'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
28569
Points
carcraft 07/13/13 - 05:10 am
8
3
Read a news item yesterday

Read a news item yesterday where certain left wing news reports were given exclusive meeting with Obama, one of the reports was from MSNBC. Then we have Obama calling Fox News a wing of the Republican party! It doesn't get much more ironic!

Rhetor
1082
Points
Rhetor 07/13/13 - 06:14 am
5
11
no

Yes, you can quote out of context snippets to "prove" your point. However, I have watched the MSM reports of this trial carefully, and they have, in general, been quite objective and two-sided. I assure you that the world is not out to get you. We can wait for the verdict. Relax. Have a great day.

allhans
24954
Points
allhans 07/13/13 - 06:54 am
6
2
Nancy Grace was speaking of

Nancy Grace was speaking of the Zimmerman case and said "and unaware of murder taking place in their own backyard". (She has already issued her verdict)
No, I don't watch Nancy Grace, ever...but often these snippets have a way of making the rounds.

deestafford
32175
Points
deestafford 07/13/13 - 07:02 am
10
5
The country has become more racial divided since obama

was elected. My wife owns a business locally and a salesman came in yesterday and during their conversation the salesman said thing have really changed since obama became president. He said he used to have a number of black businesses to which for years he regularly sold to; but, since obama was elected they are hostile and want nothing to do with him.

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.

We are no longer a "melting pot" country where people strive to become American, but a "mosaic" where people want to remain the culture they were rather than become american..."equal and separate" has become the mantra of not only some immigrants but some whose American roots go back generation. The moochers are overtaking the producers.

Bodhisattva
7253
Points
Bodhisattva 07/13/13 - 07:27 am
7
13
In every version of the

In every version of the incident that Zimmerman has made up, he comes out innocent. Stalk someone, call the police, continue stalking them against orders from the police, leave the safety of your truck to stalk him on foot, and you're armed. How could you not fear for your life?

Bodhisattva
7253
Points
Bodhisattva 07/13/13 - 07:33 am
7
13
What a great law. Take a gun

What a great law. Take a gun with you. Go around harassing anyone you want to. Maybe it's someone you don't like. Call them names. Yell at them. Poke Them. Throw Rocks at them. When they finally have had enough and come at you, blow them away. You've stood your ground.

ymnbde
10751
Points
ymnbde 07/13/13 - 08:22 am
11
6
what a great law

and following is not stalking
do liberals actually think in such imprecise language?
young black males are less than 3% of the population
and commit over 50% of violent crimes
liberals keep that number so high because they achieve some unknown benefit
they educate young blacks to think of themselves as constant victims
even a victim of a short pudgy "cracker"
who was forced to carry a gun for his own safety
who was forced to protect his own neighborhood because the police would not
who recognized the pattern in those who committed the crimes in his neighborhood
and who saw a person fitting the pattern
following is not stalking
recognizing is not profiling
liberals created the environment that killed Trayvon Martin

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 07/13/13 - 08:37 am
5
8
@ymnbde "young black males
Unpublished

@ymnbde
"young black males are less than 3% of the population
and commit over 50% of violent crimes"

You might want to check your "facts" again.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/13/13 - 08:54 am
9
5
"they educate young blacks to
Unpublished

"they educate young blacks to think of themselves as constant victims
even a victim of a short pudgy "cracker"."
ymnbde, you are correct. Blacks for been brainwashed with the victim mentality for the last 30 yrs. by liberals, democrats and many black leaders including many in black churches.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/13/13 - 08:56 am
8
5
"You might want to check your
Unpublished

"You might want to check your "facts" again."
palmetto, why don't you give us the "facts"?

myfather15
57230
Points
myfather15 07/13/13 - 02:36 pm
8
0
It sounds like Zimmerman was

It sounds like Zimmerman was indeed an over-zealous police wannabe, community watch leader; on that part I agree!! It sounds like he put himself in a bad situation and the results were horrible . He shouldn't have followed him such as he did. Zimmerman had NOT just witnessed Martin robbing a store; he was just "suspicious". Zimmerman SHOULD have just called 911 and gave his description and left it at that.

But MURDER??? Absolutely not and the charge was too strong to get a conviction with the evidence. This will be a hung jury or an acquittal, watch and see!! They should have charge him manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter!! Involuntary manslaughter, although a misdemeanor; would have been a easy conviction and appropriate!!

