It’s bad enough to see the media make assumptions in advance of the facts. What is so depressing about the coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting is the extent to which the media made assumptions not only before the facts were available but in spite of contradictory evidence that was already available.
The 911 call George Zimmerman made on the night of Martin’s death is perhaps the most crucial piece of evidence cited by the media to drive the narrative that Zimmerman attacked Martin. Yet listening to reporters and talking heads discuss the case, it is as though not a single one of them has ever bothered to listen to the full call. In fact, as Breitbart.com has already revealed, NBC deceptively edited the tape of the 911 call to make it look like Zimmerman was motivated by racial animosity or bias, something that has been widely reported as factual from the beginning.
To this day, even relatively responsible journalists and commentators begin their commentary by saying things like, “There is a lot about the Martin shooting we don’t know, but what we do know is Zimmerman continued following Martin even after the police told him to stop.” The original story, still maintained by various CNN analysts, was even worse: that Zimmerman hunted down and murdered Martin in cold blood.
I have no idea where this assertion of fact could possibly have come from, but it is absolutely universal. Even now, pundits on every channel maintain that Zimmerman disobeyed a police order (though it wasn’t even an order) and continued chasing Martin. Zimmerman’s story from the beginning to police and to the media has been that he stopped following when the dispatcher told him to. There have been no witness statements to the contrary. For that matter, there are no witnesses claiming to have seen what happened before the physical altercation took place. But what does the 911 tape tell us?
From the call released by the Sanford Police:
At 2:07, Zimmerman tells the dispatcher, “He’s running.”
At 2:09, you can hear a car door open and an alarm begins that is undoubtedly the “door open, keys in ignition” warning on Zimmerman’s truck.
At 2:13, you can clearly hear the car door slamming shut, and the alarm stops.
At 2:17, Zimmerman’s voice wobbles and he starts breathing heavily into the phone, indicating that he has started running.
At 2:22, without any prompting other than the aforementioned noises and breathing, the dispatcher asks “Are you following him?” to which Zimmerman responds, “Yeah.”
At 2:26, the dispatcher says, “Okay, we don’t need you to do that,” to which Zimmerman responds, “Okay.”
Zimmerman proceeds to give the dispatcher his name. Then he says, “He ran.”
Zimmerman can still be heard breathing into the phone until about 2:39, at which point the heavy breathing stops entirely, a mere 13 seconds after the dispatcher asked him to stop following. A very calm and collected Zimmerman then proceeds to give the dispatcher his own information, directions and a description of his location for another 1 minute and 33 seconds.
The difference between someone running while on the phone and not running can be heard quite clearly, and I encourage readers to listen for themselves.
There’s another reason to believe that Zimmerman stopped following Martin: After he gives the dispatcher his personal address, at 3:35, he says, “Oh crap, I don’t want to give that all out. I don’t know where this kid is,” meaning he is worried Martin might hear where he lives. If Zimmerman doesn’t even know where Martin is, would it even be possible for him to still be following Martin at this point? Would it even be possible for him to have continued following Martin after hanging up the phone – a full two minutes after he first got out of his car and a minute and a half after he fully stops breathing heavily – unless Martin came back and revealed himself?
It was a mistake for Zimmerman to leave his car in the first place. But while the audio may not decisively prove that Zimmerman stopped following Martin when the dispatcher asked him to, it is very strong evidence that he did, especially when coupled with his testimony to police the night of the incident. But that isn’t even the point.
The point is this: With no witnesses stating that Zimmerman defied the dispatcher’s wishes and continued following Martin and no evidence to suggest he did, how did the idea that he pursued Martin after the dispatcher told him not to become a universally recognized, undisputed fact?
That it did is a testament to Al Sharpton’s ability to manipulate the media – and the media’s willingness to be manipulated.
I do believe this is the nail in the “Zimmerman is racist” coffin.
“You will recall the incident of the beating of the black homeless man Sherman Ware on December 4, 2010 by the son of a Sanford police officer. The beating sparked outrage in the community but there were very few that stepped up to do anything about it. I would presume the inaction was because of the fact that he was homeless not because he was black. Do you know the individual who stepped up when no one else in the black community would? Do you know who spent tireless hours putting flyers on the cars of persons parked in the churches of the black community? Do you know who waited for the church-goers to get out of church so that he could hand them flyers in an attempt to organize the black community against this horrible miscarriage of justice? Do you know who helped organize the City Hall meeting on January 8, 2011 at Sanford City Hall??
That person was GEORGE ZIMMERMAN.” – from a letter to Turner Clayton of the Seminole County NAACP written by “a concerned Zimmerman family member”
Last Tuesday, NBC’s Today show aired what it said was a portion of the 911 call made by George Zimmerman shortly before he fatally shot Trayvon Martin in February.
“This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black,” viewers heard Zimmerman say on the tape played by NBC.
But that’s not how the call went down, as Fox News’ Sean Hannity pointed out Thursday, while speaking with Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center.
The actual call went like this:
Zimmerman: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”
911 operator: “Okay. And this guy, is he white black or Hispanic?”
Zimmerman: “He looks black.”
Hannity asked Bozell: “They forgot the dispatcher’s question! How could NBC, in good conscience, do that?”
“This isn’t bias, this isn’t distortion, this is an all-out falsehood by NBC News,” Bozell answered.
“When you hear him say, ‘he looks black,’ anyone watching that believes that there are racial overtones to what this man did,” he added.
On Monday, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh called the edit “typical.”
“I can definitely believe NBC would doctor a tape. In fact, I expect NBC, after their investigation, to stand by this thing. You know what they’re gonna say? Well, Zimmerman said it. They didn’t put anything in that Zimmerman didn’t say. They just left out a bunch of stuff he did say, and they left out a question he was asked. But they’ll say he said it,” Limbaugh added.
Calling the edit a “100 percent distortion,” Limbaugh said NBC “had to knowingly and willingly edit the question of the dispatcher and then they had to edit Zimmerman saying he looks black right after he says he looks like he’s up to no good.”
On Saturday, Eric Wemple of the Washington Post reported that NBC said it would investigate the incident.
“We have launched an internal investigation into the editorial process surrounding this particular story,” the network said in a statement.
Limbaugh, however, wasn’t buying it.
“What is there to investigate here?” he asked. “Anybody with two ears and an IQ of 50 knows what happened here. Is the investigation of who did it? Or are they investigating if it’s wrong? What are they investigating at NBC? They’re investigating how they can get out of this. They are investigating how they can come up with a plausible explanation for this. That’s what NBC is doing.”
Incidents like this are part of the reason we refer to the so-called “mainstream media” as the “Democrat-media complex.”
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