An Opportunity For Discourse, Education & Healing Turns Into A Blatant Attempt To Push An Agenda.

I would really love to post every day if I could, but even my goal of a post of week has been almost impossible to meet, between work and family obligations, and now Spring and all that that brings with it (planting, lawn care, etc…), it just isn’t happening. But I think the main reason is Facebook, because so much of the venting I used to do here is now done there. It’d fast, easy, and much less involved than blogging. And today, I am going to combine the two, by taking a comment that I posted on Facebook (and the subsequent replies that comment received), and bring them over here to continue the discussion, because A), it will allow me to keep the blog somewhat current, and B) there are limitations to Facebook that a blog does not have. With that said, here is my original comment I posted a few days ago:

“I, along with most Americans, am deeply saddened by the tragic killing of Trayvon Martin, and the sadness at this event is only eclipsed by the disgust I feel from the left for their rush to cash in and exploit this tragedy for their own agenda. Have these people no shame? Apparently not……”

What follows, with alternating comments in red and blue, are the few comments that followed that post. I have eliminated the last names of my friends who commented to protect their privacy:

 ROD: I too am angered by anyone who would exploit a situation like this. I do, however think that all these “stand your ground” laws need major change. They are far too ambiguous to keep these tragedies from happening.

ME: I agree Rod. Actually, when a tragedy like this happens it can open much needed debate in several areas, and if the people debating are adults and sincere, then maybe something good can come out of this mess….. but that is not what we are seeing here, is it. Look, given today’s journalistic “standards”, while I dislike all the misinformation floating around, I’ve come to expect it. But the blatant use of this tragedy to promote pet causes that have nothing to do with this shooting, it’s about as low as you can get.

CHRIS: I agree Bob but again its not just the left. FOX commentators have said some awful things as well.

STEPHEN: Whatchu talkin’ ’bout, Willis? Where’s the cash? What agenda are you talking about? The “Don’t Shoot Unarmed Kids” agenda?

ME: Chris, let me address that (Stephen, I’ll have to wait until later this evening to address your disturbing and somewhat racist comments, and equally disturbed by Chris’s “like”). Did some Fox commentators say some awful things? I’m not aware of any, but then again I don’t watch Fox News. However, considering the amount of liberal radio I’ve listened to over the last few days, I’m surprised I didn’t hear those comments there, as they usually have a heyday with Fox flubs. And if Fox made some awful comments, I condemn those as well. Please, share with me what they said so I can address those as well.

The closest I heard to condemnation to comments on the right was reaction to Newt Gingrich who said “What the president said in a sense is disgraceful. It’s not a question of who that young man looked like,” in regards to the President saying “When I think about this boy, I think about my own kids…. If I had a son he’d look like Trayvon.” Now let me first say that I find no issue with President Obama’s words. I think they were heartfelt, and I don’t think that, as Gingrich apparently feels, that they were “divisive.” But that said, let’s not pretend that there is a double-standard at play here. If this had happened four years ago when Bush was president, and the young boy shot was white and had been shot by an African-American, and President Bush said “If I had a son he’d look like (insert name here), the man would have been racked over the coals. BUT, that wouldn’t have been fair, nor would it be fair now for us to attack President Obama.

But keeping with Newt, let’s consider this. I heard his “disgraceful” clip played multiple times over the last couple of days on the left, from Ed Schultz to Thom Hartmann to Bill Press and others. What I HAVEN’T heard is what came after Newt said those words, which was this: ““I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative to investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together – federal, state and local – to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.” He then added “Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background….. it’s just nonsense dividing this country up. It is a tragedy this young man was shot. It would have been a tragedy if he had been Puerto Rican or Cuban or if he had been white or if he had been Asian American of if he’d been a Native American. At some point we ought to talk about being Americans. When things go wrong to an American. It is sad for all Americans.” Nope, we can’t allow the whole comment to be aired, can we? After all, if we do, people might actually get the idea that Newt is… gasp…. Human, and we can’t allow that, can we? What would Media Matters say?

STEPHEN: The problem I see here, Bob, is the attempt to somehow connect this unfortunate situation to some kind of left/right ideological dialogue. Maybe you were just making a joke that didn’t go over. If so, no problem. However, I don’t see any opportunity to accuse either side of playing politics on this one by anyone other than the idiotic Republican candidates who tried to gain traction by condemning the president of the United States for his personal comments. You don’t need Fox News or anybody else to tell you that Newt is a dipshit for believing that Obama was in anyway being ‘disgraceful’, whether you listen to his entire remark or not. He’s just not a good person, period. You can’t blame the media for pointing out some of the especially stupid stuff that comes out of his mouth.

It seems to me that your evaluation of any political situation immediately boils down to whether or not you label it as ‘liberal’ or ‘left’, then crying foul if it seems that there might be some left-leaning bias, completely ignoring the blatant bias from the ‘conservative’ or ‘right’ side of the spectrum. Is there bias on both sides? Yes. Is it worse on the right? As I see it, absolutely. Nobody walks in lock-step like the Republicans (their lack of compromise in Washington will be remembered as historic), and I don’t see any liberal networks out there that are as big as Fox, nor as dedicated to a single political view. The closest thing on the left to the commentators on Fox are all comedians like Mahar and Stewart, and those guys openly acknowledge this fact, are a damn-sight better informed, more intelligent, more tolerant, and more entertaining. Did I mention that they are comedians?

How you will try to paint me as a racist for quoting a once-popular televison program character’s response to the unbeliveable is something I can hardly wait for. So, I for one am still curious as to which ‘agenda’ you were originally referring to. All jokes aside, was it really the “Don’t Shoot Unarmed Kids” agenda?

JAMES:  I guess sometimes humor of any kind and tragedy don’t mix. This struck me as the a case of stupid doing what reasonable people know we shouldn’t do after being told by the authorities not to do it. It sometimes is impossible to understand or predict all the implications that some person might attempt under any given law. This guy just wanted an excuse to use his gun and he now must pay the price for his stupidity!

