CNN Fans the Flames of Zimmerman Verdict
CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley assessed George Zimmerman's acquittal on Sunday morning--and featured guests who were overwhelmingly critical of the verdict and skeptical of Zimmerman's case.
NAACP President Ben Jealous, who confirmed that his organization was appealing to the Department of Justice to bring civil rights charges against Zimmerman, falsely claimed that all protests supporting shooting victim Trayvon Martin had been peaceful across the nation. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, supported Jealous's campaign for a federal civil rights prosecution.
Crowley also interviewed legal experts on the program, including a defense lawyer who opined that the case against Zimmerman should, indeed, have been brought and that Zimmerman might have been found guilty in another state. Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) declined to criticize the decision to prosecute, saying that both sides had made "thoughtful" cases, though he added he believed the courts proved themselves "colorblind."
The tilt of the program was not just a result of guests' comments, but Crowley's questions. In interviewing Gov. Pat Quinn (D-IL), Crowley asked: "Do you think the American justice system is innately racist?"
In 2012, CNN had helped fan the flames of public outrage against Zimmerman by reporting that he had used the phrase "f***ing coons" on a recorded 911 call. The network was later forced to retract the false claim.