DC Trawler

Open-and-shut Trayvon Martin case gets cluttered up with facts

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Yesterday we looked at how the media is testing out the phrase “white Hispanic” to explain why George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin. And now, here’s another example of how they’re scrambling to make the facts fit the story they’ve already written. Miami Herald:

Multiple suspensions paint complicated portrait of Trayvon Martin

As thousands of people gathered here to demand an arrest in the Trayvon Martin case, a more complicated portrait began to emerge of a teenager whose problems at school ranged from getting spotted defacing lockers to getting caught with a marijuana baggie and women’s jewelry…

In October, a school police investigator said he saw Trayvon on the school surveillance camera in an unauthorized area “hiding and being suspicious.” Then he said he saw Trayvon mark up a door with “W.T.F” — an acronym for “what the f—.” The officer said he found Trayvon the next day and went through his book bag in search of the graffiti marker.

Instead the officer reported he found women’s jewelry and a screwdriver that he described as a “burglary tool,” according to a Miami-Dade Schools Police report obtained by The Miami Herald.

And with a slight variant, here’s CBS News:

New details deepen Trayvon Martin controversy

New information is putting a new twist on the Trayvon Martin case.

It has come out that the unarmed teenager was suspended from school, and is accused of beating up the man who then shot him dead…

Revelations surfaced that the teen’s high school had suspended him three times for offenses including vandalism, truancy and tardiness, and, at the time of his death, he was in the midst a two-week suspension for a baggie containing marijuana residue found in his book bag.

The family reacted angrily, accusing Sanford police of maligning their son.

No, these new facts aren’t “complicating” or “deepening” the issue. It was deep and complicated already. Our moral, ethical, and intellectual superiors in the media have tried and failed to make it shallow and simple.

Which isn’t to say that this new information proves Zimmerman was right to shoot Martin. But it does cast doubt on the instant narrative of Martin as a cheerful, cherubic little boy who was just minding his own business when a gun-wielding vigilante came out of nowhere and gunned him down for the crime of being black and wearing a hoodie. We still don’t know exactly what happened, or how close to the truth that is. Hey, it could be that’s what happened after all. But knowing more about these two guys only “complicates” things if you’re in the business of dumbing things down.

In related news, now the Daily Caller is being criticized for publishing Martin’s now-deleted Tweets. Well, he had a Twitter account, his handle was @NO_LIMIT_NI**A, and at some point in the last month, somebody deleted it. These are what we call facts. They don’t cease to be facts if they happen to challenge your assumptions. This information may or may not be relevant, but that has nothing to do with whether or not your mind is already made up. Quoting someone’s own words is not a smear.

I remember when the case against the Duke lacrosse team was “complicated” by the fact that they didn’t do what they were accused of doing. That sure was “complicated.” Maybe that’s the case with George Zimmerman too, or maybe he’s exactly who and what a lot of people are trying to make him out to be. The point is that we don’t know yet.

No, not even you, Keith.

John Hayward has more on this. And it may or may not surprise you that Spike Lee used Twitter to throw a trash can through the wrong window.

P.S. I can’t wait to be told how this is a smear: George Zimmerman is a registered Democrat.

P.P.S. Between 80 and 100 Trayvon Martin protesters ransacked a North Miami Beach Walgreens. But otherwise, according to NBC Miami, the protest was “mostly peaceful and orderly.” Look out, OWS. (Seriously. Look out.)

P.P.P.S. And right on schedule…