Big journalists cling to their Standard Group Tales!

WEDNESDAY, JULY 17, 2013

Andrew Rosenthal’s all-time classic groaner: Incredibly enough, Andrew Rosenthal is the editor of the New York Times editorial page.

Also, he may be the dumbest journalist on the planet. Consider what happened on April 2, 2012, when the Times published a 4800-word account of the killing of Trayvon Martin.

The story was still new to most readers. In its lengthy, detailed report, the Times presented a boatload of new information. Among other things, it established the time-line for George Zimmerman’s phone call to the police dispatcher shortly before Martin died.

For the relevant text from the Times report, just see yesterday's post.

It was clear from the Times report that Zimmerman got out of his car that fateful night before the dispatcher asked him if he was following Martin. The Times report made it perfectly clear:

When the dispatcher said, “We don’t need you to do that,” Zimmerman was already out of his car, following Martin on foot.

That’s what the new reporting showed—unless you were Andrew Rosenthal or one of his unfortunate readers. Boasting about the detailed report, he wrote this on his Editor's Blog:
ROSENTHAL (4/2/12): Today, The Times offered perhaps the most detailed account yet of what we do know, and it's not much: Mr. Martin, a young black man, was walking to the home where he was staying with his father in a gated community when he was spotted by neighborhood watch volunteer turned vigilante George Zimmerman. Mr. Zimmerman claims Mr. Martin looked suspicious (after all, he was wearing a hoodie and he was black). So against the advice of the 911 dispatcher he got out of his car, pursued Mr. Martin, and the two began throwing punches. After a few minutes of 911 calls by frantic neighbors there was a gunshot and Mr. Martin was dead.
Try to ignore all silly name-calling, which was already standard. Try to ignore the braindead snark.

Ignore the highly imaginative claim, “And the two began throwing punches.”

That whole paragraph is journalistic porn. But here’s the part we were stunned by: Even after reading the detailed report he was bragging about, Rosenthal continued to sing that pleasing old song:

“So against the advice of the 911 dispatcher he got out of his car.”

In fact, that was one of the standard claims the new report debunked. But Rosenthal loved the story so much that he just kept typing it up the way he always had.

Who knows? Maybe he didn’t read the report. Or maybe it didn’t compute.

Rosenthal, a legacy hire, may be the dumbest man on the planet. He captures the soul of our “mainstream press” in this age of Society Down.

104 comments:

  1. Tampa Bay Times versus the race machine

    Did the teenager's race have anything to do with the initial decision not to charge Zimmerman?

    If Zimmerman had been black, would authorities in Sanford have been so quick to accept his claim of self-defense? Are black defendants less likely to walk free than people of other races in "stand your ground" cases?

    The Times analysis found no obvious bias in how black defendants have been treated:

    • Whites who invoked the law were charged at the same rate as blacks.

    • Whites who went to trial were convicted at the same rate as blacks.

    • In mixed-race cases involving fatalities, the outcomes were similar. Four of the five blacks who killed a white went free; five of the six whites who killed a black went free.

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    1. You crackers and your "statistics."

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    2. "You crackers and your "statistics.'"

      These are conclusions, not statistics.

      Your head must hurt a lot most of your waking hours.

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  2. No comment from the anti-Zimmerman lynch mob should be considered unless it contains the following facts

    1. Zimmerman told the dispatcher "he looks black" when asked but wasn't sure he was, given the later exchange with the dispatcher regarding race.

    2. After that, Zimmerman reports that Trayvon initiates the chain of events by walking up to Zimmerman's car. "He's staring. Now he's coming toward me. Yup he's coming to check me out" he says "he's got his hands in his waistband. He's a black male."

    3. Four minutes elapsed, with Zimmerman on the phone for the first two. Trayvon did not run off or go home or call 911. He conversed with Rachel Jeantel and hung around in the darkness. Meanwhile, Zimmerman expressed his fearfulness to the dispatcher. "I don't want to give out my address I don't know where this kid is"

    4. Zimmerman's flashlight was dropped, found still "on", at the location of the T where he says the fight started.

    5. Travyon beat Zimmerman's head against the sidewalk and broke his nose prior to the shooting.

    6. Zimmerman's statements to police matched the statements by eyewitnesses and content of other witness call to 911, but he had no idea what that witness evidence would show.

