Thursday, April 12, 2012

George Zimmerman's Arrest and the Big Bad Media

Today George Zimmerman was arrested. I won't bore you with the details, but I will tell you that the reaction has been quite interesting. One side cheers while the other groans, and those on the grumbling side are quick to blame the media. I've read complaints about the pictures that they chose to post, the editing of audio tapes, the carousel of terms used to describe Zimmerman's ethnicity, and more. These are all valid issues and concerns, but in my opinion blaming the media is pointless. Sure they fanned the flames of public outcry/outrage but what did you expect? They have advertising to sell so they can continue their pandering. 

What's more is that now everyone involved is under the microscope. I've read discussions on the DA, the Sanford Chief of Police, and the investigators on the case, all of whom are suspected of (if not already convicted for) having an agenda. 

I know that not everyone's motives are pure, but doesn't that go both ways? I believe that everyone, including the DA is innocent until proven guilty. I also believe that the only way to condemn or to exonerate Mr. Zimmerman is to put it to our judicial system, as flawed as it may be. The lead investigator on the case wanted to arrest Zimmerman the night of the shooting but was told that there wasn't enough evidence. Was he overzealous? Perhaps. Was he affected by the media? No. 

What about his superiors that decided there wasn't enough evidence, what was their motive? Are they careless? Racist? Or was there truly not enough evidence and if so what's changed? Did they succumb to media pressure? I'm sure that had something to do with it, but are you telling me that everyone at the local, state, and federal (yes the FBI is involved) are all spineless jellyfish caving to media pressure? Would all of these professionals put their careers and reputations on the line for a case that doesn't hold water?

In the end, if the charges and the arrest are truly unfounded, there are a few hundred investigators, detectives, crime scene investigators, District Attorneys, and Federal Agents with egg on their faces and blemishes on their career files. Why? For the big bad media? Since when did media become synonymous with mafia? Can the media have you whacked? Did the media put a horse head under all of their sheets? If you call shotgun and the media sits behind you in back, get out!

Truth is, we don't have all the facts. Those that do have decided to make an arrest. Some of you will not be happy with the results of this case and that's because you have already chosen a side. If he's convicted you'll say he's being made an example of, or that he's being sacrificed for fear of riots and such. But if he's freed you'll say that the same flawed justice system that you were complaining about today, and that same, opportunistic DA got it right this time. The other side will see it exactly the opposite way. And what of the media then? When the smoke clears, will your praise the media or curse it?

You say that you want justice and I do too, but how would your desires for justice change if it were a black shooter and a white victim? What about if both parties were white, or Latino? What if this happened in a poor neighborhood? Would it even make the news? How much power would the big, bad media have then?