'The balkanization of news'

Broadcast news has erased line between news and opinion

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If Americans are more politically divided than ever, the media may have a lot to do with that.

A Gallup Poll indicates that 55 percent of Americans get most of their news from television – where news is pretty much sliced and diced to suit particular points of view.

On CNN recently, for instance, anchor Suzanne Malveaux went to great lengths to rehabilitate the prosecution of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. When a friend of Zimmerman’s testified that she recognized his screams on the infamous 911 call because she’d worked with him on a political campaign, Malveaux suggested the prosecution could claim that Zimmerman’s enthusiastic cries at a political rally might be similar to ones uttered while “pummeling Trayvon Martin” with “a sense of joy.”

A guest had to remind Malveaux that the screaming voice on the 911 call wasn’t one of jubilation, but of cries for help.

Why was Malveaux so intent on propping up the prosecution of George Zimmerman? Her CNN colleague Piers Morgan appeared to share her zeal for Zimmerman’s scalp. Why –
especially when the evidence is unclear, at best, who was besting whom in that fateful fight – and when there is some pretty compelling evidence that Zimmerman was the one being pummeled.

Indeed, whereas Zimmerman’s facial and head injuries are well-documented, with ABC News long ago reporting Zimmerman sustained a broken nose, two black eyes and cuts to the back of the head, CBS News long ago reported that, “Wounds found on (Martin’s) knuckles may support George Zimmerman’s claim that the unarmed teenager assaulted him before he was fatally shot.”

Most fair-minded observers have predicted an acquittal in the case, because of the conflicting evidence and, in fact, to evidence buttressing Zimmerman’s account.

“As a legal matter, I just don’t see how a jury convicts him of second-degree murder or even manslaughter in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin,” writes ABC legal analyst Dan Abrams. “...(I)f they follow the letter of the law, it’s hard to see, based on everything we know now, how they find him guilty of either murder or even manslaughter.”

If an already restive core of Martin supporters gets all its news from CNN, they would be shocked by an acquittal – and perhaps angered into lashing out.

Then there’s the little-watched but incendiary MSNBC – which a former producer there wrote recently behaves at times like the “official network of the Obama White House.”

Gallup itself fretted that its poll showing such a reliance on such an opinionated set of news channels “documents the balkanization of news” – meaning that Americans are digesting very different information on the same events.

It doesn’t help that in broadcast news, the line between news and opinion has been,
for the most part, erased. Supposed news anchors now openly advocate for certain public policy positions – and, it seems, certain verdicts in high-profile trials.

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carcraft
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carcraft 07/13/13 - 11:29 am
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Fedex, there is no evidence

Fedex, there is no evidence one way or the other who confronted who! Zimmerman claims Martin confronted him as Zimmerman fallowed the 911 request returning to his vehicle! The prosecution's first witness was inconclusive. Under American legal system (we still haven't fully converted to a dictatorship yet) the benefit of the doubt goes to the defendant. You have to remember the liberal mantra "better for ten guilty to go free than one innocent man convicted "!

carcraft
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carcraft 07/13/13 - 11:44 am
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Ooops, sorry fedex, that only

Ooops, sorry fedex, that only applies to liberals and liberal causes!

Bizkit
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Bizkit 07/13/13 - 12:08 pm
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Seems both parties were at

Seems both parties were at fault in escalating to a physical altercation. The interaction should have been: "Excuse me sir I'm part of a neighborhood watch because of a recent crime spree in our area and we asking visitors and neighbors to help us in an effort to keep our community safe." Response "Oh no problem I'm visiting my Dad, Tracy Martin, and I was taking a shortcut to get home quicker. I appreciate your efforts in keeping my Dad's neighborhood safe." I just don't see how "justice" will be served in any scenario. Zimmerman isn't a career criminal, nor evil, nor it appears malicious, perhaps an idiot with a gun with poor judgment for sure. I wonder what the outcome if Zimmerman didn't have a gun? Would it just have been a quick physical altercation and move along or would he be dead? Hey the woulda, shoulda, coulda game is fun-I playing this game.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 07/13/13 - 12:19 pm
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Hey perhaps every handgun

Hey perhaps every handgun should have a microcamera like tasers and police cars. Anytime the gun is fired-an image will be taken and stored in hidden memory card that can only be entered by law enforcement. The gun's life history will have a record of what was shot and a back image of who shot it. Any tampering with gun to access this memory card will have severe penalties in itself. Not a bad idea. A great compromise -rather than infringe on right to arms you can have your gun but we want a record of its use. This would be great for human law enforcement and natural resource law enforcement.

palmetto1008
9782
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palmetto1008 07/13/13 - 12:19 pm
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"An idiot with a gun with
Unpublished

"An idiot with a gun with poor judgment" which leaves a teenager dead should not get off scot-free....Or is that just no big of deal to some folks??