    No comment should be considered that deliberately ignores those facts.





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    1. There was probably nothing more disgraceful than how the media-- especially MSNBC -- made it look like Z. had pigeonholed the guy as being Black. When in fact he was asked-- he did not initiate the conversation.

      And note that the phone call alone to 911 is exculpatory as well-- vigilantes don't call 911!

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    2. Goddamn racist facts.
      Goddamn racist commenters.
      Goddamn racist Somerby who won't shut up about his supposedly exculpatory Baltimore teaching.





      God bless you all.

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    3. Anon@149: whatever you say, Bob,. It's your blog.

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    4. Yup if a "person" seems to agree with Bob, they must BE Somerby. You've got the scoop, Scoots!

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    5. This persuasive, but I guess the post answers the question of the thundering hoards repeating that Zimmerman was told to stay in his car. That would be one guy, sort of, at The New York Times.

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    6. Well, that one guy at NYT. And some other folks at NYT. And some people at the WaPo. And some others on the interwebs (you've heard of that stuff, right Greg?). And yes some folks on the teevee news. And on those cable political discussion shows.

      But other than everyone else, yes, just that one guy Greg, you goddamn idiot.

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    7. Quaker in a BasementJuly 17, 2013 at 5:15 PM

      3. Four minutes elapsed, with Zimmerman on the phone for the first two. Trayvon did not run off

      So you're saying Zimmerman lied to the police dispatcher?

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    8. Nope. TM ran initially and Z lost sight. He thought TM was "gone" and that the asshole got away but the asshole wasn't trying to get away he was planning his brutal crime. Got it now?

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    9. Oh I see, it was a lot of "guys." I guess they were all to clever to leave quotes you could site or link to. Anom, I guess, just like you, loser.

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    10. Scott Pelley on the CBS News national evening broadcast and John Oliver on the Daily Show also got it wrong. They both said Zimmerman shouldn't have gotten out of his truck after being told not to.

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    11. Quaker in a BasementJuly 17, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      @Anon 5:22 (Don't any of you people have names?) First Martin "did not run off" but he also "ran initially."

      Please make sense.

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    12. Thank you Anom. That still falls short of the overwelming throng claimed by the Daily Howler.

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    13. No one characterizing believers of the opposing view to the pro-Zimmerman believers as a "lynch mob" should be given any credence at all, and that includes Harvard Bob if that's the level he's stooping to.

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    14. Greg,

      No matter how frequent and how prominent the voices repeating falsely that "Zimmerman should have stayed in his car when he was told to" are be shown to be, you don't apologize for your stupidity in saying it's just "one guy, sort of."

      The important thing for you: the one guy with the little voice who is calling them out for it should just shut up about it already.

      You are an asshole, Greg.

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    15. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    16. Five minutes ago I was watching a video of MSNBC analyst Joe Fahy talking about the Z. trial jury selection.

      Tragically, Mr. Fahy has committed suicide, and I wanted to my refresh my memory of him.

      In that video, an NBC reporter said that Zimmerman had disobeyed the dispatcher. Nothing at all about Zimmerman claiming otherwise.

      That was and remains the most prevalent media version of the story.

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_jB2421l7Og&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D_jB2421l7Og

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  3. "As Mr. Martin’s father was told, Mr. Zimmerman “had a squeaky-clean record, a license to carry a weapon and is studying criminal justice.”

    If that's actually what they said, and maybe it isn't, they should be ashamed. "Studying criminal justice".

    Good Lord.

    Compounded by the fact that the state then had to get the "studying criminal justice" evidence in, and it was a bit of a toss-up whether it was coming in at all.

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    1. Zimmerman had "a squeaky clean record". Except for his former girlfriend asking for a protective order.

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    2. Don't forget he asked for one against her too.

