want us to see & if it can divide or distract us from the many real issues, the more they will over exploit it. Notice how legislation is thrust on us while we’re in a frenzy over some sensationalized topic?

  • Anonymous

    It’s too bad we don’t put the same energy into minority rights (women, poor, elderly, disabled, etc.), our environment, our health, our education system, etc. Just think what we (the people) could accomplish if we did!

  • Dee Plair

    Mr. Moyers, I’ve been a fan for many years, but in this case you’re completely tone deaf to the grief of an entire community. We thought the days had passed when you couldn’t let your child go to the store alone. The death of Trayvon Martin immediately makes us think of Emmitt Till, another teenager killed for no other reason than being a teenager, and not being obsequious enough to the ruling class.

    Why was Trayvon considered suspicious? Why must he answer for why he was there and what he was doing? Those are the questions you should be asking about this case. He committed no crimes, yet he’s dead, and his killer walks free. Every single black person in America, rich or poor, educated or not, knows that it could have been us, or our child, or one of our cousins, uncles, fathers or brothers. It struck an emotional chord with us that Egypt never will.

    For you and most journalist, this type of suspicion and paranoia will never affect your life in any way. You’ll never worry about a trigger happy neighbor, or coming out of a traffic stop alive. You’ll never be stopped and frisked. You’ll never be arrested on your own front porch like Skip Gates, or made to walk back a statement that might offend your white supporters, like President Obama. This isn’t post-racial America. It’s just America, where being a black man has always been a killing offense. Seems that hasn’t really changed.

  • csboydmts

    I do not want to watch a trial on a news channel. I want NEWS. I sent an email to CNN expressing my outrage. For days now I have been getting world news from CCTV (China’s English broadcast). CNN is the only cable news outlet I receive in my satellite package. So sorry Ted Turner sold out. What a non-news network they have become. Thanks for your comments, good work.

  • Anonymous

    All this coverage is the old boys making sure to send out the message that they approve of minorities shooting each other.

  • James Edward Johnson

    Referred to as ‘black on black crime’…

  • James Edward Johnson

    It has not changed, but, it is in the Hands of God, now, Mr. Zimmerman, will answer to God, just like JUDAS did…

  • James Edward Johnson

    These mentioned states are supposedly the epitome of the ‘south’, but, my grandmother taught me that the South is Everything Southern of the Canadian Border…

  • James Edward Johnson

    The D.I.P. that is mentioned above is the very thing our Congress & Senate will ‘devour’ as they are Children of Satan…We The People, pay their ‘healthcare’ and they receive a ‘living salary’, more than enough to pay their own healthcare, yet, will not pay to the American People a ‘living wage’ and continue to take what is needed for the American People to live a ‘quality of life’, themselves…

  • James Edward Johnson

    DITTO, j9morr…DITTO…

  • James Edward Johnson

    Legislation from any state of the union, is those public servants’ way of bypassing; ‘one man one vote’…and should that not work, they send it to their $upreme Court$…either way it becomes difficult to change once the D.I.P. is made a law…

  • Tori

    Dear Dee,
    I don’t think Bill Moyers would miss the point of the racial implications. His track record proves that he has more understanding, empathy and courage than one could hope for from a person in the media.

    Look at the question above that says “Are they getting a some of the deeper social issues?” What you write about is what he is referring to. And the answer is “No….”
    The media didn’t bother to make an issue out of the REAL issue, which is the one that you state.
    This article is about how journalism as a source of true information and education hardly exists.
    I, for one, count on Mr. Moyers for precisely this information and education that is mostly missing in the media.

  • Madeleine Boskovitz

    Very disappointed in CNN. I certainly wasn’t adding to their viewership — turned it off the moment it went to the trial. The outcome of that trial is also a very big disappointment — I feel it takes us back at least 50 years …before Civil Rights.

  • rjpando

    Since when is it appropriate for a young person to respond to an adult with a punch in the face? I disagree with George Zimmerman’s actions. He should have stayed home and waited for the police. But its obvious Trayvon Martin was no angel either. That being said, Trayvon did not deserve to die for his actions.

  • rjpando

    CNN must believe we’re all idiots.

  • Anonymous

    THIS GUY IS GUILTY ! IF YOU LEARN ABOUT THE CASE AS ONE LEARNS LATER AT LEAST FOR ME * CASEY ANTHONY I LEARNED LATER ALSO HAD TO BE ABSOLUTELY GUILTY OF HORRIBLE CHILD ABUSE!! PLUS AFTER HER CASE
    OMG! HOW COULD ANYONE SYMPATHIZE WITH THAT MONSTER?

    WHEN ARE WE GOING TO SUE THE SYSTEM FOR THESE INSTEAD OF ALLOWING
    FOR THEM? DOESN’T THAT MAKE US GUILTY FOR NOT DOING SO?

  • TheOnlyOpinionThatMatters

    CNN is doing their level best to create and maintain idiocy.

  • TheOnlyOpinionThatMatters

    With his final statement of the interview Mr. Boehlert completely misses the larger point. His answer should have been, “It barely exists on cable TV and mainstream media, but can be found – if one searches – at independent sites on the Internet.”

    It would be superb to see Mr. Moyers investigate the Barrett Brown case. Check this:

    http://www.thenation.com/article/174851/strange-case-barrett-brown

  • Dee Plair

    You only have Zimmerman’s word for what happened, since he’s the only one alive to tell the tale. I don’t believe him, but I also don’t believe he had any reason to call police in the first place.