CARL:  The problem I have with Gingrich’s comment is that he’s smart enough to know that the leading comment is what airs and gets noticed. As such, he’s playing his usual game: speaking in divisive and racial terms to rile up the bigots that support him. He then provides enough rational thought after that to provide cover for all sensible, realistic people to hear and give him the benefit of the doubt. For him to intentionally mis-hear honest empathy from Obama is disgusting. No matter what he follows it up with.

He’s been sly since he first ran for office. From an article in the New Yorker by Frank Rich: The new GOP was hostile to female liberation, period, not just female sexual freedom. The pitch was articulated by Newt Gingrich in his first successful congressional race in Georgia in 1978. His opponent, a state senator named Virginia Shapard, crusaded for the Equal Rights Amendment and bankrolled her own campaign. That uppity profile gave the Gingrich forces an advertising message: “Newt will take his family to Washington and keep them together; Virginia will go to Washington and leave her husband and children in the care of a nanny.” Newt won by nine percentage points. One of his campaign officials tied his victory to the strategy of “appealing to the prejudice against working women, against their not being home.”

My point is not (only) to bag on Newt. But to just to give a different take on his comments. I don’t hear a lot of exploitation happening here. I hear genuine outrage about a kid getting murdered in cold blood. And I look forward to hearing where the exploitation is, cause my friends and I don’t see it.

JAMES: The exploitation is by everyone including the media in presenting this case in anything other than the facts. All have their own agenda and the media of any side is always interested in hyping interest to sell its papers, time or impressions. Other parties, candidates & individuals like Sharpton or Farrakhan simply interject their bias for their own purposes and agendas. None of whom were there as witnesses to the tragedy! That’s really what it is, because loss of a life for no real apparent purpose is just that and until anyone else has facts the rest is just plain conjecture.

Okay, so, as of this writing, that’s been the discussion so far. Now I would like to clarify my initial point, give you a few examples, and see where we go from there. But, before I do, let me give you a quick background on the players.

Rod and Carl are two gentlemen that I used to work with when I worked for Kinko’s. Some of the greatest people you will ever meet and have the opportunity to engage in a discussion with are Kinko’s people. Why? Because as a company they developed a culture of passion in the old days, one where we were encouraged to think for ourselves, express ourselves, and display said passion. Some of the most heated discussions I have ever had have been with Kinko’s folks, and at the end of the day we always embraced, respected (although no always agreed with) each other, and headed out to share a beer.

Chris, Stephen and James are gentlemen I went to high school and/or college with. Stephen was a couple years ahead of me, and while I didn’t know him well I was good friends with his brother. Both (he and his brother… as well as the rest of the family I guess) are very engaging and intelligent people. And tall. In the last few months Stephen and I have had some, shall we say “interesting” discussions on Facebook. James was a year ahead of me as well, and Chris, well Chris is something else (and that’s a good thing).

I consider Chris one of my dearest friends. He was one of my roommates in college, and I’d tell you more but I’m not sure the statute of limitations is up on some of those things. He is a remarkable human being, and the polar opposite of me in almost all things political. He lives in D.C., and his wife is a member of the Obama administration.

I think Chris also has an interesting perspective to bring to this conversation – should he choose to rejoin it – because he, like George Zimmerman – is a “White Hispanic” (seriously, when before this case have you ever heard that term?).

Okay, Okay – back to the discussion at hand, which was shameful liberal exploitation of this tragedy. I should also ad that my discussion on this will probably be viewed by some as uncaring towards Trayvon Martin or supporting George Zimmerman. Nothing could be further from the truth, and in fact those two words – the truth – is what I am really passionate about. Personally, I think the Sanford police flubbed the investigation, and this case really does need to be investigated and, if the evidence supports it, charges need to be filed. Once filed, if the evidence supports it, Zimmerman needs to be tried.

“Bob, what do you mean ‘If The Evidence supports it?’ Of course the evidence supports it, Zimmerman is Guilty”.  – And that, comments like that, are what I am talking about. It’s amazing how so many people – without all the evidence – are so certain of someone’s guilt or innocence. And hey, it’s okay for you, me, and the average Joe on the street to rush to judgment. Well, maybe it’s not really okay, but you, me and Joe aren’t exactly influencing large sections of the country, whereas the media is.

Despite this murder taking place over a month ago, it really started to build steam about 10 days ago or so, and that’s when I first heard about it. Unfortunately, my initial knowledge came during a short spring break vacation with my wife and daughter, when I had access to neither my computer or my satellite radio. All I knew was – according to the reports I was hearing – some white guy in Florida stalked and killed a black kid and got off Scott free.

Once I returned home and had my car (and satellite radio) again, I started listening to the political channels to get more. And as I am prone to do, I listened to mostly liberal stations, and heard basically the same story – white guy/black kid – from Bill Press, Ed Schultz, Thom Hartmann, etc… I also listened to a number of African American commenter’s, to get their perspective.

I guess it was probably four or five days before I heard that Zimmerman was in fact Hispanic. Now why does that matter? Well, it shouldn’t, but since we are being told that this is a racially motivated crime, I found it funny that they were trying to hide one of the races involved. Of course Zimmerman has now gone on to be described as a “White Hispanic”. And I was serious when I asked before has anyone ever heard that term commonly used? I mean, Zimmerman does have a white father and a Hispanic (I believe Peruvian) mother, so yes, he is ½ white and ½ Hispanic. But think about it, has anyone ever heard anyone say “President Obama is a White Black”?

This is concern one, that the left so needs and wants this to be racially motivated that they have to be sure that “White” is predominantly displayed in the description. Sure, “mixed race” is a more common used term, but what is the mix? Nope, make sure they know he’s part White… all the better for our narrative.

And in fact Zimmerman could be a racist. He could have been motivated to go after Martin for nothing more than the color of his skin, and gunned him down in cold blood. And if that is true, then let him rot in a cell before he rots in hell.

