How The Media Helped to Shape The Zimmerman Trial in Racial Terms
I will never forget where I was during the infamous ‘white Bronco’ chase. I was at a conference in California, watching the NBA Finals. Suddenly there was this split screen of the Finals in one corner and a white Bronco in the other with OJ Simpson in the back seat with a gun to his head while his friend Al Cowlings drove at speed down a California freeway. Thus began the infotainment era of covering criminal court trials. The chase served as a great marketing tool, along with the decision to allow cameras in courts for the media to make profits off of criminal justice coverage.
It also served to expose how the media chooses to cover criminal cases in black and white. No matter what you thought of the verdict of the OJ Simpson trial then or now, the infamous June 27, 1994 Time cover set the tone for what was to come.
The George Zimmerman trial is just the latest in a long line of mainstream media coverage of criminal court cases that has racial undertones screaming at its core. It is also its most disgusting display of coverage and its most insensitive. It is clear to me that the media puts a priority on coverage for profit over the very stability of our society. I guess freedom of the press is also the freedom to be irresponsible. I have complained about the MSM industrial complex for a long time now and how it is totally a whore to corporate interests and not a true avenue for information. Since the FCC rules were gutted under the Clinton Administration it doesn’t even report the facts, just a spin on its own truth.
Now the media is in full psy-ops mode for all to see (whose eyes are wide open). Marketing the post-Zimmerman verdict coverage with ‘riot watch’ is more than disgusting to me personally. It is de-humanizing. The message is that black folk cannot control themselves; that they are animals. Savages. The bigger message to the world is that black folk cannot control themselves; that they are animals. Savages. People come into this country with a pre-conceived notion of the black man in America. He once personified that 1994 Time cover, darkened over. Now he is symbolic of its more youthful replacement.
A NBC Reporter covering Martin’s family said that Trayvon’s parents want to turn this image into a new foundation for a centuries old problem in this country. I grew up in the post ‘Civil Rights Era’ in the 70’s. Even then I realize that while I have personally and greatly benefited from the sacrifices that were made in my name by many great and couragous people, I just figured that the movement would go on until there was true equality in the minds and hearts of most people in this country that the few who so chose to continue to fight the Civil War would only be able to do so in their backyards.
But it stopped and that’s to all of our misfortune, for now we see that we have media coverage that supports the antics of challenging a sitting President’s birth and citizenship — either by counter challenge or out right gin – up of such notions. Read the rest of the story at Daily Kos.