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Monday, April 2, 2012

Media Changing the Story

Law Professor and blogger Ann Althouse is unusually cynical in examining The New York Times walking back the narrative in the tragic shooting in Florida (Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman).

One comment was brought forward to the basic post:
NBC doctoring the 911 call, ABC denying Zimmerman's injuries.  Awful.
For those of you who missed this, Rush covered it today.  I don't often cite Rush, but today the irony is too good to pass up.

Professor Althouse goes so far as to ask if The New York Times is leading a narrative change in the media narrative:
I'm complimenting the NYT for doing the right thing now, but I acknowledge — and thought about this as I wrote the original post — that it may have ulterior motives along these lines.
Then she quotes another commenter:
The NYT walkback is strong evidence of a losing narrative.  They don't abandon their cherished narratives easily.  If they thought continuing the narrative would be helpful rather than hurtful to the liberal cause, they would still be running it on page one with daily assorted op-eds.
Ouch!  Somewhere in this post Ms Althouse slipped in an indirect reference to the NYT reference to the shooter as a "white Hispanic".

From my point of view, at this point in time the only people who are looking good are Spike Lee and the Elderly Couple he misidentified when he tweeted their home address as George Zimmerman's.  Mr Lee quickly and sincerely apologized and the couple accepted the apology gracefully, and behind the scenes the two legal teams quietly settled up.  Frankly, Mr Lee and the couple, and the lawyers, showed class in quickly getting out of the way.

Regards  —  Cliff


The New Englander said...

I would run out of hats to tip on this, but I'll just acknowledge this has been said by many people, in many corners...still, I'll jump in here to say, "Where is the public outrage for the murder victims in Mattapan who got NO justice from last week's result?"

I will self-nominate as Captain Obvious here (...Major Obvious if I pull this stuff two years from now) and point out that the Mattapan story doesn't fit the *narrative* that you referenced in your post.

Oh, and the "white Hispanic" thing is nauseating. I'd be fine with it if it were a more commonplace term, but what a blatant attempt to squeeze a non-fitting peg into an awkwardly-shaped hole.

Craig H said...

I'm not sure "looking good" should ever be used to describe a public persona who irresponsibly publishes an innocent person's address in relation to a sensational murder, public apology or no. The apology may have been sincere, but there remains a serious standard of personal conduct not met, and this should not nor ever be swept under a rug for what happens next.

C R Krieger said...


I take your point, but it's Holy Week and I like the Redemption meme.

Regards  —  Cliff

Jack Mitchell said...

Greg, you have some experience with the Census. They reference "non-Hispanic white" as a population.

Isn't this just a silly rearranging of words to make a splash.

I think the matter in Florida is being over played. But, relating it to other events is sorta like saying "Shouldn't we be bored by black males getting shot?"

Last Saturday night, I was watching Cops. Some white trash in Florida were having a neighbor to neighbor tiff. The guy with the ponytail/mullet, who left the show in cuffs, had brandished a knife. His retort. "This is Florida. We stand our ground!"

No doubt that minor detail was not missed by the folks at FOX. The timing was impeccable.

C R Krieger said...

I think the difference is that while the Federal Census (can't they spell Caucasian?) uses that distinction, for The New York Times such usage is not standard.  It originally felt like The Old Gray Lady was trying to diminish the "Hispanic" side of it by making Zimmerman out to be less than fully "Hispanic".  As the link to Professor Althouse points out, these is some suggestion that the NYT felt it had lost the narrative by diminishing the fact of Mr Zimmerman being an Hispanic.

Yes, I agree it is being overplayed, but it does not change the fact that Black on Black crime is drifting this nation in the wrong direction.  On the other hand, I have no solution to offer at this time.  But, it is not just a Black Community problem.  It is an American problem.

Regards  —  Cliff

Anonymous said...

Where is the outrage for all the black folks who were killed in just the last month...let alone the last black people? Is it not newsworthy? Why is it "news" if someone who is white...or made up white....allegedly murders someone "of color?" Well....I think that the answer to those questions is quite obvious....and speaks to a much more pernicious problem in American society than whether anyone is looking good...or bad.

The murder is disgusting enough...IF it is a murder...but the national reaction to it is even more obscene.

I hesitate to discuss any aspect of Holy Week and its societal meaning in the same dialogue. I'm fairly certain that the Holy Spirit must surely be offended.