Let’s stop for a minute and look at a few quotes from the press. Now keep in mind that every word I am reprinting hear COULD be 100% true. They could also be 100% false. The truth is, at this point we don’t know for sure, that’s why an investigation is needed. But my concern is that these quotes are presented in these reports as if they are facts, with no “an investigation into these allegations is still pending” type disclaimer added. Once again I’ll flip back and forth between Blue and Red to distinguish differing quotes, giving the source at the end of the quote:

Martin’s death “compromises the integrity of our legal system and sets a horrific precedent of vigilante justice,” Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) said in a statement. “As a nation we cannot, should not, and will not ignore, Trayvon’s brutal murder and the inconceivable fact that his killer remains free. … Trayvon had a family, friends and a future all taken away because of the color of his skin.” (Politico)

Before the shooting, Zimmerman, who has a weapons permit, told a police dispatcher there was “a real suspicious guy” who looked “like he was up to no good or on drugs or something” and looked to have “something in his waistband.” The dispatcher told Zimmerman not to approach the teen, but Zimmerman pursued Martin anyway. He chased Martin on foot and eventually shot him. (Politico)

How do we go from one state to 30? Who was the Typhoid Mary for this horrible outbreak? Try not to be surprised. It’s the usual suspects: the Koch brothers, the NRA, the American Legislative Exchange Council, and Clinton vets, remember the Scaife family? Oh, yeah. These are the same people who stymied gun regulation at every point who funded and ghost write these laws and others that have become a core of the conservative agenda that is being implemented across our country. It’s the same group that also wrote the voter I.D. laws which threaten to disenfranchise some 5 million american voters, many of them African-American. (Karen Finney, MSNBC, discussing “Stand Your Ground laws)

The new Black Panther Party offered a bounty of $10,000 Saturday for the “capture” of a Florida neighborhood watch captain who killed unarmed teen Trayvon Martin……“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” leader Mikhail Muhammad said after announcing the reward for George Zimmerman at a protest in Sanford, Fla……Muhammad called on 5,000 black men to mobilize and capture the neighborhood watch volunteer.

“If the government won’t do the job, we’ll do it,” Muhammad said, leading chants that included “freedom or death” and “justice for Trayvon.” The group hopes to collect $1 million off the outrage by next week.

New Black Panthers members pointed to what they called the inaction of government officials — from Sanford city officials up to the governor — and accused them of lying and delaying justice.

They (The New Black Panthers) also said Angela Corley, the newly appointed special prosecutor, was an enemy of the black community. “She has a track record of sending innocent young black men and women to prison,” Muhammad said.  (New York Daily News)

This is Treyvon Martin (holding up a picture of Martin). Trayvon Martin’s murderer is still at large. It’s been one month, thirty days, with no arrest. I want America to see this sweet young boy who was hunted down like a dog, shot in the street, and his killer is still at large.

Not one person has been arrested in Treyvon’s murder. I want to make sure that America knows that in Sanford, Florida, there was a young boy murdered. He is buried in Miami, Florida, and not one person has been arrested even though we all know who the murderer is. This was a standard case of racial profiling. No more! No more! We will stand for justice for Treyvon Martin. (Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Florida))

Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson said Friday that he’s grateful the rest of the country has sat up and taken notice of the tragic slaying of Trayvon Martin …Then along comes the Trayvon Martin case, and facts that are not in contention: Volunteer neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman pursued and then gunned down the unarmed 17-year-old last month, and never faced arrest because police said there was no evidence to contradict his claim that he fired in self-defense.

He (Jackson) added: “Blacks are under attack.” African American families are facing record home foreclosures and unemployment. Their children are burdened with student loan debt. States, particularly conservative ones, are passing voter laws that leaders know will disenfranchise blacks and other minorities. Meanwhile, the nation’s prisons are brimming with black faces, he said, and their numbers that suggest that the legal system is quicker to send blacks to prison than whites.

“Our disparities are great,” he said. “Targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.” (LA Times)

“So, when presidential candidate Newt Gingrich says that ‘really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works. No habit of I do this, and you give me cash — unless it’s illegal,’” Finney said. “Or, Rick Santorum says, ‘I don’t want to make black people’s lives easier.’ Or Rush Limbaugh calls a presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, a ‘magic negro.’ Or Mitt Romney says nothing at all. The effect is dangerous, because they reinforce and validate old stereotypes that associate the poor and welfare as criminal behavior with African-Americans and people of color, calling us lazy undeserving recipients of public assistance.”

“In the case of Trayvon, those festering stereotypes had lethal consequences,” (Karen Finney, MSNBC)

Okay, so how do these comments back up my original claim that the left is rushing “ to cash in and exploit this tragedy for their own agenda”. Well, let’s look at some of them.

First, we have Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) saying that “ Trayvon had a family, friends and a future all taken away because of the color of his skin.” The truth is, we do not know at all if Martin was targeted because of the color of his skin. Sure, that could have been the case, and when you hear claims like these often enough it starts to feel like the truth. But while we are looking at what the media was reporting, it is also important that we look at what the media WASN’T reporting.

For example, in the initial days, the media wasn’t reporting that Zimmerman was Hispanic (or partial Hispanic). Now, that doesn’t mean that a Hispanic can’t be guilty of racism, of course he could be. They also failed to note that Zimmerman had several African American relatives, was mentoring a single African American mother of two, and helped raise funds for an all black church. Again, all of these facts can exist AND Zimmerman can still be a racist, but if you tell the whole story it makes pushing your agenda harder to do.

Next we have the Politico reporting this: .“The dispatcher told Zimmerman not to approach the teen, but Zimmerman pursued Martin anyway. He chased Martin on foot and eventually shot him. Now we know that the dispatcher did in fact tell Martin not to approach the teen, BUT Zimmerman’s own account basically has Martin approaching him at this point. Again, I am not saying that Zimmerman’s claim is correct or the Politico claim is false, BUT the fact is the Politico is reporting something as fact that has not been established as such.

