During his Talking Points segment Friday night (4/20/12), Bill O'Reilly decried NBC for its biased coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting. Frankly, from what I've seen of the coverage of the MSNBC coverage, I think O'Reilly has a point. But for O'Reilly to complain about biased coverage at any other network is laughable - especially given the pro-Zimmerman, anti-African American bias right there on Fox News. But even worse, Following the segment, Geraldo Rivera came on the show and did exactly what O'Reilly was complaining about elsewhere, except from the other point of view - and declared shooter George Zimmerman not guilty. Rivera was also tasteless enough to resurrect his attack on Martin's hoodie. UPDATED WITH CORRECTION.
"It is very dangerous for any news operation to try a criminal case on television," O'Reilly said condemningly - referring to MSNBC. "It is now up to the jury to decide" whether Zimmerman is guilty or not guilty of second degree murder, as he has been charged. He went on to say, "The Factor believes that the media should use restraint in its coverage of the Martin/Zimmerman case. We don't believe that commentators who have already convicted Mr. Zimmerman are responsible. In fact, we believe they have hurt this country. And we will continue to cover the case without prejudice."
OK, fine. I certainly hope O'Reilly will make a visit to Sean Hannity and deliver the same lecture directly to his face for not just advocating on behalf of Zimmerman, but using the case to fan racial animosity against African Americans.
But you wouldn't have to wait for the Hannity show to come on to find some prime Fox News hypocrisy. Minutes later, Geraldo Rivera did the job.
“This never should have been a Murder-two rap. This was involuntary manslaughter at best," Rivera announced without a note of doubt. Worse, he said that after taking his own shot at NBC for "taking sides."
To O'Reilly's credit, he spoke out against Rivera's judgment, saying he was "doing exactly what MSNBC is doing - on the opposite way." But Rivera insisted on keeping on. He even brought up Martin's hoodie as some kind of justification for Zimmerman's act:
Here you have a perfect storm of a kid wearing a hoodie in a neighborhood where kids with hoodies have been burgarizing these houses... (Zimmerman) didn't set out to kill the kid..."
CORRECTION: The title of this blog post originally said that Geraldo Rivera declared George Zimmerman guilty, when it should have said "not guilty." This is obviously not my week for doing titles correctly!
The corrupt Murdoch clan: Not guilty of phone hacking and anything else.
John Edwards (Dem): Incredibly guilty.