MSNBC: Sweet silence!


Truly astounding misconduct: Astounding but true:

George Zimmerman wasn’t mentioned on MSNBC last week. Neither was the late Trayvon Martin, not even once.

What makes that fact so astounding? Major news broke in the Martin case on two occasions last week. This led to sprawling reports in our major news orgs.

But there wasn’t a word on MSNBC, which had produced a month of dis- and misinformation regarding this tragic case. MSNBC didn’t describe the police reports which gave the lie to its endless misstatements. The channel didn’t let liberal viewers see the photos which contradicted its hosts’ bogus claims.

In essence, these horrible, terrible, no-good pseudo-journalists continued their earlier misconduct. These are very, very bad people. But then, what else is new?

For today, consider the slanders this network pimped concerning the Sanford police, who arrived on the scene just twenty seconds after Martin was shot.

This week, we looked back through MSNBC’s reporting in just the first week of this feeding frenzy (March 19-23). Consider the slanders against the Sanford police this “news channel” was already actively pimping that week:

They didn’t even take Zimmerman’s gun: Here was Sharpton, speaking with Lawrence O’Donnell, on the third night of this month-long scam:
SHARPTON (3/21/12): What’s even more appalling, not only did they not make an arrest, they let the guy go with a gun, with the murder weapon. “You can go!” And they start becoming his defense spokesmen.


O’DONNELL: A gun like that, you want to take it over. You want to take ballistic tests on it. You want to figure out exactly what the range of fire was, how far away was this from the entrance wound. None of that’s being done.
In fact, all of that was being done. But so what? MSNBC kept pimping this bogus claim for weeks. This week, the police reports show that the gun was taken as soon as police arrived on the scene. MSNBC has made no attempt to correct its endless slander. O'Donnell minced and clowned and played with his famous show business guests.

They didn’t even take Zimmerman’s clothes: MSNBC’s hosts and guests pushed this claim for weeks. In the police reports released by Angela Corey, you can read the official reports refuting this bogus claim. (On the night of the killing, Zimmerman’s wife was told to bring a new set of clothes to the police station.)

They accepted Zimmerman’s claims on face: In the reports, you can review the evidence which tended to support Zimmerman’s account of what had happened. You can also see the reports of the ongoing collection of witness statements, a process which continued over the next four days and nights.

The police made Martin’s parents wait three days to be notified about the death of their son: In the police reports, you can see what no one disputes—Office Chris Serino informed Tracy Martin of the death of his son at 9:20 the next morning. For weeks, MSNBC hosts and guests kept inflaming a tense situation with the claim that the cracker police had diddled around for three days.

The cracker police didn’t care that Zimmerman had killed a black teen-ager: In the reports, you can see that Serino, the lead investigator, filed an official report on March 13 recommending that Zimmerman be arrested and charged with manslaughter. (The states’ attorney didn’t agree with his legal judgment.) It’s clear from his official reports that Serino suspected that Zimmerman had been driven by racial motives, to the extent that he included some inaccurate facts tilting in this direction.

There’s much more where that came from, of course. One example:

In those reports, you can also see that Serino received the official medical report of Zimmerman’s broken nose on March 9. (You can also see the police reports in which several officers say his nose seemed to be broken at the scene.) For weeks, O’Donnell and his quack assistant, Charles Blow, kept insisting there was no way Zimmerman’s nose could have been broken.

As it spread its disinformation around, MSNBC’s conduct was simply astounding. Its silence last week was equally so.

Week after week, night after night, MSNBC had mis- and disinformed its viewers about a wide of range of very serious matters. Last week, the actual facts came out—and these shameless people maintained complete silence, permitting the disinformation to stand. But then, mainstream “media critics” have also maintained a code of silence, refusing to comment on this misconduct.

For decades, this is the way this guild has worked. Tomorrow: Weigel and Kurtz


  1. "George Zimmerman wasn’t mentioned on MSNBC last week. Neither was the late Trayvon Martin, not even once."

    Yep, 11:09. The fact that MSNBC hasn't mentioned the case won't stop Bob from digging up stuff Al Sharpton said two months ago.

    Or perhaps you haven't noticed how the posts that seem to attract the most comments here seem to be the ones concerning the Trayvon Martin case, as his new found fans move over from the Free Republic to proclaim it's perfectly OK to shoot black kids for the crime of walking down the street.

