Trayvon Shooting: Media Fail Roundup

There’s been so much media malfeasance in the Trayvon Martin shooting case that it’s hard to keep track of it all.

Here’s a roundup of some of the top media misses. 


NBC selectively edited George Zimmerman’s 911 call to make him appear racist. NBC heard about the story after everyone, they claim:

Sources at the network told Reuters on Thursday that NBC News executives did not know the emergency call was misleadingly edited until news reports surfaced days later on blogs including and 

So, there’s that. And you’re welcome, NBC. They also apparently fired someone but said that the editing was "a mistake"--yet we don’t know who they fired, and we don’t know how it was a mistake. 

CNN’s Racist Audio Fiasco 

The CNN show Anderson Cooper 360 ran a report on March 21st that showed, with a dramatic technological flourish, that George Zimmerman had muttered a racial epithet under his breath as he pursued Trayvon Martin. That was the main piece of actual evidence of racism in the story.

Except, a week later CNN had another expert on who said that Zimmerman didn’t say ‘coon,’ but said ‘cold’ instead. Except, then an expert said the word was ‘punks’, not ‘cold.  And now what does CNN say?

Sometimes we hear what we want to hear.

Yeah. Thanks, CNN. 

The Pictures 

This is a shameless, ongoing scandal that is so omnipresent that it doesn’t even feel like scandal--virtually every network and print outlet out there has used photos of Trayvon Marin that don’t accurately reflect how he looked at the time of the incident. Instead, we get photos supplied by the family’s attorney that gave many people the wrong impression that a young boy was shot. Why not show the 17 year Trayvon Martin? 

The 13 Year Old Witness 

One of the eyewitnesses to the event surrounding the shooting was a 13-year-old and because he is a minor, a few things happened. First, the 13-year-old’s mom seemed to complain that the witness had been ‘led’ by the police to say what the other witness said--that Trayvon Martin was on top of someone in a red jacket (like George Zimmerman was wearing) and beating him as he lay on the ground. That’s not especially popular testimony with some people, of course. Then the really weird part happened. The press actually released the name of the 13 year old. So, no pressure there. 

MSNBC & Al Sharpton Claim Trayvon’s Body Was In Morgue For Three Days Before Parents Were Informed 

On his awkward and awkwardly named MSNBC show PoliticsNation, the Reverend Al Sharpton complained with disgust about how both Trayvon and Trayvon’s parents were treated. And The Huffington Post did nothing to correct that perception when it reported:

Sharpton also expressed his disgust over the fact that Martin's body laid in the examiner's office for three days before his parents were contacted. “All they had to do was pick up the phone,” he said. “How do you leave this kid in the room like he’s a worthless piece of meat?”

Except, as this video shows, Trayvon’s father knew the next day. One delay was that Trayvon wasn’t carrying ID so it took a few hours but not even remotely close to three days. No retraction from Sharpton or The Huffington Post, either. 

Anything Related To Al Sharpton

He hosts a show at MSNBC and he’s been so blatantly wrong on so many issues, it would take a whole article just to list them--and by the time that article was written, he would have probably been wrong a few more times. He couldn’t even pronounce "Skittles" correctly, repeatedly calling them Skillets in his initial report.

But Reuters reports that NBC News President Steve Capus isn’t bothered by the Rev. Al’s performance.

Reverend Sharpton is a talk show host on MSNBC…We believe there’s a distinction between the role he plays and our front line journalists who are part of NBC’s news gathering and reporting. This is a large news organization that has many people involved in any number of different aspects of coverage and commentary. That’s the distinction we’ve made as a news organization.

How has that worked out for you, Steven? Hang your head, NBC. Hang your head down low.


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