    I’ve been considered “suspicious” on more than one occasion, just because my back gave out and I was resting until I could go on. I was still on a public sidewalk. Some folks have wanted to know what I was doing there, in front of their house, and I’m older, so I didn’t have trouble just saying I was resting my back and would move on momentarily. I know I still resented it. If you’re going to hassle me at least bring me a cold glass of water, or offer to call someone for me, since I’m really your neighbor, and live just up the street.

    And these are nuances, the things not directly related to the case, but that are part of everyday life in America, that I think Mr. Moyers is ignoring. This is why the case struck a cord, and caused far more interest in my than whatever is happening in Egypt. Because this is one of my life’s minor indignities taken to tragic ends. I could have been me. I could have been a cousin or one of my friends kids. And if you’re not going to explore all that, then Bill Moyers is right, 24 hr coverage is a waste.

  • Dee Plair

    I’ll concede that playing the 911 tape repeatedly was a waste. The other thing that got me was the inaccuracy of the reporting. George Zimmerman wasn’t part of an registered neighborhood watch group. It was never established that any such group existed or that he attended meetings or training. The official Neighborhood Watch national assoc. said he violated every tenant of their program, and he did. Yet he’s consistently referred to as a neighborhood watch member/captain in all news stories. Any half way decent reporter could have corrected that. He was just a vigilante with a gun.

  • Dee Plair

    Please don’t talk to me about God when it pertains to this case. If God was concerned with the affairs of men, then where was he the night Travyon was shot and killed?

  • marvin steiner

    The evidence supported a not guilty as charged finding.This trial was a criminal trial not a civil rights,not a human rights trial.It appears to me none commenting here heard all of the evidence simply because little was offered by the reporting media.An ordinary criminal trial became a media event and now is a media event on steroids.

  • marvin steiner

    The ultimate villain here is the program consumer .One commentator here wrote CNN of his”outrage”,enough outraged consumers write media and turn off the TV ,programing will change.The program consumer is ultimately in control,media is bottom line profit driven.

  • workingclass888

    because it promotes racial hatred which black racist such as sharton , Jackson and ben jealous live for and the liberal media gets more blacks that don’t work or have any legal income watch to boost their rating

  • NotARedneck

    “I believe he knew exactly what he was going to do, because he had “had enough”. It was a senseless murder, period”

    I agree 100%. The 1% in the US have so degraded the lives of most Americans that they are killing over the scraps. Add in a racist angle, promoted avidly by right wing criminal scum and you get this sort of situation developing.

    When most people have no options, they look for someone in a worse position than themselves to further oppress. This is the US south in a nutshell – uneducated racist imbeciles who don’t have a clue who is really responsible for their situation.

    A modern day version of Bull Conner on a rampage.

  • Truth Is Perception

    God, or anything/anyone associated as a creator of existence, was not involved directly in the situation, like all other tragic situations, and is not to be held accountable for the actions of man. We have free will, knowledge of right and wrong, personal experiences, and a personal moralistic belief. The unfortunate events, caused by either man or nature, happen so the waves of change, growth, wisdom, unity, self-knowledge, and so-on-and-so-forth will come crashing down on those effected by it. The truth is only known by those directly involved, the rest is perception hiding behind reality that’s masked in misconception. Our opinions, created by the emotions from the experience, make us come to an understanding, then discussed, and in the end, our own enlightenment, or lack there of. If needing biblical reference:

    2 Corinthians 4:8-10 – We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

    Matthew 10:28 – And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

    Hebrews 2:14 – Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,

    We, as a nation, need to unite. The fact this specific event was allowed by all of us to be overly shoved in our faces is an outrage in its own. Personal opinion with the socially acceptable rudeness and a controversial event create a mass distraction bleeding from our televisions, putting a false sense of thinking the blood is on our floors and hands. We need to stop hurting one another, stop allowing the media to tell us what to think, stop blaming each other or the possible omnipresent… Reality is only an observance, created after logical/illogical thoughts, previously processed.

  • Dee Plair

    More, Let’s all stick our heads in the sand, pap. Read Toures latest column. I’m weary of talking about it.

  • Jess Parmer
  • Pat

    Opinions are like noses: everybody has one, and they’re not all pretty. My remote no longer clicks on CNN/HLN, no longer permits that constant barrage of opinion and commentary they label “news.” What a waste of time and talent.

  • 19obert63

    It certainly provides a convenient media smokescreen to hide the Supreme Court tragic decision to gut the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, allowing Jim Crow laws back into our local towns again. The Martin family tragically lost a much loved son,and many Americans have just lost their right to vote,for which many people have given their lives to attain; a difficult decision must be made during a very emotional time, exercising our right to peacefully protest, Do we protest together, or do we split apart in emotional confusion?

    Which issue would Martin Luther King protest ? I think he could sense the media distraction and focus on the bigger picture. If he protests about the Supreme Court decision, he could gather the combined support of all the races united -”united we stand, divided we fall”.

    Please keep in mind that President Obama was elected in large part because the Democrats captured the Hispanic vote, this trial will probably change that to some degree. I think King would urge us to privately mourn Trayvon Martin, and protest on the streets against this atrocious landmark Supreme Court decision, which will deprive many Americans their inherent right to vote
    Unfortunately Martin Luther King is not making the decision, I wonder who is?