    My guess is that this blog has been on a downhill slide for quite some time, and Bob has noted that his readership spikes when he talks about how MSNBC railroaded poor George Zimmerman.

    1. "Something Al Sharpton said two months ago."

      Two whole months? For real?

      If the race hustlers weren't so destructive and moronic I'd thank them for the laughs.

    2. Why is this blog constantly evaluated on quality and quantity of its commentary? Also do you really think Somerby gives a darn about readership numbers?

    3. Somerby is obviously trying hard to ingratiate himself with the MSM the comments section must kill him.

  2. And perhaps Bob should take his own advice. If he's got nothing new to add, then perhaps "sweet silence" is in order.

    But then again, we just can't get enough of how Gore lost in 2000 because of the mean things the press said about Naomi Wolf, can we? Isn't he past due for yet another post about that? Or is he too busy completing his "book" that he couldn't find a publisher for and can't seem to get around to writing. A dozen years later.

    1. Your bias and ignorance is astounding. You seem to be unable to see the forest for the trees.

      Horace Feathers

    2. Sorry to introduce an opposing point of view into your "I already know the whole truth" mindset.

      I know how disturbing it must be for you.

    3. LOL so true about his book.
      Good call.

  3. And the liberal tribe remains convinced of their basic framework as stated above

    "a black kid was shot for the crime of walking down the street"

    apparently there is still no broken nose in the incident. Or Zimmerman broke his own nose after he capped that n*gga.

    1. "after he capped that n*gga."

      Speaks for itself, doesn't it?

    2. To be fair most of the race hustling mopes aren't claiming he broke his own nose, they are claiming his father did it.

  4. I'm fairly new to this site, and not entirely sure why people are complaining about the Trayvon Martin posts. Perhaps they became emotionally invested in the case and are upset most of the evidence is going against their initial framework.
    I had high hopes for MSNBC at one point but those are long gone. And O'Donnell is the absolute worst. Personally I love these articles, keep it up!

    1. Please tell me, "Mr. Fairly New to This Site."

      Exactly how are you so privileged to know "most of the evidence" that you can make such a definitive judgment which way it is going?

      And while you are at it, please continue to read my mind and tell me what my "initial framework" was.

    2. I'm not a mind-reader, but if I had to guess, I'd say his dastardly "privilege" was (quite obviously) nothing more and nothing less than the release of new information that directly contradicts the incendiary evidence-free "initial framework" nose-stretchers promoted by O'Donnell, Blow, Sharpton, etc.

      Joe Buck (Look, it's Me!).

    3. Dude, you don't know what the evidence shows, so stop pretending you do. Christ, the hypocrisy of so many people on this site is astounding as denounce the "liberal media" for jumping to unsupported conclusions.

      But here is a rhetorical question. Were you convinced of Zimmerman's "innocence" before or after this supposed rush of "new" evidence, which is actually nothing that we didn't know three months ago?

    4. I'd be willing to wager most people who saw the photos of a 14 year old Trayvon, a fat Zimmerman in orange, heard false reports that it was Martin screaming, and never saw police reports or heard 911 calls or witness statements bought into Sharpton's latest Tawana Brawley Duke lacrosse scam.

    5. Re: Anon
      I have no idea about YOUR initial framework and make no claims of being a mind-reader. I was not making any comment to you personally. It was a new post, not a reply.
      I was referring to the initial reporting on ths story. Knowing what we know now, does this initial hysteria not seem like a perfect storm of all the media's/24hrnewscycle's worst excesses? MSNBC has been an absolute farce.

  5. Parody post on the money as usual; scroll down only if you want to see the depressing evidence.

  6. Lets all pounce upon Brad, the new guy. It will break up the pattern.

  7. Can I just jump in here to say:

    This post is about MSNBC's malfeasance in its coverage of the Martin/Zimmerman case, and that reminds me of something I've been wanting to say, because I am a blithering fool, which is that I hate it when Somerby talks about the media malfeasance in its coverage of the 2000 election?

    An Idiot

  8. I am reminded of Colbert's remark about Bush at the White House Correspondents Dinner, believing Wednesday what he believed on Monday, regardless of whatever happened on Tuesday.


      I too have been thinking back on Colbert's jibe at Bush lately. Remember when we liberals used to pleasure ourselves imagining we were so much better than those idiot red-staters because we could change our initial opinions based on things like "evidence?"