And it’s easy to say at this point that “Well, this isn’t really pushing an agenda as much as it is shoddy journalism”, and I think that’s fair, but how does that explain a few of the other things. First, you have the New Black Panther Party. The article states “The group hopes to collect $1 million off the outrage by next week.” THAT is using a tragedy for personal gain, and that is disgusting. I also think that the whole $10,000 bounty and vigilantism of this group is sickening as well. Call for an investigation. Absolutely. But state ““If the government won’t do the job, we’ll do it,”” while at the same time accusing Zimmerman of being a vigilante, don’t you see the irony here?

And I want to give the New York Daily News a little credit here. They did, in this story include this line: “The Southern Poverty Law Center calls the New Black Panther Party, a black-separatist group created in 1989, “virulently racist and anti-Semitic.”

But let’s talk about Jesse Jackson for a minute. Jesse Jackson, just like Al Sharpton, are excellent at promoting what matters most to them, which just happens to be, well, Jesse Jackson (and Al Sharpton). When asked about the Black Panther pledge to put together a militia to “capture” (they had earlier released a “wanted” poster – dead or alive), did Jackson use this opportunity to denounce this call for violence and ask that calmer heads prevail? No, Jackson called it “A Distraction”. Serious Jesse, a call for violence is “a distraction”. Maybe that is why you are considered less and less significant as time goes on.

But Jesse chooses to use this tragedy to state that “Blacks are under attack.” He speaks of African American facing record home foreclosures, high unemployment and student loan debt. He attacks “conservative” states, claiming they are trying to “disenfranchise blacks and other minorities.”

Now, are these NOT issues? Of course they are, and they are very serious issues. But choosing to use a teenagers death to push your agenda is just creepy. And then, he ads this little gem: “Targeting, arresting, convicting blacks and ultimately killing us is big business.” And no one considers this exploitive?

And what about Karen Finney, who is described as a “MSNBC Contributor and Democratic Fundraiser” – Yeah, nothing but fair and objective there. She uses Trayvon’s death to attack Rush Limbaugh, The Koch Brothers, Santorum and Gingrich, and every other right-wing boogeyman. Fair? Well what would your take be if folks on the right tried to tie this tragedy to George Soros, Obamacare, Nancy Pelosi or Eric Holder. Well, my guess is you’d say that was ridiculous. And guess what… you’d be right, which explains the lunacy of Finney’s comments.

Now I can go on, but I think you get the picture. Like I said, this is a tragedy, and it needs to be investigated and acted upon. BUT, we all need to keep an open mind and let all the facts come out. And I am not in any way suggesting that there may have been circumstances that justify the killing of Trayvon. But what if, as Zimmerman states (and witness have partially collaborated), after he was told not to pursue Martin he was returning to his SUV when Martin approached and attacked him. Sure, still does not in any way justify the shooting of Martin, BUT it does change the narrative.

Oh one last thing. When it comes to exploiting a tragedy in the worse possible way, how do you ignore the Obama Re-election team putting their “Obama 2012” Hoodie on sale, and tweeting this information out. Now I’m not attacking the President here, I doubt he came up with this idea. But whoever did should be fired.

I do want to take a moment or two to address a couple of Stephen’s comments, but before I do that, let me explain the comment that I made to Stephen, accusing him of making a racist comment. Was I serious? Well, not really, BUT I was trying to make a point. Look, I think that Stephen’s comment was meant to be harmless, BUT in light of the topic, it was, well, insensitive.  No? You don’t think so?

Okay, let’s say that one of the republican candidates was out stumping, and a reporter said “What is your take on the Trayvon Martin tragedy”, to which they replied “What you talkin’ about Willis?”. The fact is, this is not a time for levity, and considering the tensions with race relations that this event has stirred, this is not only insensitive, it’s tacky.

And I want my liberal friends… hell, for all my friends, remember this instance next time you want to accuse someone of being a racist (or at the least making a racist comment). Most of the times that I have ever heard anyone accuse someone else of making a racist comment, they really haven’t. Oh, they may have used unfortunate wording, and there may have been a racial aspect to the comment, but that doesn’t make it racist. Sadly, I think this will be lost on most.

Okay, below are a few of Stephen’s comments (in red), and my responses:

I don’t see any opportunity to accuse either side of playing politics on this one by anyone other than the idiotic Republican candidates who tried to gain traction by condemning the president of the United States for his personal comments. : Well Stephen, hopefully now you can see an opportunity to see how in fact this was politicized. Yes, you are right, those slamming Obama for his comments are doing so for political gain, and that is shameful. BUT, if you still can’t see the horror on the left here, then you are just to blind – by choice – and I doubt I can have further discussions with you.
It seems to me that your evaluation of any political situation immediately boils down to whether or not you label it as ‘liberal’ or ‘left’, then crying foul if it seems that there might be some left-leaning bias, completely ignoring the blatant bias from the ‘conservative’ or ‘right’ side of the spectrum: Stephen, have you really listened to our past discussions? Show me where you have ever embraced a conservative idea? Hell, today (in one of your Facebook comments) you were bitching about Nixon for God’s sake. Let it go. But in our conversations I have mentioned my support for Gay Marriage and the repel of “Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell” – not exactly republican cornerstones. I have also, in a previous conversation, supported the repeal of the Bush Tax Cuts (I guess they are now the Obama Tax Cuts, given he signed their extension), not only for the reach, but ALL of the cuts. I believe that we have a need to massively cut the size of our government, and while I believe that means addressing social programs, I also feel that one of the biggest opportunities for these cuts is in our military budget. I have also been a huge supporter of ending the war on drugs, and have been very vocal regarding the disparities in sentencing laws between black & white criminals.

