Since Prosecutor Angela Corey released a slew of evidence in the Trayvon Martin case, both the right-wing media and some of the mainstream media have been having a field day.
For the right-wing media, it has been to proclaim George Zimmerman’s innocence and for both them and the MSM it has been to pick through every detail in search of the New! and the Exclusive!
But one network — MSNBC — has been accused of adopting radio silence by those who have trumpeted that Trayvon did smoke some pot at some point before he was murdered (a little of the active ingredient was in the autopsy report), so he must have been a scary gangbanger.
Writes Noah Rothman for Mediate:
When an avalanche of new evidence favorable to George Zimmerman came to light, MSNBC’s primetime lineup didn’t just bury the story, they didn’t mention Martin or Zimmerman once.
That’s primetime, not regular news, which did cover the evidence dump, but Rothman pitches his story with what other news MSNBC did cover versus bits of evidence he’s cherry-picked that are ‘favorable to Zimmerman’, as all those now crusading for the White, sorry, Hispanic, sorry, White-Hispanic (technically correct term) guy are. Fox News dutifully picked up Rothman’s claim.
You could pick through and make any case you like — Here’s The Grio asking “Has the media prematurely declared George Zimmerman’s innocence?” Even though this is certainly not all the evidence and even though well-worn prosecutors seem pretty confident that they have a case.
Into this noise factory, Rev. Al Sharpton on his primetime show reacted, with comments that Rothman, Fox and others completely missed.
Sharpton’s piece begins with the context of how he fights for justice, starting with the “stop and frisk” policy in New York overwhelmingly targeting black and Hispanic men. He points out how Ray Kelly, New York Police Commissioner, has praised him and others for both fighting crime in black communities as well as calling out police excesses (the former has been a theme in the current debate, with many believing that black organizers are not fighting local crime, which is not true).
He goes on to add more context, pointing out that a campaign by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly highlighting an attack on two white people by four black men in Virginia shows justice working, as the attackers have been arrested.
So, Sharpton says, the Trayvon Martin story was never about convicting George Zimmerman, or about some aggravated sense of outrage at the fact that a young black man was killed. It was to hold the justice system accountable for delivering on its promise to all Americans.
Trayvon Martin’s family lawyer called me to get involved because justice was not taking its course. George Zimmerman needed to be arrested, the evidence supported that.
This was a point repeatedly made by Trayvon’s family as well as Sharpton before Zimmerman’s arrest. He says at a rally:
I did not come to Florida after talking to Sybrina and Tracey to convict Zimmerman. I came to say what is good for one is good for all.
It was always others framing this as something more than a fight for justice.
The source of outrage was the fact that the police simply took the shooter’s word for it that it was Martin who tried to murder him. That outrage was all the louder because of a blatant smear campaign against Trayvon Martin, sourced back to law enforcement.
Now that Zimmerman will have his day in court, there’s little else for Sharpton to say until that day arrives. In other words, he refuses to join the team sport game, with one side — the right — trying to win political points when the other side is, well, dead.
Yet according to some, on the right Sharpton’s refusal to join in their game is “bullying”.
The point has always been that if you kill someone, you must answer for it. Justice for all, as Sharpton says:
Black, white, gay, straight, young and old, the same standards of justice should be applied to everyone.
Watch Sharpton’s piece:
Photo credit: MSNBC screengrab