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    3. Plus his arrest for resisting police officers with violence.
      WTF does this guy have to do before he's restricted from possessing a gun?
      (A question to the general audience here, the government, and the NRA).

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    4. "his [Zimmerman's] arrest"

      Charges dropped.

      So no, there's nothing in Zimmerman's pre-Martin past that would've been able to be used to restrict him form possessing a gun, unless that same standard would prevent just about everyone from owning a gun.

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  4. "But Trayvon was a teenager, not an angel. In his last year at his high school in north Miami-Dade County, he had received three suspensions — for tardiness, for graffiti and, most recently, for having a baggie with a trace of marijuana in his backpack."

    So the "suspended for fighting" was a lie? I had read those three initially, but then I kept seeing he was suspended for "fighting."

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    1. Do a little research and you'll find the story behind the suspension for "graffiti and marijuana" and how a burglarized home and stolen jewelry in Trayvon's backpack and fighting figure in.

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    2. I saw that. Because it wasn't remotely what you're portraying here, I think I'll pass on re-reading the "research", thanks.

      I'm unclear on one thing, though. Why is it so important to portray to the 17 year old as a criminal? Because that justifies Zimmerman in following him, and initiating the chain the events?

      If you really believed the crucial event was the altercation, not the "following", why then so important to portray the kid as a criminal? Because George Zimmerman has to be RIGHT about him when he profiled and followed him? It suggest there's culpability for "following" that you're not acknowleging.

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    3. No it's necessary because it lends credibility to the fact that Trayvon hid and waited for four minutes and then attacked Zimmerman.

      Not that you need it with the four minutes themselves

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    4. It also explains what Trayvon was doing when Zimmerman thought he was behaving suspiciously. In the absence, people think Trayvon was just walking down the sidewalk eating skittles and drinking ice tea, talking to his friend on a cell phone. That isn't suspicious behavior, but the lurking in the rain to case a home or smoke some pot is.

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    5. "That isn't suspicious behavior, but the lurking in the rain to case a home or smoke some pot is."

      Not disagreeing with the premise, but it's sheer speculation, which is a more polite way of saying that you're making shit up to fit your favored narrative.

      Do you drive the clown car or are you just a passenger?

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  5. One thing that's also being left out in the news stories was that this was NOT a stand-your-ground case.

    Because it was simple self-defense, this acquittal could have occurred in most every state of the union, if you had the proper gun permits. If someone jumps you and bangs your head into the ground you can shoot them if it's your only alternative.

    But the 'media liberals' keep harping about Florida.

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    1. While it was technically not a stand your ground case, the interview with Juror B37 makes it clear that Stand Your Ground did end up playing a part.

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    2. That's because it was included in the jury's instructions.

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    3. In Florida the burden of proof is on the prosecution while in many other states it is on the defense. That means Zimmerman might have had a harder time getting an acquittal in other states because he would have had to prove it was self-defense, rather than leaving it to the state to prove it was not self-defense, as Florida requires.

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    4. Anonymous on 7/17/13 @ 6:36P,

      no, No, NO. In every state and federal criminal court the burden of proof for every element of a crime charged sits with the prosecution to the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. Repeat it: every element of every crime charged in every court.

      Most states, if not all, allow a defendant to assert an affirmative defense of justification, which includes self-defense. Such an assertion shifts the burdens of both proof and production to the defense by a lower standard, preponderance of the evidence. For acquittal.

      That means that in any state in the Union, Zimmerman could have asserted self-defense, and if the jury believed it more likely than not that he acted in self-defense, they would have been directed to acquit. On the other hand, if the jury didn't buy his defense, if they thought it more likely than not that he wasn't justified in his claim of self-defense, then they still would have been directed to acquit if they believed there was reasonable doubt that he didn't act in self-defense.

      Defendants get two swings -- once for an assertion of an affirmative defense, bearing a lighter burden of proof and once to poke holes in the case presented by the prosecution which bears a heavier burden of proof.

      (Actually, in Florida, defendants get three swings. They can present evidence to the judge in a pre-trial hearing. If the judge buys it, the case is dismissed. If the judge doesn't, the defendant can still pitch the jury.)