I guess what I’m saying is that while I am a conservative, and I don’t apologize for that, I look at policies and situations on a case-by-case basis, and use my own logic, and understanding to support or oppose individual situations. Some of my support would be considered left-leaning, some would be considered right-leaning. Can you say the same?

Nobody walks in lock-step like the Republicans (their lack of compromise in Washington will be remembered as historic) : Our current congress – as well as many of the congresses in my lifetime – are flawed, heavily flawed. And yes, I think the republicans in the current house are obstructionists, just as the 110th congress, lead by the Democrats, were obstructionists. But assume that a bill, any bill, is brought up in the house, and it all of the Republicans vote one way, while all of the Democrats vote the other. In your mind, the Republicans would be voting “in lock-step” (a nice Nazi image, probably not unintentional), while all of the Democrats would be “banding together, voting in unity”. Truthfully, there is no difference. Do we need to see more compromise in Washington? Beyond a doubt, BUT compromise is not compromise if we only expect it from one side of the aisle.

I don’t see any liberal networks out there that are as big as Fox, nor as dedicated to a single political view: I don’t have the data to show how many viewers view each station, but I am willing to bet that the numbers for MSNBC, CNN, ABC, NBC and ABC far outnumber the numbers for Fox. Now, I am not saying that those stations swing as much to the left as Fox does to the right (with the exception of MSNBC), BUT they do lean left. Suppose that Fox averages 3 million viewers, and the other networks average 30 million. Now, suppose that on a scale of 1 to 100 – 1 being as liberal and bias as you can get, 100 being as conservative and bias as you can get – Fox scores an 80. Then, suppose that the other group scores an average of, oh, let’s say 43. Using this scale, Fox is about 4 times more bias than its competitors. BUT, take that 30 points above “neutral” and multiply it by 3 mil views, and you get 90 Million conservative “ticks”. Now, take the 7 points of left-leaning bias on the other group, multiply it by their 30 million viewers, you get 210 Million liberal hits, about 2-1/2 more than Fox.

Scientific? Nope, but all-in-all, the media as a whole is much more liberal than conservative. There are exceptions. Talk radio is much, much more conservative. Newspapers on a whole are much, much more liberal. Cable news? Well, I think Fox probably has as many or maybe even slightly more viewers than MSNBC and CNN combined, so it probably skews more to the right. Network news. Not even close – HUGELY left-leaning, although again, not as left leaning as Fox, with its much smaller audience, is right leaning.

So this shows my support of Fox news, right? Nope, I don’t watch Fox news, don’t really care for it.

All jokes aside, was it really the “Don’t Shoot Unarmed Kids” agenda? : I must say this is hugely offensive and alarming. Your first use of this line I took at a (poor) attempt at humor. However, your second use – in which you start “All jokes aside”, leads me to believe that you might actually believe that I was initially bothered by this event because so many people were complaining about the shooting of Trayvon, and I was actually glad he got shot? Seriously Stephen, is there anything I have ever said in our dealings that make you feel I found joy in the death of this young man? If so, tell me so I can clarify my words. But, I believe that the case may be that you are so brainwashed in your thinking of what a conservative is, and so warped by the most extremist feelings on the left that you may believe this, and if so I feel truly sorry for you.

Again, despite the “all jokes aside” comment, I believe you thought you were trying to be humorous, and fell flat on your face.

In all of the coverage of this event, I have not heard one single person on the right express any level of delight that this boy was killed. Oh, I’m sure there are some truly sick racist bastards out there who think this is a hoot, but I am talking about conservative broadcasters, politicians, and pundits. At the same time, I have heard numerous politicians and broadcasters on the left accuse the right of not only supporting this kind of tragedy, but finding joy in it – despite the lack of any such signals from the right.

And this isn’t the first time. Whenever there is a racially tinged tragedy, the accusers from the left come out of the woodwork trying… Hell, HOPING for conservative support from the right. Seriously, what is it about the left that feels the need to paint people who display no racist tendencies as racist? And again, I am not saying their aren’t racists on the right (although I would suspect you would deny any racists on the left), there are, and racism is a disease that we need to address and eradicate. BUT, they way to do that is not to paint those that are trying to do the right thing as something they are not.

Okay, you’re turn…….

THIS JUST IN: Just as I was ready to post this, I found a new story regarding the case. It seems that George Zimmerman’s father did an interview earlier putting out George’s side of the story. I am going to reprint it hear in its entirety. Why? Not because I believe this is “the truth” – I am in no position to call this story true or false (neither are you). But, if true, or even partially true, it does shine a light on some of the comments from the left and how irresponsible and damaging they were, which was my original point.

And again, this story could be 100% bullshit, and in fact Zimmerman did actively hunt down and execute Martin. But stating as fact, as many of the reports have done, ANY side is journalism at its lowest.

EXCLUSIVE: Robert Zimmerman interview

By Valerie BoeyFOX 35 News

LAKE MARY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) – For the first time since that fateful night on February 26, the father of a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot and killed an unarmed teenager sat down for a television interview.

Robert Zimmerman, father of George Zimmerman, said he decided it was time to speak out for his son, against the advice of others. He shared with us what George said happened on the night that 17-year-old Trayvon Martin died.

“It’s my understanding that Trayvon Martin got on top of him and just started beating him,” the 64-year-old Robert Zimmerman said.

He said he felt his son has been portrayed in the wrong way. He also said he and his family have received death threats and asked that we not show his face on camera.

Because there has been a lot of break-ins in the area, Robert said George thought it suspicious that someone would not be walking on the street or the sidewalk on a rainy night that Martin would be walking between the town homes. He said after making those observations, his son decided to call the police.

“He called the non-emergency number first, and they asked him where he was, because he was at the rear of the town houses and there was no street sign,” said Robert.

Even though a dispatcher told George Zimmerman not to follow Martin, his father said his son continued his pursuit to locate an address to give to police.

“He lost sight of the individual, he continued to walk down the same sidewalk to the next street, so he could get an address for the police,” he said.

