May 24, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from Mediaite: In March and April, MSNBC’s primetime hosts ran with nearly wall-to-wall coverage of the killing of Florida teen Trayvon Martin. They regularly suggested that the lack of national interest in the case was worthy of outrage. Last week, when an avalanche of new evidence favorable to George Zimmerman came to light, MSNBC’s primetime lineup didn’t just bury the story, they didn’t mention Martin or Zimmerman once the week that news broke according to media monitoring service TV Eyes. On May 15, ABC’s World News broke new information that showed a more nuanced picture of how the altercation between Zimmerman and Martin unfolded. Their documents describe Zimmerman as having received “two black eyes” as well as a “broken nose.” They also outlined how Zimmerman was offered but refused hospitalization on the night of the incident.
The editorial decisions of MSNBC’s primetime producers would not merit this level of scrutiny but for the network hosts crusade in the months of March and April to see justice done in the Martin case. But as details about the case emerge and paint a far less definitive picture of what really happened –an even potentially sympathetic one for Zimmerman- the urgency of this story on MSNBC seems to have not just faded but evaporated.
To be fair, MSNBC dayside did cover the story as news according to TV Eyes but considering how often and passionately their primetime hosts focused on this story, it seems either purely ideological or beyond negligent for not a single show to have mentioned this big news.
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has said based on the new evidence that “no fair jury would find anyone guilty here of second degree murder.” Whether that is true or not, the legal system is too important and sometimes explosive for any news network to be completely depriving its audience of relevant information. Especially in this case, which MSNBC’s hosts did so much to elevate.