      In non-SYG states, Z might have had a harder time getting an acquittal because self-defense requires showing that retreat was impossible.

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  6. "If someone jumps you and bangs your head into the ground you can shoot them if it's your only alternative."

    Hey, Bob. You ever going to get around to addressing this favored narrative, straight out of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News?

    Didn't think so.

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    Replies
    1. Is there something incorrect about the quoted sentence itself? Or do you take issue with its relevance to the Martin situation?

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    2. Fair questions, Bob.

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    3. Yup if a "person" seems to agree with Bob, they must BE Somerby. You've got the scoop, Scoots!

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    4. Marcus, I am saying I have trouble with Zimmerman's story that he managed to pull a gun while getting his head beat into the sidewalk, and not requiring even a Band-Aid later.

      You obviously don't. Fine. We both believe what we choose to believe,

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    5. Anon 3:38,

      Do you believe it was a racist attack? One of them used a racial slur.

      Or is the Band-Aid story compelling enough to switch the racism?

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    6. "if a person seems to agree with Bob"

      seems - you definitely sound like Bob.

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    7. Anon 3:38 - Again, so you are one of the people with the opinion that there must be a certain threshold of physical damage before self defense can be used? Should Zimmerman have waited until he was sure he could feel a skull fracture? Brain matter leakage? What is the legal threshold? Do I have to wait to be shot by someone who ambushed me with a gun, and then make sure the gunshot hit a major organ before I defend myself with deadly force?

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    8. Marcus: are you purposefully obtuse or is that just how you roll?

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    9. Anon 8:15 - I have no idea if you're the same Anon that I replied to prior, as you are too stupid to use the name/url function (which still provides you with anonymity), but if you are then I'd say it's laughable how you resort to ad hominems instead of addressing the actual matter at hand, the reason being I can only assume is you have no leg to stand on and you know it. I am arguing in good faith - you, not so much.

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    10. Marcus: you're not laughing.

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  7. Here's a thought. Bob Somerby is no better than any other "media" source milking this tragedy for all the ratings/hit points he can get, days after the verdict.

    And as far as him making claims toward some high-minded advancement of the "american discourse" well, just look at the "discourse" he has generated.

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    Replies
    1. His tip jar overfloweth.

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    2. Yeah, spreading bullshit after the verdict is definitely "no better than" debunking that bullshit.

      If you're a moron.

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    3. Here's a thought. Look at all the advertising on this blog. Bob must be rolling in the dough.

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    4. I obviously typo'd that. Does that make your point valid, though?

      Only if you're a moron.

      "Yeah, debunking bullshit spread after the verdict is definitely "no better than" spreading that bullshit.

      If you're a moron." ENJOY!

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    5. If there's one thing this story has never lacked, it's bullshit. From all sides.

      Funny how Bob apparently believes that there is but one side that requires "debunking."


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    6. "Funny how Bob apparently believes that there is but one side that requires "debunking.""

      You are entirely free to correct that, here in your comments!

      Debunk away!

      Take "the other side." What has the press been saying that requires "debunking?"

      Don't be shy, little doggie.

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    7. I think that's because only one side has been using lies to try to send someone to jail for a long time. That is much more disgraceful than promoting reasonable doubt.

      Or do you think Z is a serial killer?

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    8. So now the state had to prove good ol' "z" to be a serial killer?

      Brilliant.

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    9. Right, 4:26. After all, Bob has written only four posts on this today, and God only knows how many since the verdict.

      I'm sure if we both keep discussing this on TDH, one of us will change our minds.

      Meanwhile, do you even realize how Bob is playing us all for fools? I sure do.

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    10. This is all the sorry lynch mob has left

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    11. "Lynch mob" - that's rich. Straight out of the Rush playbook.

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    12. Anon@340: Not much of a thought.

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    13. Yes, that's all they have left -- to be fair that's been a favored MO of the anti-Somerby's to begin with, in this incident and in just about all others:

      The lone guy correcting misstatements should just shut up and let it drop, even if the folks with the far-reaching media platforms keep making the misstatements.