“He went to the next street, realized where he was and was walking to his vehicle. It’s my understanding, at that point, Trayvon Martin walked up to him and asked him, ‘Do you have a [expletive] problem?’ George said, ‘No, I don’t have a problem,’ and started to reach for his cell phone… at that point, he (Martin) was punching him in the nose, his nose was broken and he was knocked to the concrete.”

Robert said Trayvon, “continued to beat George, and at some point, George pulled his pistol and did what he did.”

When asked about the screams for help which were heard on a 911 call, Robert replied, “All of our family, everyone who knows George, knows absolutely that is George screaming. There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind.”

As for accounts from Trayvon Martin’s girlfriend, who claimed she was on the phone with Martin right before the altercation, he said, “I don’t believe that happened. I don’t believe she was on the phone with him, and I find it very strange with the publicity involved… that all of a sudden, after three weeks, someone would remember that they were on the phone.”

Zimmerman said he had faith in the FBI and others investigating the case and that the truth will come out.

Robert Zimmerman, a former magistrate judge and Vietnam War veteran, said he has never had to deal with anything of this magnitude.

“Unimaginable,” he said. “Tough was being in Vietnam and other things. This is way beyond anything I can imagine.”

He believes his son will be cleared of any wrongdoing, but has a message to all the critics out there.

“I’m sorry for the hate going around from the attorneys, from everyone involved. They’re just making up things no true about George.”

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7 Responses

  1. I have deep feelings about this also, Bob. I will simplify my feelings by saying that I have and have had friends of all races my entire life. I brought my children up to know color of skin was nothing, that we all breathe the same air. As a working mom with little time to socialize, I enjoyed many an hour with numerous of these friends of my children who are of all cultures and ethnicities. I am a surrogate mom to some of these now grown children. To see some of these ‘enlightened’, college educated FB posts stating things such as “it’s still as it was when our grandfathers and great grandfathers were hung…” concerns me deeply. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and others using this as self propoganda is disturbing, but predictable. The situation has polarized – again – white against black. Clearly, something awful happened, but no one but those two truly know what occurred. We can only hope some good comes from this in the end, somehow.

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful and intelligent response Lauri. It reminds me of when the police officers who beat Rodney King verdict was announced. It was either Sharpton or Jackson – I think it was Sharpton – who stated that the verdict “set the civil rights movement back 50 years”. Really Al? Sure, the verdict may not have been right or just, but after it was announced I’m pretty sure African Americans weren’t forced to sit in the back of the bus, drink from different water fountains or not be allowed to vote or sit at lunch counters?

    I think the thing that bothers me most about so-called African American “Leaders” like Al and Jesse is they never acknowledge any of the advances we have made in race relations. Sure, we still have a lot of work to do, but by ignoring the advances we have made I think we are eliminating opportunities to advance even further.

  3. For all your sanctimonious drivel about politicizing a tragedy, your entire post is actually all about attacking liberals and pretending conservatives are not doing any politicizing of this event. Limbaugh and Fox Noise are saying the nastiest things and on top of it are only bringing up Zimmerman’s case. FYI: People from Central and South America can be black and white too, hence there are white and black Hispanics. I lived in Texas and that was normal. Also, let’s assume it’s only Hispanic. As they are NOT African American, they are a different race, and could have racist views towards others. This particular guy seems to have used a derogatory word to describe his victim. For all your sanctimonious cries about journalism, you don’t seem to care about all facts.

    The fact is that Zimmerman chased the young kid, so if anyone has the right of self-defense, it’s the kid. The tragedy here is that, contrary to all crimes (hate or otherwise), police let the killer walk a free man without proper investigation. As we all know, African Americans are at the wrong end of the stick in courts as evidenced by how many of them get the death sentence and remain on the death row for years until DNA proves the whole case was bogus. This happens dis-proportionally to people of color than to white people. The tragedy is the legal system. Get it?

  4. Hey Nayef, good to see you back, and good to see that you haven’t changed a bit.

    Let’s see: Sanctimonious, attacks only one side, ignores the bad coming from “their” side… nope, I think you have me confused with the newshounds. Look, have I been commenting on the bullshit coming from the right? Not so much, because since I posted my original Facebook comment I have been listening to nothing but left-wing radio, so I am not aware of what Rush or Fox is saying since I haven’t been listening to Rush and I don’t watch Fox. Now, usually when there is something coming from Rush or Fox it will be discussed on left-wing radio, and since it hasn’t been, I’m unaware of it.

    I did however comment on President Obama’s “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon” comment, and Newt’s calling that comment disgusting, and if you recall (or if you even read or understood it at all), I actually came down on the side of the President on this one, not Newt. Also, my good friend Chris commented that “FOX commentators have said some awful things as well”, and I replied that, while I was unaware of what Fox was saying (again, I don’t watch Fox), that – and this is a direct quote “if Fox made some awful comments, I condemn those as well.” I also asked Chris to tell me what those awful things were, but got no reply – an action I would normally see from a Newshound. But please, by all means, let me know what they have been saying so that I have a chance to respond.

    My original comment was a simple one, anyone using this tragedy to advance an agenda – or, as Rahm Emmanuel refers to it “never let a good crisis go to waste” – anyone doing so is an Asshole. This case is tragic, and needs to be investigated and properly handled. Do you want to use this tragedy to discuss the merits or lack of regarding “stand your ground” laws? I have no problem with that, the two are linked. Do you want to use this tragedy to attack the Koch brothers, Rush Limbaugh or the republican candidates as MSNBC has? Do you want to use this tragedy to attack high black unemployment, student loan debt, black home foreclosure rates or voter I.D. laws, as Jesse Jackson has? Personally, I think using this young man’s death as a soapbox for your personal agenda is shameful and tasteless. Are these issues (voter I.D., black unemployment, etc…) important and worthy of discussion? Sure they are, but you don’t need to exploit a young man’s death.

