After some of the most blatant and deliberate demonization of Trayvon Martin, Fox News is now setting up his killer, George Zimmerman, as a media martyr. For extra agenda points, the “fair and balanced” network is exploiting the whole thing as another excuse to belligerently howl about the “liberal media.”
On last night’s O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly employed some of his usual clever tactics to both advance the idea of Zimmerman as the Unfairly Pilloried Media Martyr and feign objectivity at the same time. Most of this was accomplished by outsourcing the commentary to his guests – after giving them a nudge in the “right’ direction.
O’Reilly brought his framing into the introduction – by putting it into a "Cavuto Mark" of a question:
The big question: the media, which is obviously liberal in America, the national media is, there’s no doubt about it and they would be sympathetic to the African American teenager who’s unarmed and was killed. So Zimmerman’s brother and I think a lot of people feel that the deck is stacked.
As he spoke a menacing-looking photo of Martin appeared on the screen.
After planting the seed of Zimmerman’s martyrdom, O’Reilly feinted back to the middle by saying, “But that shouldn’t matter in a trial, right? Because the jury would be sequestered and would not see the coverage.” As if he didn’t know that at least one of his guests would bring up the pre-trial coverage.
Sure enough, Lis Wiehl jumped in to say, “They’ve already seen a lot of the coverage.”
O’Reilly moved on to Kimberly Guilfoyle – a Fox News toady if ever there was one. He “asked,” “Guilfoyle, do you think they can, the media can cover this fairly? Or do you expect a continuation of what we’ve seen?”
And guess what? Guilfoyle bit. “Look, they haven’t so far, right? An indication of the past is, I think, a light into the future. I hope they can. We’re certainly doing that. They have a responsibility to cover it fairly. We’re gonna show ‘em how it’s done.”
Well, in that case, we’ve got a lot of bias and race-baiting to look forward to. Between blaming Trayvon Martin for wearing a hoodie, allowing the network to serve as a PR wing for the Zimmerman defense and pimping Zimmerman’s defense fund (not to mention repeatedly floating suggestions that legitimize Zimmerman’s claim to self-defense), Fox has all but announced that it has reached a verdict so there’s no need for a jury.
But here’s one reason they won’t do that: it would rob them of an excuse to continue working the refs on Zimmerman’s behalf. O’Reilly signaled that’s exactly what we can expect going forward:
Yeah, and I’m gonna keep an eye on everybody. Nobody should be rooting for either side. Nobody. No honest person. …Let’s see what the evidence is.
As I have previously written, I agree that Zimmerman has been turned into a media monster and I have some sympathy for him. And there are reasons he might legitimately be acquitted. But instead of trying to calm the waters, Fox is actively working to fan the flames of racial tension.
That's a crime of another kind.
Okay, I don’t actually see a “question” there. You’d think O’Reilly would know to wait to say “the big question” UNTIL he’s actually ready to propose it.
Having said that, I should point out to O’Reilly (since he’s obviously SO fucking stupid he doesn’t get it) that the sympathy towards Martin has NOTHING to do with “liberal media” (which, in this country, doesn’t exist—ask Newt Gingrich about that little meme) but rather with the idea of being a human. Unless Martin has some previously unheard of secret martial arts skills, the rule of thumb in sympathizing is to go with the UNARMED person rather than the mofo with the gun. It’s not like we, the American people, all sympathized with Adam Lanza or James Holmes or Jared Loughner or Lee Harvey Oswald or John Hinckley Jr or Sirhan Sirhan or James Earl Ray or Arthur Bremer or Scott Roeder. Maybe YOU did, BillO, because you’ve got the emotional reactions of a rattlesnake but I’m sure even your regular viewers (as racist as they may be) will sympathize with THE VICTIM OF A SHOOTING rather than the KILLER WITH THE GUN.
As for Zimmerman’s brother, maybe he’d be a bit more sympathetic to the man who was killed by his brother if HE had been on the receiving end of his brother’s bullets. I’m sorry that Zimmerman’s brother has to live with the knowledge that he’s related to a killer (after all, we don’t get to choose our family) but I’m more sorry that he doesn’t get the fact that HIS BROTHER IS A KILLER.
And truman is 1000% correct.