Jon Lester
2480
Points
Jon Lester 07/13/13 - 09:39 am
3
2
I don't trust for-profit mass media in general.
Unpublished

Making money for shareholders is more important to them than telling us the truth. NPR does somewhat better, but they seem to bend to their larger underwriters. Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now!" is just about the only real and uncompromising journalism that's even left in America anymore.

Riverman1
94210
Points
Riverman1 07/13/13 - 09:39 am
9
3
Neighborhood Watch is Not Wannabe Anything

I see nothing wrong with what Zimmerman did. He was after all, a NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH person. He was legally armed. He was performing his duties and followed a suspicious character in addition to calling the police. Martin attacked him with a punch hard enough to break his nose in addition to the other things. Hitting someone like that has always been considered a felony and this was a particularly violent attack. The legal right to bring deadly force into such a scenario is there. Z was not breaking the law in any way. The police may not like vigilante type neighborhood watches, but I’m reminded of the LA riots when the store owners got on top of their businesses and shot people trying to loot their stores. The police have their role and citizens have their role.

robaroo
884
Points
robaroo 07/13/13 - 09:39 am
8
2
Mixed Coverage on Different News Sources

I flip through several different new channels for my news. Here's how I score them:
1) FOX - mostly pro Zimmerman
2) CNN - mix of pro and anti Zimmerman
3) MSNBC - mostly anti Zimmerman

seenitB4
98436
Points
seenitB4 07/13/13 - 09:41 am
5
0
Correct & we need to stop watching it.

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

seenitB4
98436
Points
seenitB4 07/13/13 - 09:44 am
5
0
After this verdict this could happen again

but I’m reminded of the LA riots when the store owners got on top of their businesses and shot people trying to loot their stores. The police have their role and citizens have their role.

Thanks to the media.....but if I owned a business in that area I would protect it with a weapon.....we reap what we sow...

carcraft
28569
Points
carcraft 07/13/13 - 09:47 am
7
4
Bodhisattva Zimmerman's story

Bodhisattva Zimmerman's story has been consistent. Zimmerman even did a video with the police with no lawyers present! The physical evidence supported Zimmerman. When the prosecution realizes there "evidence "was failing they sought lower charges. The first witness for the prosecution changed her story embellishing it on the stand with the comment "creepy a **** white cracker "! Say why aren't the race baiters up in Chicago demanding "justice " for the 50 some young black teens up there killed in gun violence this YEAR? Oh, wait, it's blacks killing blacks, Democratically ran city so it is OK!

Riverman1
94210
Points
Riverman1 07/13/13 - 09:52 am
7
3
Why Was Z Unafraid?

Some look at Zimmerman being so unafraid as to follow Martin as foolhardy. I don't and I'll be perfectly honest here as to why Z wasn't afraid. He was armed and felt confident. It's legal and he was exercising his rights. Realize liberals hate Z was legally able to be armed and want to convict him because of it.

dichotomy
37609
Points
dichotomy 07/13/13 - 09:54 am
7
3
"In every version of the

"In every version of the incident that Zimmerman has made up, he comes out innocent. Stalk someone, call the police, continue stalking them against orders from the police, leave the safety of your truck to stalk him on foot, and you're armed. How could you not fear for your life?"

"What a great law. Take a gun with you. Go around harassing anyone you want to. Maybe it's someone you don't like. Call them names. Yell at them. Poke Them. Throw Rocks at them. When they finally have had enough and come at you, blow them away. You've stood your ground."

Bodhisattva.......Seems like YOU are the one who embellishes MORE each time you tell a story.

The fact is that following and observing is NOT stalking. The fact is that when the police told him not to follow, he went back toward his truck. The fact is that Martin had 4 minutes in which to quit prowling around houses and go on his merry way but instead decided to confront Zimmerman. The fact is that there is some evidence that Martin attacked Zimmerman.

Following Martin on foot was not too bright, but is not illegal. There was no indication that he harassed, call out to him in any way, or did anything but keep him in sight until the police told him they did not need him to follow Martin. I think there is reasonable proof that Martin then turned and confronted and hit Zimmerman and was on top of him. I do not think that, under the FL law that what Zimmerman did constitutes 2nd degree murder nor manslaughter. The jury may see it differently because of the pending riots, but I think an appeals court will find differently in a year or so. This is a political prosecution, or more correctly, persecution...the DOJ even financed and organized "protests". That NEVER happens in the cases of horrific crimes committed against whites by blacks. Those incidents just get chalked up to "situation normal, nothing unusual here". Oh yeh, and MOST of those, OVERWHELMINGLY, are committed by who......black teens and 20 somethings.

