One of the first polls is out involving the trial of George Zimmerman, the man acquitted in the fatal shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin, and what it shows is a dramatic lack of interest among the public. Only 26% of the public followed the trial “very closely,” which ranks it below various developments in media stories that swirled around O.J. Simpson, Rodney King, Henry Gates, and Amadou Diallo.
A full 70% watched the King verdict “very closely”, 48% said the same about the arrest of Simpson. The verdict for Diallo and the Gates arrest attracted 28% and 30%, respectively.
As my colleague Larry O’Connor points out, the Pew poll does show a racial divide. Among blacks, 56% watched the trial very closely (compared to 20% of whites). However, this is still not as many blacks who followed the Simpson trial; that number reached 71%.
The poll seems to indicate that the Zimmerman trial failed to attract the interest of Americans anymore than any other top news story. Pew notes that, “While 26% of Americans say they followed news about the Zimmerman trial very closely about as many (24%) say they tracked news about a plane crash in San Francisco very closely.”
While much of the media remains obsessed with the Zimmerman trial a full three days after the verdict, the American people obviously don’t share that obsession.
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