Podzilla 1985

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Media is the Devil's Greatest Tool

It seems like such a long time ago now that white Hispanic George Zimmeran shot and killed Trayvon Martin during a heated argument in Sanford, Florida.

It was February 26th when Zimmerman, a white Hispanic who served as community watchdog, ignored police instructions to not follow the hooded Martin, an African American teen, and got into a fatal confrontation that sent shock waves throughout the country and brought race relations back to the front lines once more.

No one can honestly say what happened on that infamous night. The shooter, white Hispanic George Zimmerman, claims to have shot the teen in self defense. Florida's “Stand Your Ground” law gives citizens the right to use deadly force if they feel their life is in danger. Nearly everyone else in the country and in the media took the victims side, and labeled it a racist act from a despicable man. He was given a free pass on it under the law, until the race issue became buzz worthy and was suddenly put on trial for the killing.

I'm not going to take a side in the debate of a right to defense versus murder. I wasn't there, I don't know the conditions that forced him to pull the trigger. I don't think any of us will ever know what truly happened because the only person that does has no doubt contorted the truth to fit his legal defense.

My biggest gripe with this entire situation is the media and their manipulation of America's emotions to bolster their ratings.

If you noticed the term “white Hispanic” thrown around in the beginning of this blog then maybe you feel like I do about the media and their lack of bias or ethics. George Zimmerman is not on trial for killing Trayvon Martin. Trayvon Martin no longer exists. If the media could, they would label him “Some Black Kid” and be done with it, so they could focus better on making a martyr. His name doesn't matter. He doesn't matter. He is a creation to push agendas. The media, and for the most part fame whores like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, have taken what should have been a tragic death and turned it into a media circus. And boy, did the media run with it.

Before James Holmes shot up that Colorado theater you would be hard pressed to catch a news program that didn't involve George Zimmerman's mug shot next to “endearing” shots of Martin, to further enrage a country that has still yet to get over its racist past. That racism, which is just as bad in support of Martin as it is for his murder, quickly became the focal point of the investigation.

Remember, there was no investigation to begin with. It was an open and shut case until the media caught wind of it and turned into another black eye on our country.

White man shoots and kills black kid. It doesn't get more clean cut than that. That is the equivalent of a wrestling match where American hero Hulk Hogan fights evil foreigner the Iron Shiek. Lines are drawn so thick that even Daredevil can see them, and we know who to cheer and who to boo because the conflict is built on a classic good vs. evil scenario.

Things for more interesting when it came out that Zimmerman was Hispanic and not white. Suddenly, the media had lost its edge and all of their attempts and poking the sleeping elephant in the room became useless. But then, in true American “never give up” fashion, they found any way they could to keep him white and labeled him a white Hispanic, just in case you were going to forget that this was a racially motivated crime and you should tune in to CNN to boo the boogeyman while sucking down your beer and grabbing another handful of popcorn.

White Hispanic? Seriously? I know they exist, but was it so important to label George Zimmerman a white Hispanic just for the sake of keeping your racism theory alive? What if Martin had been white, had looked like Elijah Wood, and had been shot and killed the same way? Where would the media be without its precious fucking angle?

They would be fair and balanced. Their ratings would be shit.

The invention of the internet and the ability to get your news whenever you want it has put a dent in powerhouses like Fox News and MSNBC. So of course they would have to reinvent themselves with an edgier image by not only promoting negativity and unethical standards, but by also creating issues where there possibly was none to begin with.

Character witnesses for George Zimmerman all say he is not a racist. His coworkers have said that he is not a racist. In December of 2010 a homeless black man named Sherman Ware was beaten by the son of Sanford police Lt. Chris Collison, who wasn't charged with the brutal and unprovoked attack despite video evidence of his guilt. Zimmerman championed the cause of Ware and wrote a public letter calling out the officers who covered up the beating, and made it his personal mission to get justice for the man.

But that's not a very good hook to get you to demonize white Hispanic George Zimmerman so you probably didn't hear about it.

It's not like this is a new development when it comes to the way the media handles the news. My own personal experiences writing for my college paper, and especially my time as editor, made me realize how being a reporter basically makes you a living promotional tool. It's a business now, and a business will do what it has to do to survive in this modern age. I lost my love for the commercialized news industry when asked to cover the death of a student and I realized I was more concerned with how to promote it properly than who he was.

My heart breaks for Trayvon Martin. Whether he was an angel or a misguided youth, he was still a human being. He is not a martyr. He is a teenager who ended up on the wrong end of a gun and his death should be mourned like any other child who lost their life way too soon. 

But "respected journalism" will try to fool you. They will tell you how to think and who to hate, and it will be easy enough to follow their lead. But nothing easy was ever worth pursuing. Be your own person, have your own mind, and make your own decisions. Don't let who we are become a ratings boost for the carnivorous media bastards that look at human life as Neilsen numbers. 

Don't believe everything you read.
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