    2. Yep, it sure is one unending pleasure being a member of the self-proclaimed "reality based community," no?

  9. Astounding is the word. I hope Somerby is thinking about another book.

  10. But really, it is just an embarrassment the way Somerby wastes his platform, where he surely reaches many, many dozens of people, merely to excoriate MSNBC for its misinforming the paltry million or so viewers they reach.

    Surely the better thing for Somerby to do would be to advocate whatever *really* liberal, progressive or left goal Greg/Anonymous/bobisaracistlowercaseguy want to see.

    1. You just don't get it, Anonymous at 1:18 pm. This is important. We liberals have spent quite a bit of time, often with excellent cause, complaining at how badly the SCLM has slimed us and made us look bad by grossly misrepresenting reality. But when we, as we so often regrettably have, get caught up in our identity politics paradigm and decided we know what reality is before the facts come in and say that WE KNOW THE WHITE MEN ARE GUILTY and keep insisting it despite the evidence WHILE CALLING OTHER PEOPLE (very much including the ones who turned out to be, you know, right) RACISTS, SEXISTS, HOMOPHOBES, etc. and then fail to acknowledge error or even celebrated those who made the biggest asses of themselves (i.e. Amanda Marcotte re: Duke Lacrosse) we are telling mainstream Americans that we think they're jerks while also showing them that we really are a bunch of self-righteous, intellectually-arrogant kooks.

      In other words, my dear children, when we do this shit WE ARE HELPING REPUBLICANS!

      There, is that simple enough for you?

    2. ^^well summedarized^^

  11. For those who think that Bob's focus on MSNBC's disgraceful disinformation campaign on the Trayvon Martin matter is single minded or misplaced, imagine how you would feel, if, for example, a slew of Fox personalities had spread similar disinformation, night after night, for weeks, about a black man shooting a white man in the South, whipping the local white population into a frenzy?

    1. Was George Zimmerman "forced" to defend his life?

      From what I have read so far, he has had free choice in every respect.
      He chose to walk the streets after dark.
      He chose to carry a handgun.
      He chose to follow Trayvon Martin.

      One consequence of arming yourself is that you could inadvertently kill an innocent person. Any thoughtful, rational, responsible person would foresee this potential outcome

      If Zimmerman gave this possibility serious thought prior to the shooting, then he acted capriciously that night and must suffer whatever consequences the law visits upon him.

      If he didn't give it serious thought in advance, then he has been acting recklessly on a number of occasions, and is directly responsible for a wrongful death.

    2. gravymeister,

      I choose to be out after dark, I choose to drive a vehicle for which I'm licensed, and I choose to drive on streets with bicycle lanes. One consequence of my choices is that I might inadvertently kill an innocent bicyclist. What necessary consequences do you imagine that law will visit on me if I do kill a bicyclist?

      Zimmerman chose to carry a gun for which he had a license, to patrol a public area near his home, and to follow someone he thought was suspicious, all of which are legally permissible activities. The consequences were tragic, but how does that make Zimmerman "capricious," and how does "capriciousness" bring down the wrath of the law?

      If Zimmerman's SYG claim fails, he may yet be held responsible for the wrongful death of Martin, but I guarantee that his lack of foresight won't figure into the determination. It will his recklessness (or lack thereof) during his confrontation with Martin.

    3. Oh, I get it. The shot through the heart that killed Trayvon Martin was "inadvertant," just like running down a bicyclist at night.

    4. sorbital

      Great analogy.
      If your decided to go out every night and follow strange cyclists in your car, odds are you would eventually run over one of them.

      But you don't choose to do that, do you?

    5. The shot was inadvertent in the normal course of Zimmerman's LEGAL behavior that carries a risk of potential killing of another person under certain circumstances, just the same as running down a bicyclist at night.

    6. Anonymous on 5/24/12 @ 8:56A, gravymeister,

      OK, not a perfect analogy, but it's good enough to make a point: the law does not automatically punish people when what they're doing is permitted and tragic things happen as a consequence. Fault accrues neither through agency alone nor through "capriciousness," but from intent or negligence or recklessness. Say, because I deliberately run down a cyclist because he was in my way or because I forgot to turn my headlights on or because I chose to drive blindfolded.

      And, no, I don't choose to follow cyclists, but whether I did or not the odds are that I'd be involved in an accident every 200,000 miles that I drove. Do you think the odds make me at fault in an accident?

      gravymeister wants Zimmerman held accountable because he either didn't do enough thinking before he went on his patrol or because he did too much. In the first instance, Zimmerman apparently violated the imaginary tort of "capriciousness," and the the second, the real tort of wrongful death. But the law imposes no penalties or duties for planning and executing legal actions.