    And let me be straight here: This tragedy is also not an opportunity to attack President Obama, Pelosi or Reid, George Soros, Obamacare, and any of a number of other right-wing boogeymen. To do so would be equally as shameful and tasteless.

    As far as the discussion on race and white Hispanics, black Hispanics, etc, again I have to say it’s good to know that some things don’t change, in this case you total lack of comprehension. Nayef, I was not stating that there couldn’t be people of white and Hispanic heritage, or black and Hispanic, or any other possible combination. Nor did I ever state that because race X or race Z was involved there couldn’t be racism. A person of any race (or any mix of races) can be prejudice against any other race. Hell, a person of one race can be racist against their own race.

    No, what I was talking about was the use of the term “White Hispanic” for the first several days as I was hearing of this story, I was hearing several people commenting that this was a racial motivated killing (which of course, we do not know for sure it was). They discussed that Trayvon was black, but never mentioned Zimmerman’s race, the assumption of course being that Zimmerman was white. When the story gained momentum, and pictures of Zimmerman were released, now we had the uncomfortable fact that Zimmerman was Hispanic. Why uncomfortable? Because both black and Hispanic voters tend to be democratic voters, and if the left media pushed the racism card too hard they risked alienating Hispanics. If they didn’t push it hard enough, the risked alienating black voters.

    Now the truth is, Zimmerman IS half Hispanic (mother), and half Caucasian (father). Prior to this incident, I had ever only heard anyone of similar heritage referred to as either mixed race, or often an emphasis on the ethnic background. Case in point: President Obama. President Obama is ½ black and ½ white. We have heard him referred to as being mixed race, or, more often, we hear him being referred to as black (i.e. “our first black president”). When have you ever, ever heard anyone refer to President Obama as “White Black”? You haven’t. Even though it is accurate – President Obama is just as white as he is black – it’s just a phrase that isn’t used.

    My good friend Chris, the one that complained of Fox news earlier, is “White Hispanic”, his father is white, his mother is Mexican. Chris’s wife is white, meaning his kids are ¾ some European descent, and ¼ Mexican. A few years back Chris’ daughter wrote a very moving piece on his blog about how proud she is to be Hispanic, as she should be. And his daughter is not alone in that pride. I find that most people of mixed heritage that I have met tend to identify strongest with the more ethnic part of their background.

    But describing Zimmerman as “Mixed Race” was too vague (what were the races?), and describing him as being born of a white father and a Peruvian mother was just too wordy. “White Hispanic”, was short and accurate… but a phrase that has not been used before, that I am aware of. Ignore his race as long as you can, because people will assume he is white. Once it is obvious he’s not, emphasize the white in his race. Why? Because liberal America NEEDS there to be a fear of white racism for them to push their agenda. And yes, there is white racism in America, just not anywhere near the level the left would like you to believe.

    You do bring up a great point about the “derogatory word” Zimmerman supposedly used to describe Martin. I did mean to address this, but as I was working on this post more and more new stuff kept coming up and this piece – this very important piece – got lost in the shuffle.

    On the 911 call, it was reported that Zimmerman referred to Martin as a “f%$^ing coon”. Now I haven’t heard the tape myself, and most who have said it’s very hard to make out, but that in fact the words Zimmerman used could have been “f%$^ing coon.” And, if this is the case, it makes it difficult for Zimmerman to mount a defense that this was not racially motivated. But, Zimmerman claims the word he used was “Goon”, not “Coon”. And if this is the case, it makes it harder to pin this a racial motivated attack. Which one was it? I have no idea, and honestly, neither does anyone else. This is why there needs to be thorough investigation.

    Now Nayef, you imply that I left that piece out on purpose, stating I “don’t seem to care about all facts”. Now I’m sure I can’t convince you that I wasn’t trying to hid that piece of evidence, but along that same line, answer me this: Why is it that none of the reports I see from the left fail to report that there was an eyewitness that saw Zimmerman on the ground with Martin on top of him beating him? Isn’t that a pretty important piece of evidence as well? And granted, that in and of itself doesn’t prove anything either, because the witness did not see how these two men came to be in this position (did Martin, as Zimmerman claims, punch him, knock him down and then jump on him, or was Zimmerman the instigator and Martin then made a move to gain traction), nor was the witness there when Martin was shot. Again, this is why we need an investigation.

    Your second paragraph starts with “The fact is that Zimmerman chased the young kid…”. No Nayef, this is not “Fact”. We don’t know what the facts are (again, this is why we need an investigation). According to Zimmerman he was heading back to the SUV when Martin approached him. Is this a fact? No, we don’t know what the facts are, but to many people are more than please to report them as such. Remember what the L.A. Times story said: “the facts that are not in contention: Volunteer neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman pursued and then gunned down….” THAT is journalistic integrity at it’s worse.

    As for the remainder of your comments, for the most part I agree with you. The Stanford police did totally screw this up, and a proper investigation does need to be done. As for “police let the killer walk a free”, well, I prefer to have the courts and a jury determine if someone is guilty or innocent.

    And you are again 100% right when you say that African American have been unfairly treated in the court systems. This is actually a pet project of mine and I have worked with a couple of local groups helping to write press releases bringing to light information about sentencing disparities. But before we start shouting that this is the case here, let’s wait until the investigation is completed. However, if there hadn’t been the uproar that there has been about this case and the mishandling of it by the Stanford Police, this probably would have been swept under the rug, and the injustice of which you speak would have been exactly what happened here.

  5. Just because you refuse to look at the right doesn’t mean they’re not there or not saying horrible things. “I’m not aware of any, but then again I don’t watch Fox News.” The ignorance here is your fault. You are supposed to LOOK out for evidence if you want to say one side is playing the race card or not. You can’t cover your eyes and say “I can’t see it.” That’s so KG2.

    “Your second paragraph starts with “The fact is that Zimmerman chased the young kid…”. No Nayef, this is not “Fact”. We don’t know what the facts are (again, this is why we need an investigation).”