Bizkit
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Bizkit 07/13/13 - 12:28 pm
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I don't know I've had an

I don't know I've had an idiot with a handgun point it at me and threaten me. I am thankful it didn't end with either of us dead. But I wasn't arguing he shouldn't be charged with a crime-just I don't see how our justice system can fairly deal with something like this. A death sentence, or life sentence doesn't seem just, but how many years can you place on a human life? It is just a horrific sad story that should have never happened. It doesn't have anything to do with race (which there aren't any as I've often argued) but just two young people having a bad altercation-reminds me of the road rage knife death on I-20. Two average folks suddenly in a Perfect Storm. Justice is odd-like the guy who mowed down the 7 docs and killing one get nothin'.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 07/13/13 - 12:26 pm
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Poor judgment is not against
Unpublished

Poor judgment is not against the law.

And how do you figure he's an idiot?

Riverman1
93447
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Riverman1 07/13/13 - 12:31 pm
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2
FedEx, even what the operator

FedEx, even what the operator said was inconsistent. He did say once, "You don't need to do that," in regards to Z following him, but later he asks Z to find out where M went and give street names. Something Z had to "follow" to do.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/13/13 - 12:31 pm
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Palmetto, I do get your pain

Palmetto, I do get your pain and I agree it's a sad situation, but a teen can leave you just as dead as a 40 year old. 17 is not a child.

But I predict a hung jury. That will keep the crowd calm. The possibility of a retrial will be drawn out for a year or so and then the whole thing dropped. Z will not spend any time in jail.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 07/13/13 - 12:38 pm
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I said "perhaps". I just

I said "perhaps". I just think before the Grace of God go I. My altercation happened when I was in my early forties where I had the judgment for things not to escalate. But if the same situation had happened 18-21 I would have shot the drunken idiot dead in self-defense as my father had instructed me if such a scenario were to happen. "If someone points a loaded gun at you then expect them to use it and defend yourself." So I also appreciate that Martin could have been fighting to defend himself from Zimmerman threatening him too. Zimmerman could have been scared and waving his gun around to intimidate Martin. More guessing game.

palmetto1008
9782
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palmetto1008 07/13/13 - 12:39 pm
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HA, I didn't say he was an
Unpublished

HA, I didn't say he was an idiot. I was quoting bizkit...or did you miss the " "?? Personally, I would not use the word "idiot" to describe him. I have one that Sean would not approve of.

RMSHEFF
18720
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RMSHEFF 07/13/13 - 01:19 pm
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1
Beyond A Reasonable Doubt.

One thing many people seem to be ignoring is the fact that the State has the burden to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a very high burden and many truly guilty go free because there is just not enough evidence. The State has not proven guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The States case has largely been one of presenting several possibles scenarios other than the account given by Zimmerman but their burden is proving the charges they filed against him. It seems that the evidence mostly supports the accounts given by Zimmerman.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/13/13 - 01:44 pm
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It's Absurd

I mean it's absurd. The prosecutor called a witness who disproved their contention that Z was on top. If I were the judge, I'd have stopped the trial right then. President Obama inserted race into this killing and other liberals have jumped onboard. Maybe the jury can do the right thing.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 07/13/13 - 02:00 pm
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Our Justice system is

Our Justice system is becoming a spectacle and sport. Probably folks betting on it and definitely opposing teams. Seems barbaric.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 07/13/13 - 02:10 pm
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Riots

Having a riot after a jury verdict sems barbaric to me....

gargoyle
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gargoyle 07/13/13 - 02:28 pm
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The point of this editorial

The point of this editorial has been proven by the posts to the subject . Facts take a backseat to speculation and agenda in reporting news for profit and who' news you buy forms your opinion.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 07/13/13 - 02:51 pm
5
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Palmetto said, " I didn't say

Palmetto said, " I didn't say he was an idiot. I was quoting bizkit...or did you miss the " "?? Personally, I would not use the word "idiot" to describe him. I have one that Sean would not approve of."