      The analysis of Zimmerman's legal culpability starts with his confrontation with Martin. As comforted as you might feel in condemning Zimmerman because he didn't do enough thinking as he started his patrol (which I suspect means that he didn't think like you), it carries no more legal weight than condemning him for being a thug or a wuss.

      I'm an agnostic when it comes to Zimmerman's guilt or liability. I just don't know what happened in the last minutes of Martin's life. But from all we've heard, I do know that Zimmerman is not legally culpable because everyone wishes he'd stayed at home that night.

  12. to: Anonymous May 23, 2012 1:18 PM (i cant open the com box under your comment)


    >>> ive never called bob somerby a racist. i have numerous times said he *may* be a trojan right winger. and i *have* called him a bigot
    ...but not a racist.

    however on the occasions ive called him a bigot, i usually have mitigated that charge by specifying that he is bigoted against americans with an irish-catholic heritage, which in america makes him a good patriot because it helps to keep order in society as there needs to be a group which defines the country (i.e. the psuedo-germanic 'wasps' and consequently those of actual germanic descent as well) who have prime legitimacy -- in this case via the wasps mother-country-english-heritage which is, wrongly, thought to be mostly germanic via the germanic tribes which took control of the island of britain (britton) (importantly not also ireland) after the romans pulled out in the 5th century.

    in fact, the english and irish (and scotts and welsh) are, according to a huge gene based research project, basically the same lot genetically despite irelands differing history of not having been taken over by either the romans or germanic tribes.

    the ancient history of it is that one of the ways the english decided to unite themselves as a distinct group was by thinking that they were different from the irish biologically. this led to institutional denigration and then widespread anti-irish prejudice in england. this *group-defining predudice* sailed to america with the founding fathers.

    so that today, if you're not anti-irish, youre not appropriately pro-mother country and therefore also not sufficiently venerative of the founding fathers and therefore unpatriotic. . . . thats the root of it, but of course it is manifested differently by various factions who rationalize their anti-irish bigotry in sundry ways. but it all leads back to the 5th century britton.

    “Saxons, Vikings and Celts: the Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland” by Bryan Sykes or “Origins of the British” by Stephen Oppenheimer.

    1. lowercaseguy's casemanagerMay 23, 2012 at 4:07 PM


      lowercaseguy needs help, badly

    2. whoops, i slipped into saying "anti-irish" when i meant "anti-americans-who-have-an irish-catholic-heritage".

    3. So Bob Somerby is a self-hating Irishman? Good lord the internet is a strange place.

    4. first hes american, not irish. irish implies being born and raised in ireland, just as english implies being born and raised in england.

      but he wouldnt be the first self-hating type to go against his own "group", or in this case a so-called group. its particularly easy to get away with against a group which is hardly a real group anymore like americans with irish-catholic heritage who no longer socially cohere very well.

      that said, ive never heard of somebody refering to their "irish aunts" as a way of representing as somerby has. i had an english aunt but my parents and all my known blood ancestors were born and raised in ireland and catholic.

      cacambo says: "Good lord the internet is a strange place."

      >>> what is particularly strange to me is someone saying hes a liberal but who doesnt seem to want his side, or his supposed side, to do what has been proven necessary to win.

    5. "what is particularly strange to me is someone saying hes a liberal but who doesnt seem to want his side, or his supposed side, to do what has been proven necessary to win."

      Yup, lying about politics and ginning up racial tensions while persecuting innocent people are just good ol' solid liberal values.

    6. "Yup, lying about politics and ginning up racial tensions while persecuting innocent people are just good ol' solid liberal values."

      >>> this goes to a critical political dynamic which favors the gop right now.

      ive only made one comment on the martin/zimmerman story as i havnt been following it very close, so i dont know, but lets say youre correct that it eventually turns out that msnbc got this particular story wrong. . . . on the typical fact-based left, the typical reaction to this kind of thing is “omgomgomg!!!, we were *wrong*!!! all is lost!!!”, whereas on the cause-based right, where they routinely get their facts wrong, the reaction would me more like, “no biggee, tomorrows another day.”

      somerbys whole purpose seems to be to perpetuate the misguided attitude of the left.

      the right is in a fight and the 'left' typically is sitting for finals. the right understands the political system demands perpetual politicking or fighting while the (cultural or new left in particular)'left' doesnt get it.

