Thanks to MSNBC, everyone knows except us: This morning, for the second straight day, the New York Times reports on the legal case involving the killing of Trayvon Martin.
Yesterday, prosecutor Angela Corey released “a trove of new documents and photographs,” Serge Kovaleski reports. Some of this material adds a great deal to the public knowledge of the facts of this case.
But good God! At the end of his news report, Kovaleski authors a truly stunning piece of “journalism.” Even from the New York Times, this is stunningly bad news judgment:
KOVALESKI (5/18/12): The reports may give rise to other mysteries as well, including the identity of a woman who called another investigator, less than two full days after the shooting.Truly, that is hard to believe, even from the Times:
The woman refused to identify herself or give any callback numbers, but told the investigator that Mr. Zimmerman “has racist ideologies and that he is fully capable of instigating a confrontation that could have escalated to the point of Zimmerman having to use deadly force.”
The police were never able to track her down.
An anonymous person called the police, making a lurid anonymous claim. Incredibly, the New York Times has now reported this anonymous person’s lurid claim, describing it as one of the “mysteries” of the case.
Anonymous claims of every description have been made in this case. But then, lurid and/or crackpot claims are made by anonymous people in every high-profile case. And guess what?
By the norms of journalism, newspapers don’t report them! But this morning, the New York Times does.
The Times is truly astounding. On Monday, an important new fact became known; George Zimmerman did sustain a broken nose in his confrontation with Martin. Anyone who has followed this case will know that this has been a key point of contention, with hustlers on MSNBC insisting that this couldn’t have happened.
This week, the truth emerged—and the New York Times slipped this fact by its readers in a parenthetical remark in paragraph 27 of yesterday’s lengthy report (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/17/12). By way of contrast, it devotes three paragraphs today to a lurid anonymous claim.
Your lizard brain will urge you to defend this conduct. Your lizard brain will be wrong.
Several other points stand out in this morning’s report. Incredibly, Kovaleski includes a fact which cuts in Zimmerman’s favor. According to police reports, Tracy Martin, Trayvon’s father, said the voice crying for help on the audiotapes wasn’t the voice of his son.
(This doesn't mean he was right, of course. But the Martin camp has repeatedly said that Trayvon's mother said it was her son's voice. The father's apparent reaction went down the memory hole.)
On the other hand, Kovaleski offers the following account of the confrontation which resulted in Trayvon Martin’s death. As journalism, this is almost as bad as his report of that lurid anonymous claim:
KOVALESKI: [Trayvon] Martin had been visiting other residents of the complex and had been out that rainy evening to go to a nearby store. He was returning with some iced tea and a bag of Skittles when Mr. Zimmerman saw him and considered him suspicious.As everyone knows, the events leading up to that confrontation lie at the heart of this case. In the highlighted passage, Kovaleski ignores Zimmerman’s account of these events. (Zimmerman says he was returning to his car when Martin confronted him. We have no idea if that’s true.)
Mr. Zimmerman called the police before leaving his vehicle and pursuing Mr. Martin. The confrontation then occurred.
Kovaleski finds time to mention the (irrelevant) iced tea and Skittles, but he fails to explain the various accounts of the key confrontation. In his account, the blame for the confrontation seems to rest quite directly with Zimmerman. At some point, someone at the Times may have seen this problem. This account, from our hard-copy Times, has been improved on-line—has been made more impartial.
What actually happened that night? Slowly, some facts are emerging. But at our greatest American newspaper, Kovaleski included a lurid anonymous claim in this morning's report—and he still hasn’t gotten around to describing Zimmerman’s injuries, which have now been documented.
Just a guess: There isn’t another news org in America which will report that lurid anonymous claim. No one plays games like the New York Times does. They’ve been like this for some time now.
MSNBC clams once again: Last night, this new information was all over cable—except at MSNBC.
Night after night, week after week, MSNBC spread reams of disinformation about this tragic case. They toyed and played with race; they toyed and played with life and death itself. One small example, of many: The disgraceful hustlers at this channel kept insisting that Zimmerman couldn’t have sustained a broken nose that night. Now, when the actual fact emerges, this horrible channel keeps quiet.
If you get your news from MSNBC, you still haven’t heard about the broken nose. Last night, you didn’t hear about the “trove of new documents” at all! You haven’t been shown the various photos showing the injuries to the back of Zimmerman’s head. For weeks, MSNBC kept telling you there were none!
MSNBC has disgraced itself with respect to this case. Right from its hustler Rhodes Scholar on down, this channel should be made to explain its ridiculous conduct. Who knows? Maybe Howard Kurtz can get off his big fat ascot this Sunday and discuss this rolling disgrace.
Don't hold your breath!
This week, MSNBC has continued its horrible conduct. We liberals! Everyone gets to learn the facts! Everyone except us!