Realize, I could accurately call Martin a lot of things that I don't do. His history is anything but exemplary.

carcraft
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carcraft 07/13/13 - 03:57 pm
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Bizkit and Palmetto, perhaps

Bizkit and Palmetto, perhaps it was an idiot teenager with an attitude who should have not been so quick to punch someone in the face! Somehow, you seem to insist that it was Zimmerman who instigated the confrontation. Based on what evidence? We know Zimmerman followed Martin then lost him. Shortly afterward the conflict occurred. The physical evidence seems to support Zimmerman's story. Zimmerman even walked through it with the police and was being filmed without having a lawyer present. Zimmerman's story has been consistent; the prosecution even changed their own witnesses testimony during the closing statements.
The Judge could even be seen as having badgered Zimmerman when Zimmerman said he wouldn't testify. This has been a politically and racial set up case from the start. If the black communities are so concerned about young black men being shot they could start in Chicago and get Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton etc. to condemn the gangs and the thug life that leads to so much of this. Over 50 black youths have been killed in Chicago in one year! Twenty Homicides in the first week in July! http://homicides.redeyechicago.com/ I wonder if the 14 year old male could have looked like Obama's son!
How many young black men have been killed and how many young black shooters have been sent to jail and received felony convictions for this stupid "thug life" BS? No outrage over that but if Zimmerman get off...no problem with riots etc. Why not riot against the thugs and criminals that lead so many black and white youth astray? Perhaps we have the wrong priorities?

corgimom
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corgimom 07/13/13 - 04:20 pm
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4
"The attitude has become we

"The attitude has become we now have our bother in the house and it's time for us to get what's due us for slavery and Jim Crow. That attitude has even been openly expressed here locally."

I would hardly consider a few black businessowners in Augusta GA representative of the country as a whole. And maybe they just don't like that salesman or his attitude.

I have to tell all of you, these postings and opinions that all of you swear up and down are common all over America- they aren't.

I travel, and I always read the municipal newspapers wherever I go. I read the AJC, the Charlotte Observer, and others. And those papers don't publish the nonsense LTE's, the foolish guest columnists, and the way-out posts like the AC does.

People in Augusta, especially the conservatives, think that all of the country feels the way they do, and that feeling is reinforced by the AC. Well, no, the AC is the only one that I know of that publishes things like this. There may be others, but they aren't in the major cities.

And I know this will shock many of you, but there isn't near as much anti-Obama sentiment in the US as you think that there is.

If things continue, and if the Republican Party doesn't radically change its platform, then I believe that it's going to be four more years of a Democratic president. Between the higher number of registered Democrats, the electoral college, and the old conservative folks dying out, yes, it's quite likely.

corgimom
38312
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corgimom 07/13/13 - 04:21 pm
0
1
And then maybe there are some

And then maybe there are some of us who don't much care how the Zimmerman trial turns out.

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 07/13/13 - 05:01 pm
0
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msnbc and cnn,
Unpublished

two of the MOST liberally biased left wing members of the media are pot stirrers. The former for Accidently showing the corpse of 17 year old Trayvon Martin and the latter basically calling for riots in the event Mr. Zimmerman is found innocent. ( This will not happen, I'm sure, because the lefty media has convicted George Zimmerman.) These incindiary and inflamatory remarks were designed to stir the pot with the lefty, liberal base. These same organizations were in the forefront of calling for riots if o.j. "the slasher" simpson was found guilty of assassinating 2 innocent white people. If racism isn't a primary factor in these 2 "news" organizations base for their tripe, there isn't a cow in Texas.

RMSHEFF
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RMSHEFF 07/13/13 - 05:31 pm
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corgimom

You may be correct in saying we will have four more years of democrats in the white house but this will be because Obama has made over 51% of Americans dependent on Federal assistance. They have discovered they can vote themselves monies from the Federal Treasure (free stuff).....the scales have tipped.

myfather15
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myfather15 07/13/13 - 05:33 pm
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0
I must say, I'm torn on

I must say, I'm torn on siding with the commentors on here and that RARELY happens to me!! I see all the valid points my conservatives friends have made, and they are valid. I also see points that I agree with from fedex and palmetto; believe it or not!!

I agree that Zimmerman should NOT get off Scott free!! I would like to know what Martin was doing that made him so suspicious!! As a deputy who has answered hundreds of calls about "suspicious persons" I know many of them are results of "nosy neighbors" or over-zealous people!! A person simply walking down the street, is NOT suspcious!!! Now, if you see them walking into a neighbor's yard or hanging around in the area, looking around as if watching from something, sure.