    Actually, YES it is a fact as per the phone call between him and police. He told the officer he was chasing him and it was recorded. Are you really following neutral news outlets on this one or just relying on right wing blogs?

    “let’s wait until the investigation is completed”

    Really? WOW you are one genius with that one! The whole POINT about this scandal is that police closed the investigation and let the killer go. The whole uproar is to have an investigation into the killing.

    Since we agree the police here screwed up (my main grievance and the bulk of comments I make on this issue and it’s your pet project).

    By the way, a video surfaced of Zimmerman showing him without any injuries. That means when police said he had a broken nose and bleeding from the back of his head, they were lying.

  6. Oh dear, oh dear… sad little Nayef, are you really that ignorant? Never mind, that’s a rhetorical question.

    When did I say I refuse to look at the right? I didn’t, AND I stated numerous times that anyone on the right who chose to use this tragedy to advance their agenda was just as shameful and tasteless as the examples on the left that I cited. And again, I asked for examples so that I could condemn them… no examples from your side have been forthcoming.

    As for “You are supposed to LOOK out for evidence if you want to say one side is playing the race card or not” let me say first of all that while the race card has been a part of the overall discussion, the racial aspect of this case was not my initial complaint. My initial complaint – and I’m telling you this for at least the third time – is the shamefulness of using a tragedy like this to promote your own separate agenda, since as MSNBC’s using this to go after the Koch Brothers and Rush Limbaugh (which, it is doubtful that Zimmerman listened to since he is a registered Democrat).

    Let me ask you this: When your beloved Newshounds attack Fox for… well, for anything, do they also provide information regarding what MSNBC is saying about the same issue? Nope, so before you attack me for not providing two sides – even though I did state than any similar actions on the right would be equally wrong – why don’t you apply that standard to yourself and your hound buddies?

    As for “That’s so KG2.”, I must say I have to plead ignorance on that one? What the hell is “KG2”? A quick Google search shows it could be “Kelli & Kristi’s European Adventure”, a metal protective coating for sniper rifles, or a gas turbine made by Dresser-Rand. None of these seem to apply to the discussion at hand, but then again very few of your comments do.

    As for the “fact” that Zimmerman chased the kid down, again we do not know exactly what happened. Yes, we know that Zimmerman was suspicious of Martin and was following him when he called 911. but according to the article that I put at the end of my post, the one with the interview with Zimmerman’s father, Zimmerman was not the one that approached Trayvon. That article states:

    “Because there has been a lot of break-ins in the area, Robert said George thought it suspicious that someone would not be walking on the street or the sidewalk on a rainy night – that Martin would be walking between the town homes. He said after making those observations, his son decided to call the police.

    “He called the non-emergency number first, and they asked him where he was, because he was at the rear of the town houses and there was no street sign,” said Robert.

    Even though a dispatcher told George Zimmerman not to follow Martin, his father said his son continued his pursuit to locate an address to give to police.

    “He lost sight of the individual, he continued to walk down the same sidewalk to the next street, so he could get an address for the police,” he said.

    “He went to the next street, realized where he was and was walking to his vehicle. It’s my understanding, at that point, Trayvon Martin walked up to him and asked him, ‘Do you have a [expletive] problem?’ George said, ‘No, I don’t have a problem,’ and started to reach for his cell phone… at that point, he (Martin) was punching him in the nose, his nose was broken and he was knocked to the concrete.”

    Now, is that information, the information that Zimmerman (trough his father) gave regarding the events, is that fact? No, it is one side of the story, a side that may be 100% correct or 100% false. Given that we have no witness to the exact time that Zimmerman and Martin confronted each other, we do not know what side of the story is indeed fact. I am not claiming any side to be fact, neither should you.

    Now should Zimmerman have been following Martin at all? Remember, this is a neighborhood that had a rash of break-ins, and here was a stranger walking slowly between townhomes in the rain, which does look suspicious. Sure, we now know that Martin was not doing anything wrong, just returning from a candy run, and that he was walking slow because he was talking on the phone at the time. Zimmerman didn’t know that.

    And Nayef, I am well aware that if there hadn’t been a public outcry on this incident that it probably would have been swept away and Zimmerman would have never been charged. You make it sound like I’m upset that this incident wasn’t allowed to go away quietly. Nothing could be further from the truth. You act as if I’m on Zimmerman’s side? Again, I never said that, as a matter of fact stated that if he is guilty – and he quite possibly is – he should rot in jail. No, my entire issue was people using a tragedy to advance an unrelated agenda. Again, something like that – left or right – is shameful and disgusting.

    Then we come to this gem: “Since we agree the police here screwed up (my main grievance and the bulk of comments I make on this issue and it’s your pet project).” Again, like KG2, what the hell does that even mean, given the fact that it is not even a complete sentence. I know the weekend is almost here, but shouldn’t you wait a little longer before you start drinking?

    As for the surveillance video of Zimmerman, while it does not clearly show a broken nose (actually, it does not clearly show anything – it’s pretty grainy), it does in fact show a laceration to the back of his head. Why isn’t there any blood? Gee, I don’t know, could it have anything to do with the fact this was an hour later and he had probably cleaned up the blood? Duh?

    Again, you don’t know what happened, and I don’t know what happened. We both agree that there needs to be a serious investigation, and actions need to be taken based on that investigation. Given Zimmerman’s background of mentoring an African American mother and her small children, as well as assisting in fund raising for an all black church, he certainly doesn’t seem like a prime candidate for a racially motivated killing, but then again, that doesn’t mean that he couldn’t be a racist.

    I guess what I wonder is WHY those of you on the left want so badly for him to be a racist and for this to be racially motivated? Can you answer that one?

  7. And ladies and gentlemen, that is Nayef in all his true Nayef form – Drop in, make a few asinine comments, tell a few half-truths, and then when exposed…..disappear. Gotta love the hounds…. thanks for playing!

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