George Zimmerman is in trouble again, this time from a domestic abuse incident. Presumably the justice system will work, and protect his pregnant girlfriend, as well as give Zimmerman whatever punishment the evidence indicates that he deserves.
In the meantime, the news media should be giving his misadventures back page rather than front page attention. I have heard Zimmerman described in the news media as the new O.J. Simpson, which is a slur (O.J. murdered two people in cold blood, with intent and malice aforethought), but which correctly describes how reporters want to treat him. In truth, he is the new Rodney King. Like Zimmerman, King was a maladjusted individual with poor judgment and a penchant for violence, who nonetheless did not deserve the fate that befell him, and was a reluctant celebrity. After the events and the trials stemming from his arrest (which was warranted), his resisting it (which was wrong) and his brutal beating (which was also wrong), King had more arrests and incidents involving law enforcement. These were news items, but not major ones, and the minor coverage they received was proper and appropriate.
Why is Zimmerman’s arrest the lead on this morning’s cable shows? It is because so many in the media fervently wanted him convicted of murder, and to have an official declaration that he stalked and killed Trayvon Martin out of racial prejudice, although there was, and remains, no evidence this was the case. Now they want to frame his current legal issues as proof that he should have been convicted, which is a biased, warrantless, illogical and unfair assumption. A far more plausible conclusion is that Zimmerman’s conduct and instability today arises from the chaos of his life, which was inflicted on him by a culture-wide, media-assisted effort to turn him into a national villain, and the face of racism in America.
He can’t find a job; he’s broke and millions in debt. He has all the disadvantages of celebrity, and none of the perquisites and benefits. One of Zimmerman’s intractable tormenters on cable yesterday opined that someone like him should never be allowed to carry a gun, which is as good an example of the brainless, knee-jerk reasoning of the anti-gun crowd as I could manufacture. George Zimmerman has a price on his head, and thousands of people, perhaps hundreds of thousands, have tweeted and Facebooked that they want him dead, and will be happy to see to it if the opportunity presents itself. If I were George Zimmerman, I’d carry a gun. Heck, I’d sleep with a gun. So would you.
I have always assumed that the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Ethics Train Wreck would end in Zimmerman’s death or some other dire tragedy. Having conspired to destroy his life, the news media apparently wants to cheer from the sidelines as its handiwork has its desired effect. That is deplorable. Deplorable too will be when the Justice Department, as I fully expect it will, announces that it will defy the principle of double jeopardy and put Zimmerman through another trial for civil rights violations, not because it has a valid case, but because it will bolster President Obama’s and his party’s disheartened base, and because under Eric Holder the U.S., Justice Department has little to do with justice and everything to do with political manipulation.
George Zimmerman got a fair trial and an undeniably fair verdict, and that is clearly the last fairness he can expect from his country, his government, and in his life. A shattered man, a pariah and a target, he is behaving in a self-destructive manner, which was predictable, as the late night talk shows make jokes about him. This requires a total disregard for the Golden Rule and basic decency, beginning with not kicking a helpless man while he’s lying on the ground and can’t get up. But this is raw hate, you see, not journalism, and definitely not ethics.
Facts: Washington Post
Graphic: Deviant Art