I've actually had a VERY similar situation to the Zimmerman case, without the shooting!! I had a man call about a black guy being suspicious, simply because he was walking down the street at 10:30 pm. This guy went out to confront the man and asked what he was doing. The "suspicious" guy walks away briskly and goes over to Taco Bell, where his girlfriend is working, and which was his destination to being with!! The caller FOLLOWS him over to Taco Bell and an altercation ensues which turned physical!!

When we arrived and talked to the orginal complainant; he said he followed the guy because he left fast when he asked him what he was doing. Now, Imagine this; you are simply walking to Taco Bell to see your girlfriend; some guys comes out of his house and is yelling at you!! Would you not walk away fast??? But THIS was suspicious to our caller!! The guy had done nothing besides walking and leaving fast when being confronted.

Now, when the "suspicious" guy got to Taco Bell, he had his girlfriend call 911 as well, about this guy following him. He confronted the guy and witnesses that worked at Taco Bell (besides the GF) said the "suspicious" guy walked up to the orginal caller and confronted him, then punched him in the face!!

Witnesses stated the original caller never used profanity or threatened the "suspicious" guy!! Just told him to stay here until the cops got here, because he had called them!! Of course, this was NOT a lawful order and the guy could have walked away at any time. He should NOT have punched the caller first!!! He should have waited until we got there, but he had to act like a "big man" in front of his girlfriend!! Needless to say, the orginal caller didn't get arrested because he had committed no specific crime!! You can TELL someone to say where they are all you want; it's when you try to MAKE them stay or threaten them with violence if they leave, you've committed a crime!! This guy only told him to stay and wait for the police; no crime there!!

Needless to say; the "suspicious" guy did get arrested for hitting the guy first, with numerous witnesses; even his own girlfriend told him not too and witnessed against him. The oringal caller got a butt chewing for being over-zealous in following a guy who had done NOTHING!!! I simply wish the "suspicious" guy had not taken the action he did!! Because I actually kinda felt bad for him, he didn't seem like a bad guy!! You would also have to meet the original caller to get a fair understanding of this case; this guy was "off his rocker".

Now, would you want some crazy guy following you around for simply walking somewhere? I would be nervous too!! But again; I don't now ALL the details to the Zimmerman case; I just know some people can definately be over-zealous in their suspicious person classification!!

palmetto1008
9782
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palmetto1008 07/13/13 - 05:43 pm
1
0
@ myfather..."I also see
Unpublished

@ myfather..."I also see points that I agree with from fedex and palmetto; believe it or not!!"

It must have frozen over down there....LOL

specsta
7137
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specsta 07/13/13 - 05:48 pm
3
5
Injuries???

ACES wrote - "Indeed, whereas Zimmerman’s facial and head injuries are well-documented, with ABC News long ago reporting Zimmerman sustained a broken nose, two black eyes and cuts to the back of the head..."

Ummm, Trayvon's injuries are "well-documented" as well, via the coroner's office which documented a fatal bullet wound to the heart.

Zimmerman's little Band-Aid cut on his head and little baby nosebleed does not compare to having a child's heart ripped apart by a bullet.

carcraft
28444
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carcraft 07/13/13 - 05:53 pm
4
1
specsta, those injuries were

specsta, those injuries were consistent with Zimmerman's story of what happened, I think Zimmerman was walking back to his vehicle as instructed when Martin confronted Zimmerman, punched him in the nose took Zimmer to the ground and started beating Zimmerman, Zimmerman pulled his gun and shot Martin! Martin was a thug wanta be and bit off too much!

RMSHEFF
18720
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RMSHEFF 07/13/13 - 06:13 pm
4
1
Carcraft

specsta want to keep the fact out of his conclusion. Is it not safe to assume the broken nose, black eyes and head wounds came before the bullet wound? The injury to Martins knuckle came before the gunshot as well.

CobaltGeorge
175405
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CobaltGeorge 07/13/13 - 06:22 pm
3
1
Rm - 11:39

"Martin attacked him with a punch hard enough to break his nose in addition to the other things."

Slight error...It was never medically proven by anybody that Z had a broken nose.

CobaltGeorge
175405
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CobaltGeorge 07/13/13 - 06:53 pm
1
1
I Wonder

how many of those yelling and demonstrating outside of the court house are really wishing for an acquittal verdict?

RMSHEFF
18720
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RMSHEFF 07/13/13 - 07:37 pm
0
0
George, It seems American has

George, It seems American has never been so polarized. I though Obama was going to change all of this ?

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