      but i have seen signs that msnbc has good political instincts and will, like the right media does routinely, just shrug mistakes off and politick on. (*assuming* they even did get this particular story wrong)

    7. This is my favorite kind of left self-stroking disguised as self-criticism: "We're just too scrupulous and moral!"

    8. no self stroking here.

      yes, "We're just too scrupulous and moral!" on the surface, but under that rationalization lies a meekness preventing a vigorous symmetrical fight because much of the so called left of today doesnt wish to engage the germanic and pseudo-germanic (wasps) factions anchoring the gop. much of the current day 'left' are too meek to stand up to the sons and daughters of the founding fathers i.e. the pseudo-germanic wasps and their supposed ethnic twins, the true ethnic germans.

      meekness is not a compliment especially in the context of facing an adversary on the ground whose main purpose is to, one way or another, eliminate from the country all political and cultural influences from anyone who they believe isnt one of them ethnically/religiously.

    9. the patriotic bigotry against americans with an irish catholic heritage is a factor here as well.

      since the new or cultural 'left' have taken over since the seventies there has been less and less fight back from the 'left' against the wasps and their supposed true ethnic germanic twins, in part because there no longer are the northern irish big city bosses heavily influencing presidential selection and platform anywhere near to the extent that they used to.

      the old-left northern big city irish-catholic-american heavily influenced democratic party knew they were going to be hated no matter what, so they had better fight. but the the new 'left' wants to dodge the fight by trying to say "look we hate the irish-catholic-americans too! please accept us you germanic-americans and wasp-americans."

      well they/we are not being accepted.

    10. see 'why the democrats are blue' by mark stricherz to see how the power shifted on the left from the seventies on. i dont agree with everything in it but the nitty gritty of the shift is explained in exhaustive detail, if rather dryly.

  13. Even with MSNBC's perpetual lousy ratings and dubious credentials for standing for leftish values, I'm afraid their bad behavior here does cast a shadow over our entire tribe. To a highly limited but still palpable extent, I too was suckered, and I wouldn't watch MSNBC if you paid me. Well, it would have to be at least 15 bucks an hour. This is true no matter what comes out at the trial.
    As you don't have to be Marshall McCluhan to figure out, the purpose of these shows is to make money and the easiest way to do it to find the blind spots of their viewers and scream. As the Daily Howler tends NOT to point out, this has proven much harder to do with people on the left than on the right.

    But this time, it wasn't just MSNBC. Joan Walsh has some explaining to do. Worst of all was Bill Maher, who nonetheless seems to be enjoying his lifetime pass from TDH.

  14. Greg says:

    >>>...the purpose of these shows is to make money and the easiest way to do it to find the blind spots of their viewers and scream.<<<

    You seem to be suggesting that MSNBC, for instance, is trying to maximize the size of its audience. If that were true then why did that particular cable news corporate subsidiary jettison Phil Donahue and Cenk Uygur at moments when the ratings of those hosts were on the rise?

    Don't you think there are some other significant factors at play here that are determining what MSNBC and other corporate infotainment subsidiaries are presenting to the public as Main Stream Media news?

  15. Well, Bob, from the sound of the above, it would appear you've finally succeeded in refining your audience: you've got REAL pseudo-liberals arguing your case for you, in ever greater numbers, with Braintree and the "I'm an Idiot Guy" apparently pretending to be liberals, or arguing in the voice of what they think are liberals, and offering their daily parodies, conscious and unconscious.

    In any event, this blog has had such a strong and measurable affect on corporate media -- now that it's finally conceding that corporate interests actually have something to do with the national discourse -- that you must be doing something right. If not, at least you'll have, in our culture wars, a supportive readership of like-minded Howlers to fall back on. Braintree, Sherrlock (where art thou, Sherrlock?), the Idiot Guy, the Shorter Anonymous guy, David in Cal -- they love you!

    What you need to do now is convince yourself that your pursuits are Messianic, that you're deeply misunderstood and/or unappreciated by those "fiery liberals" and that somehow every other "liberal" "fiery liberal", "pseudo-liberal", "mainstream liberal" (have I exhausted your list?) is wrong about your critical method, while your new fans lap, lap, lap it up.

    Anyway, the 45 year old Kennedy diddled a young woman and you presume that every liberal loves Kennedy, so we're not better than the other tribe! That's all anyway needs to now!

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