Variety on Zimmerman Coverage: Blitzer 'Empty-Headed,' Grace 'Toxic Avenger'
Variety TV Critic Brian Lowry blasted the news media Thursday for obsessing over the Zimmerman trial "during an especially busy stretch in the news — including the tragic death of firefighters in Arizona, turmoil in Egypt and Nelson Mandela’s failing health." Lowry mocked CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer's questions to a panel of lawyers as "empty-headed" and really lit into HLN and its star, Nancy Grace, who he described as a "toxic avenger":
Thursday’s closing argument raised the already simmering coverage toward a boil, and evoked the customary empty-headed questions from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, who kept asking a panel of lawyers to guess at what is “going to resonate with these women,” referring to the all-female jury.
Right. Because talking-head attorneys have been so accurate in predicting how juries are going to decide in the past.
Still, nothing has been more noxious than the wall-to-wall attention from HLN, the network formerly known as Headline News, whose toxic avenger, Grace, and Jane Velez-Mitchell often seem to be impersonating someone trying to project to the back of a high-school gymnasium without a microphone. HLN is so determined to stay connected to the case, it leaves photos and “GEORGE ZIMMERMAN ON TRIAL” inset in the screen even during commercial breaks.
Grace has become a poster child for this sort of overheated coverage, turning every criminal case into a trial of the century.
Lowry's criticism is unquestionably brutal, but he forgets to mention the outright journalistic malpractice CNN has committed over the course of the Zimmerman saga.
CNN Is highly invested in stoking the racial angle. As recently as this week, CNN used the term "white Hispanic" to describe Zimmerman (this keeps the phony black vs. white narrative alive), and earlier this year, the network falsely claimed audio tape proved Zimmerman had said "f**king coon," when he had really said "f**king cold."
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