Zimmerman Is No Villain

 The media was partial toward Trayvon Martin and played the greatest role in shaping the public’s opinion regarding the case.
The acquittal of mixed-race Latino George Zimmerman in the death of 17-year-old black teenager Trayvon Martin has been a while, but the public reaction to this controversial trial remains at its peak. As I came across many articles highlighted with angry outbursts about the  innocence of Zimmerman, I started to ponder on many aspects of the case. In the process of digging through the web and inquiring others of their stance on the case, I came to realize that much of the media outlets distorted a tragedy into a biased outrage.

What first caught my eye as a liberal bias toward Zimmerman was the photo that I saw of him on the Internet and television. The photo, which was a mug shot, contrasted sharply with the all-smiling photo of Trayvon Martin, which dates back five years to when Martin was only 12 years old. At the time when I was not so familiar with the case, I perceived Zimmerman as the villain who killed an innocent black teenager in cold blood. Like me, others apparently have previously misunderstood as well. Jeannee Manalo, who lived in the vicinity of the incident, testified that she witnessed a big figure on top of a smaller figure, only she did not know which man was which. Finally, Manalo concluded that the one on top had to be Zimmerman, as “the top was bigger than the bottom.” In reality, Martin was about four inches taller than Zimmerman. However, because of the photos she saw online, Manalo thought Martin was a child. When defense attorney Mark O’Mara showed Manalo some of the media-released photos of Martin, such as the one with him in his red Hollister shirt, she confirmed the photos as the cause of her misconception.

Another instance of prejudice that was directed towards Zimmerman had to do with the recording on the night of the shooting. Female witness Mary Cutcher made an appearance on local TV, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and Dateline NBC. Cutcher related that she did not witness the struggle, but clearly heard screaming. She told NBC’s Lester Holt, “It sounded young. It didn’t sound like a grown man, is my point.” In short, Cutcher was saying that the scream she heard came from Martin, who actually had a deep voice.

Most important however, is that the recording of the incident was ignored. In fact, on the night of the shooting, Cutcher had told the 911 operator that there was “a black guy standing up over him.” Her statement, which wholly contradicts with what she informed the operator, should have made her a faulty witness, but both CNN and NBC took her statement at face value.

Several employees of NBC went one step further and edited Zimmerman’s 911 call, which cost them their jobs. In the audio, Zimmerman says that Martin was “up to no good” because “he looks black.” Zimmerman had actually informed the operator that Martin was “walking around and looking about,” and had only mentioned his race in response to the operator’s inquiry.

While this falsehood was detected and restrained, Zimmerman’s injuries are often ridiculously depreciated. Eyewitnesses and forensic evidence proved that Zimmerman’s claim that he was being assaulted when he fired the gun was true. However, Washington Post columnist Eugene Robertson completely omitted the fact that Martin was heavier and taller and Zimmerman, and only stated that a “skinny boy” could not have posed a dire threat to “a healthy adult man who outweighs him by 50 pounds.”

After my process of digging into the hard facts, I came to the conclusion that the Zimmerman trial was heavily biased and many liberal news outlets run their business for readership, not sticking to integrity. According to a media study done by Cision and George Washington University, 89 percent of reporters admitted using blogs and ideas from their Twitter followers to produce their stories. I believe this was a major factor  that slanted this case.

Though I support the side of George Zimmerman, I am aware that this case in an undeniable tragedy for Martin’s family and a vast number of Americans. The Zimmerman trial has clearly achieved one thing, however. It greatly diminished my already shaky trust on liberal media and allowed me to become a staunch supporter of the belief that many journalists do not carry out their duty with utmost integrity, but only write to please emotions.