      Otherwise he's "no better" than they are.

      To be "better" than they are, the little guy should shut up and let the big guys keep on making their misstatements uncorrected, otherwise he'll be accused of "just being jealous" of their larger platform.

      Whatever the irrational premise, the conclusion is the same: the misstatements, however long they continue, must not be corrected!

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    14. The irrational premise of that conclusion is that any potential comfort given to the people I hate is far and away worse than the deed you are condemning.

      The Internet is full of such people. You can only hope that they use a different sort of moral compass when it comes to the people they can hear, see, and touch.

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  8. "Also, he [Rosenthal] may be the dumbest journalist on the planet."

    Despite the weasel-word "may" being used, you are dead wrong: Dana Milbank is, hands down, the dumbest journalist on the planet.

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  9. "One thing that's also being left out in the news stories was that this was NOT a stand-your-ground case."

    This is nonsense, and Zimmerman supporters have been repeating it for months. The county prosecutor relied on SYG for the decision not to pursue charges or investigate properly. The jury instructions included SYG, language. The juror obviously relied on whatever her perceptions were of SYG, because she said so.

    SYG influenced this thing from beginning to end.

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    1. The prosecutor didn't choose not to prosecute because of SYG, they chose not to prosecute because all the evidence supported Z's story of self-defense. Even if it had, it would be irrelevant since they eventually did prosecute due to political pressure.

      The jury instructions included the words "stand [your] ground", but it was just a typical self-defense instruction and had nothing to do with the actual Stand Your Ground law that so many retards are shitting their pants about.

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    2. Agreed-- I'm the one who made the original point about the fact that this acquittal would have occurred anywhere else, because it was a simple self-defense case.

      When I first heard the news I was solidly anti-Zimmerman. But now as the story gets explored I'm amazed that the media has stuck to their original tale, that this is 'stand your ground' country. SYG had nothing to do with this case, this incident, the trial, or the jury's verdict. That one lone juror factored it in (to the instant rebuttal of her peers, btw) means nothing.

      So why Maddow and Company keep harping about SYG is baffling. They're either intellectually lazy, or plain dishonest. I'm glad Somerby's pursuing this issue-- it's right up his alley too about the corporate liberals always pandering to their rubes.

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  10. We were told by the liberal media that we had a sacrifice. A redneck, no less, that would cleanse us of all of our guilt when we flung him into the mouth of the volcano. But then our court system interrupted everything, and just like at the end of the Holy Grail, told everybody to go home.

    >sigh<

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  11. Martin is dead. Zimmerman killed him.
    Bob, reading the comments I am starting to think that Martin is the Florida equivalent of Pol Pot.
    Evilous punk. Walking the streets at 7 o'clock at night? In a hoodie? What?
    How dare he fear a stranger following him, first in a car, then on foot?
    Tardiness! Graffiti! Traces of marijuana in his book bag! Kill him!
    No other teenager has ever been suspended for these offenses. Not in Florida. Surely never in Idaho.
    It was God's will that Zimmerman (Zimmerman says...) killed him.
    But Rosenthal (a legacy hire) wrote something not true. So let us focus on that. Ignore the elephant in the room:
    Martin is dead. Zimmerman killed him

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    1. And don't forget the latest gem. Trayvon and his girlfriend are just crazy, mixed up kids who do stupid things, just like the Boston Marathon bomber.

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    2. You'll be found stupid again when what is already available plus more makes its way to your uninformed low information world, and you'll probably only see it here

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    3. What is this country coming to when a kid can't walk home from 7-11 at night and bash some cracker's head against the concrete anymore?

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    4. Martin is dead. Zimmerman killed him.
      Dispute that.
      Don't justify the killing.
      Does Martin have any rights?
      Any?

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    5. Actually yes, the killing was justified, legally. Don't whupp asssssss on a cracker just because you feel dissed. That cracker may be packin...

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    6. I'll ask again. Does Martin have ANY rights?

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    7. He doesn't have the right to commit brutal hate crimes, no. Good thing that poor cracker was armed.

