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Lyons: Facts donít bother pundits(Zimmerman/Martin) ^ | 28 April, 2012 | Gene Lyons

Posted on 04/29/2012 6:05:45 AM PDT by marktwain

Almost from the beginning, there were two aspects of the “George Zimmerman as racist assassin” story that made little sense. First, who calls the police, then murders a total stranger in cold blood knowing that the cops are minutes away? Panic seemed likelier than malice. Second, how does a 28-year-old man with a desk job catch a fleeing 17-year-old high school athlete, anyway?

I say “almost,” because like most Americans, I responded to the Trayvon Martin tragedy as President Obama did — in sorrow, and with pity for the immense dignity of the young man’s parents. They and their son deserve justice. Not vengeance, justice.

I also believed, as I’ve written, that “untrained individuals like Zimmerman have no business packing heat, nor confronting strangers they deem suspicious. Trouble didn’t come to George Zimmerman; he went looking for it. At minimum, he acted like a damn fool.”

However, I was also leery of journalists and TV personalities like Al Sharpton and his MSNBC colleagues setting up as prosecutor, judge and jury. Even if you didn’t know about Sharpton’s previous misadventures — he became famous due to his outrageous conduct during the 1987 Tawana Brawley rape hoax — the network’s permitting him to report about a public event in which he’d enrolled as an active participant violated every known rule of journalistic ethics.

But truly, I had no idea. What began as a local tragedy has been supersized into a ratings-driven national TV melodrama, a racially and politically charged piece of infotainment pitting good against evil. A festival of bad reporting, speculation and mind-reading from the outset, the Zimmerman-Martin affair has turned into a classic example of what University of Virginia psychologist Jonathan Haidt calls a “consensual hallucination.”

That is, people have so much emotion invested in the story, that regardless of how much the facts change, their conclusions rarely do. With group identity at stake, skepticism’s in short supply. It’s become like a national Rorschach test. Comment lines to newspaper stories and blog posts regarding the case are a sight to see. Responding to a New York Times photo of Zimmerman on the witness stand, readers speculated that he’d artificially darkened his skin to curry favor with African-American jurors.

More’s the pity, because apart from its most basic elements, i.e., that George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin during a struggle after phoning Sanford, Fla., police to report a suspicious character, very little about the tragedy as initially reported has survived closer scrutiny. Remember when Zimmerman was depicted as a 250-lb. brute assaulting a child half his size? The real George Zimmerman turns out to be a smallish fellow some five or six inches shorter than the wiry young man he confronted.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: banglist; fl; georgezimmerman; lmm; martin; trayvon; trayvonmartin; zimmerman
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To: Clara Lou
why raise the bond on a guy when he turned himself in voluntarily in the first place?

I thought that I heard brief mention of GZ having his bond increased because the judge learned he'd raised a fair amount after paying bail and being released...and that the judge would close down GZ's fund raising web site as well. Not a peep since then.

Was that my imagination and/or can anyone here correct or confirm it?

21 posted on 04/29/2012 7:47:10 AM PDT by norton
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To: hampdenkid

“Trademarking your punk son’s name so that you can make money off of his death is not dignity. Nor is running around playing the bereaved parent of a departed saint when you knew full well that your son was a gangsta wannabe who didn’t simply run with the wrong crowd — he was the wrong crowd.”

If the parents had been parenting instead of being absent on the day of the incident Trayvon would likely be living and breathing today.

1. From news reports it appears Trayvon’s mother was the custodial parent. Why did she send him away to be with his father during the 10 day suspension?
2. The evening Trayvon was killed, Trayvon’s father and “fiancé” went out to dinner without Trayvon. Why wasn’t Trayvon having dinner with his father, particularly given Trayvon was going back to Mom and school the next day? Wouldn’t a caring father want to share dinner with a child he would be separated from the next day?
3. It was reported Trayvon stayed at the condo that evening to watch a basketball game. Why was a suspended student, who had multiple suspensions that year, at home without adult supervision watching television? Why wasn’t his father at home making sure he was studying so he would be prepared to return to school? Why was he allowed to run around the neighborhood unsupervised while under suspension? Did the parents exercise any discipline or in any way punish Trayvon for being suspended from school?
4. It was reported by the media Trayvon’s father and fiancé came home from their dinner and went to bed, not noticing Trayvon wasn’t at home. It wasn’t until the next morning the father called the police. Why wasn’t Trayvon’s father concerned when he came home finding his son not at home? Why was he in bed instead of searching for the missing youth? Why was he not concerned enough to call the police until mid morning the next day?

Of course the media asks none of these questions. Instead it portrays the parents as victims, ignoring the fact they were not being responsible parents to what appears to have been a troubled teen. The same media and race baiters who demand Zimmerman pay for the crime are unwilling to assign any accountability to parents for monitoring and guiding their children. Trayvon’s death was a tragedy. It is also a tragedy when parents conceive children and don’t take responsibility for raising them. We as a society suffer due to negligent parents who leave their children to their own devices while they (the parents) indulge in their own pleasures.

22 posted on 04/29/2012 8:09:31 AM PDT by Soul of the South (When times are tough the tough get going.)
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To: marktwain

Consenual hallucination is an interesting concept.

I’d say it accurately describes Obama supporters, especially people such as Tom Hanks.

It also accurately describes those who continue to insist that Michelle Obama is somehow beautiful.