Riverman1
94210
Points
Riverman1 07/13/13 - 10:08 am
5
2
Jury Could Hear Protests

The jury could actually hear the ongoing protests outside the court as they moved about. Talk about needing courage to do the right thing in the face of THAT. We'll see who has it.

Riverman1
94210
Points
Riverman1 07/13/13 - 10:16 am
6
0
Let’s Simplify

Let’s simplify. In the judge’s instructions to the jury she distinctly said under Florida law if a felony is being committed against you it can legally be met with deadly force. Is punching someone a felony or not?

RMSHEFF
18880
Points
RMSHEFF 07/13/13 - 10:23 am
8
1
If you saw a person you did

If you saw a person you did not know walking around your neighbors house at night, in the rain it would not be unreasonable to watch or even ask the person what he was doing. I would expect that if he had a reason to be around my neighbors house he would inform me of the reason. I don't think Zimmerman did anything wrong let alone illegal by doing this. Martin had a right to be there and Zimmerman had a right and even a duty to inquire. The question is , by whom and how this became physical. If Zimmerman became physical violent then he is guilty but if Martin became physically violent , then Zimmerman is not guilty under Florida law.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 07/13/13 - 10:32 am
3
4
I think he'll probably be found not guilty.
Unpublished

But it sure is hard to ignore the fact that ..... but for the actions of George Zimmerman, who did everything contrary to what the 911 operator instructed; who did everything contrary to the training provided by the Sanford, FL police officials to the neighborhood watch group, Trayvon Martin would be alive today. To walk away scot-free just seems wrong.

allhans
24954
Points
allhans 07/13/13 - 10:33 am
5
1
I keep hearing "an unarmed

I keep hearing "an unarmed teenager" but how in heck did Z know that Martin was unarmed.
Listening to talk show you would think Z could see right through him.....and KNEW that he was "stalking" an unarmed person..at the same time he should have known that Martin was a teenager.
Most of this type coverage comes from MSNBC.

carcraft
28569
Points
carcraft 07/13/13 - 10:50 am
5
2
Fedex227 Except for actions

Fedex227 Except for actions of Martin this would not have happened! Looking in widows of empty buildings, walking off side walks, that is what got Zimmerman's attention! Martin didn't live in the complex, was acting strangely (he did have evidence of marijuana in his blood stream) . If Martin had headed back to his dad's girl friend's apartment nothing would have happened!

RMSHEFF
18880
Points
RMSHEFF 07/13/13 - 10:54 am
3
2
FEDX

Zimmerman did nothing that was against the laws in Florida. Who ever is responsible for this turing violent is to blame.

RMSHEFF
18880
Points
RMSHEFF 07/13/13 - 11:01 am
4
2
allhans

You ar correct. This is why Zimmerman had a right to use deadly force. Zimmerman did not know the extent of the threat Martin posed. He could have feared he had a knife a gun or just killed him with his hands. If he was in reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm he is justified to use deadly force. This is the law.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 07/13/13 - 11:12 am
3
5
But if Zimmerman had done what he was instructed
Unpublished

to do by police officials, none of this would have happened. Maybe Martin was armed? He had marijuana in his bloodstream? So? Zimmerman's role as a member of the neighborhood watch group is to be the eyes and ears of the community and inform trained law enforcement officials of suspicious behavior, not to confront individuals. HE created the situation that lead to the boy's death, not Trayvon Martin.

Humble Angela
41338
Points
Humble Angela 07/13/13 - 11:11 am
6
2
"Stalk someone, call the
Unpublished

"Stalk someone, call the police, continue stalking them against orders from the police"

Bod....you accuse Zimmerman of "making up" stories....yes YOU say that he was ordered by the police to not follow (although you used the word stalk to bolster your statement). Zimmerman didn't speak with the police. He spoke with a 911 operator, and they don't have the authority to ORDER you to do ANYTHING. There is NO law against following someone, however there certainly are laws against tacking someone and beating their head into the ground.

RMSHEFF
18880
Points
RMSHEFF 07/13/13 - 11:28 am
5
3
FEDX

We are dealing with legal issues as to guilt under the LAW. Not,... would have,.... should have,.... could have. If Zimmerman had left home 30 minutes earlier none of this would have happened ! Zimmerman did not break any law at any point if you believe Martin was the one that started the physical altercation. You can say "this would have never happened if________and fill in the blank. We are dealing with legal issues as to what DID happen. If Zimmerman broke any law I wish you would let me know which one.

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