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    8. Brutal hate crimes?
      That left him dead?
      Inflicting wounds so severe that they needed band-aids to patch?
      Wow.
      Walking home at 7PM. Followed by a stranger. First in a car, then on foot.
      Let me commit a hate crime.
      Jesus Christ.
      Surely you can do better than that.

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    9. Cmon, listen to your better angels - don't defend a racist and homophobic beatdown.

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    10. My "better angels" tell me to advise non-white Americans to get themselves a gun.
      The loudest calls for gun control occurred when Malcolm suggested the same.
      I wonder why.

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    11. Guess we've finished the rational discussion.

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    12. Non-white Americans getting a gun? Irrational.

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    13. Zimmerman is a non-white American

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    14. Anon@527: who dresses you each morning?

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    15. Anonymous who asks whether Martin has (had, sadly) any rights. Yes:

      Martin had the right to be in a public place, the same as Zimmerman.

      Martin had the right to confront Zimmerman in a public place as long as he didn't threaten or assault Zimmerman.

      Martin had the right to defend himself in any physical altercation with Zimmerman. If Zimmerman provoked the fight, then Martin had the right to use lethal force to defend himself if he felt in reasonable fear for his life and safety.

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    16. What if Martin provoked the fight? Z. has no right to defend himself?

      The answer to this is apparently "yes."

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    17. "What if Martin provoked the fight? Z. has no right to defend himself?

      The answer to this is apparently "yes.""

      Well, except for the jurors, who effectively acknowledged that right when they said "We can't agree that Zimmerman didn't act in self-defense. Therefore we find him Not Guilty."

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    18. If Martin had provoked the fight, the same rules would apply to him. He would have had the right to defend himself, but not with lethal force.

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  12. Trayvon didn't fear Zimmerman. 4 long minutes to make it 80 yards.

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    1. I'm sure Trayvon told you that.

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    2. Tryvon didn't have to tell Anon@528 that, since Anon@528 can read the minds of dead people. It's these "gifted" people that are now attracted to this blog and whom Bob hopes will fill up his tip jar.

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  13. Mothers, teach your children not to hate. A young man tragically lost his life because he gave in to the racism and homophobia of his community.

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    1. Nothing like racism and homophobia in "his" community.
      In "his" community.
      Mothers (i.e. in the black community) teach your children not to hate. Allrighty then.
      After all other communities teach their children not to hate.

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  14. If you care about black children, IMHO you ought to focus on why Trayvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman and how to change the culture so that young black men won't make that sort of attack. The killing of a black person by a white person is relatively rare. You shouldn't focus on it so much that you ignore the thousands of blacks killed each year by other blacks.

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    1. The problem is that no one except crazy conservatives will even admit that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman. It's like if one side says something, the other side has to say the opposite just because.

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    2. "The killing of a black person by a white person is relatively rare."

      Cites please.

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    3. each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered and 94 percent of the time the murderer is another black person.

      Read more: http://globalgrind.com/news/7000-black-people-murdered-each-year-other-blacks-details#ixzz2ZLivobas

      That's 420 murders of blacks by whites, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans vs. 6,580 murders of blacks by other blacks.

      Also, just from general news, I believe the great majority of the 420 murders by non-blacks are clear-cut crimes, rather than self-defense cases.

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    4. "If you care about black children, IMHO you ought to focus on why Trayvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman and how to change the culture so that young black men won't make that sort of attack."

      That's difficult to do when so many are jumping all over themselves to defend Trayvon's attack.

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    5. Nice try: however, this is one BIG non-sequitur. For a trained statistical analyst, this is a pathetic response.

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    6. DAinCA,

      I stand in awe of your compassionate and reasonable lecture to the black community. I'm sure the black community stands with me in appreciating your declaration.

      But consider that we don't know why Martin attacked Zimmerman. If Zimmerman provoked a fight, then Martin was within his rights to defend himself, and Zimmerman had no legal right to kill Martin. This is independent of how many black people kill other black people.

      This isn't to say that Martin wasn't the instigator. But it's just your narrative that he was, and that explains why my statement about the black community's appreciation of you is a lie.

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