23 posted on 04/29/2012 8:28:47 AM PDT by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: norton

From what I recall site went active about 2 days before the information was filed and he turned himself in. And was taken down about 2 days after he got out. The site linked to a PayPal account. Others may have known of the account but it became widely available when the website went live. Since I doubt GZ had access to the PayPal account while in jail, it is reasonable to assume GZ had no idea how much money was in the account the day of the bond hearing. On the other hand someone may have informed him money was flowing in at a high rate. It’s been reported $5K of this money was used to post the 10% cash part of the $150K bond. The judge has asked Omara to clarify who exactly had control of the account and who knew how much money was in it.

24 posted on 04/29/2012 8:38:27 AM PDT by ironman
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To: BerryDingle

Its all about re-electing Obama and the establishment of a Soviet style system upon the USA. It fits their need to A) lock the iron collar of White Guilt upon the majority voters (So Zimmerman must be made white and a thug) and B) Cement in stone Black support for Obama (he was losing it because he did little or nothing to help his supporters). Its about the use of a small event by the Liberal Media to support “their man” in what they see as a challenge for the right. Being left over Hippies—educated in the streets of the 1960s—they see all Republicans (and Tea Party People) as truly evil, They will justify any action to keep this terrible group out of power. Even if folks must die—it will be a small price to lock out the GOP. Riots are seen as a way to help attain their goals of continued power in the hands of “their “ president. They do not know that the cabal they have placed in the White House is anything but corrupt and will in the end destroy everything the Liberals hold dear.

25 posted on 04/29/2012 8:48:22 AM PDT by Forward the Light Brigade (Into the Jaws of H*ll)
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To: Clara Lou

................I hated to see the cuffs, but I think that cuffing is SOP......................

Don’t know. I didn’t see Casey Anthony frogged into court in cuffs after she murdered her daughter.

26 posted on 04/29/2012 9:09:32 AM PDT by Noob1999 (Loose Lips, Sink Ships)
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To: Soul of the South

Father said he tried to contact TM and also a cousin Sunday night and then went to bed thinking they might be at the movies. It seems that they did not know where he was Sunday night. Thirten year home, should have known something...alter all TM went to the 7-11 to buy him snacks. Guess he didn’t buy anything for himself...odd.

One good reason not to call police Sunday evening is if you are up on drugs or drunk. It’s also a good reason why you wouldn’t take your son 17 (and teenage “step son, 13) with you.

27 posted on 04/29/2012 9:43:59 AM PDT by hoosiermama
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To: norton

But that’s just my point. If bond is to make sure the person appears for trial, why try to raise it on Z (whether or not more money came in) if he voluntarily turned himself in in the first place?
The answer is: Tryavon’s mom, dad, and lawyer whined.

28 posted on 04/29/2012 10:13:42 AM PDT by Clara Lou
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To: Noob1999

I’ll bet she had them on for her bail hearing because she was a prisoner. [But I don’t know for sure.]

29 posted on 04/29/2012 10:15:56 AM PDT by Clara Lou
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To: marktwain
I also believed, as I’ve written, that “untrained individuals like Zimmerman have no business packing heat, nor confronting strangers they deem suspicious. Trouble didn’t come to George Zimmerman; he went looking for it. At minimum, he acted like a damn fool.”

Then you also believe that no one has a right to defend their community from criminals and that we all have a duty to purposely be victims of thugs. You can shove that POV you know where, Gene.

30 posted on 04/29/2012 11:18:17 AM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: dirtboy

I think you nailed it. This article is nothing more than a CYA for the DNC. It won’t work because NO_LIMIT_SHARPTON isn’t going to stand for being thrown under the bus.

31 posted on 04/29/2012 11:23:21 AM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: umgud
He followed and watched him to a point where his concerns caused him to call 911.

Just for the record - George Zimmerman never called 911. He called the non-emergency phone number for the Sanford Police (Zimmerman knew what he was doing and this wasn't an emergency). Although the media can't seem to understand that, the State of Florida certainly does. The charging affidavit for Second Degree Murder is quite specific that Zimmerman spoke with a 'police dispatcher,' although it later refers to 911 calls made by others.

The City of Sanford made it quite clear in the FAQ letter issued to the public, twice. The first time when it said:

In this instance, the 911 calls made by neighbors in the subdivision, and the non-emergency call made by Mr. Zimmerman are all key to the investigation by Sanford Police Department.

The second time when it called the individual Zimmerman spoke with a telecommunications call taker and not a 911 operator:

[T]he telecommunications call taker asked Zimmerman “are you following him”. Zimmerman replied, “yes”. The call taker stated “you don’t need to do that”. The call taker’s suggestion is not a lawful order that Mr. Zimmerman would be required to follow.

You'll note the media seems to have missed the part about the suggestion not being a lawful order, as well as the fact it wasn't a 911 call.

32 posted on 04/29/2012 11:40:33 AM PDT by Scoutmaster (You knew the job was dangerous when you took it)
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To: marktwain
At first Zimmerman was described as "white" and then as "Hispanic" or "white Hispanic." Now we know that he has black ancestry, he should be called "white-Afro-Peruvian." Like Tiger Woods is "white-African-American-Native-American-Asian."

I'm surprised to find Gene Lyons making any sense at all, I'm almost inclined to give him a pass on the things he still had wrong. Zimmerman wasn't acting like a damn fool, he was acting like a concerned citizen trying to guard his neighborhood from yet another burglary.

33 posted on 04/29/2012 3:13:12 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Clara Lou

Handcuffs with waist chain secured down to ankle chains is SOP for transport of first degree murder charges/convicted murder felons for transport, not for sitting in a court room.

34 posted on 04/29/2012 5:24:06 PM PDT by BerryDingle (I know how to deal with communists, I still wear their scars on my back from Hollywood-Ronald Reagan)
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