light dawns on journalism head

When he was shot, Trayvon Martin was not the baby-faced boy in the photo that has been on front pages across the country. And George Zimmerman wasn’t the beefy-looking figure in the widely published mugshot.

Both photos are a few years old and no longer entirely accurate. Yet they may have helped shape initial public perceptions of the deadly shooting.

When you have such a lopsided visual comparison, it just stands to reason that people would rush to judgment,” said Kenny Irby, who teaches visual journalism at the Poynter Institute, a journalism think tank in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The most widely seen picture of Martin, released by his family, was evidently taken a few years ago and shows a smiling, round-cheeked youngster in a red T-shirt. But at his death, Martin was 17 years old, around 6 feet tall and, according to his family’s attorney, about 140 pounds.

Zimmerman, 28, is best known from a 7-year-old booking photo of an apparently heavyset figure with an imposing stare, pierced ear and facial hair, the orange collar of his jail uniform visible. The picture, released by police following the deadly shooting, was taken after Zimmerman’s 2005 arrest on an assault-on-an-officer charge that was eventually dropped.

In a police video made public this week of Zimmerman being brought in for questioning a half-hour after the shooting, the 5-foot-9 man appears much slimmer…

32 Comments!

  1. tctsunami
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 12:54 pm |

    Listening to lefty talk radio (Left & The Power) on sat. radio this story is really being pushed. Even though Zimmerman has not been charged they are calling for his arrest and already convicted him. The LSM has made it impossible to get an unbiased trial, if it comes to that, and unfairly portrayed the actual facts.
    How could anyone sit on a jury for Zimmerman, if it comes to that, and not know that if they found him innocent that they too would be targets of the left and black racist.
    Bad enough that Al and Jessie incite discord but for the President of the United States to get involved and use this for personal gain pales to anything I have ever seen in my lifetime.

    Slightly O/T I’ve been reading a lot on Obama care and the Supreme Court today as I catch up on the blogs. So tell me Barry, how ya’ like them death panels now…..

  2. Merovign
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:06 pm |

    You know what? I don’t know everything that happened that night. And neither does Oprah f****** Winfrey.

    The difference between us is that I’m not dragging my fat ass to a TV interview to try to make police arrest somebody based on the power of my authority as a rich celebrity.

    A lot of people don’t want to get along. They want power over others. If they had spent five minutes studying history instead of primping their ugly mugs for the camera, they’d know that *never* ends well.

  3. Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

    dat remines me i gots 2 getz me a griwl so peepoes bee nowin i beez all inacent an shit 2.

    Photobucket

  4. Melissa In Texas
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 1:44 pm |

    Race baiting bastards

  5. mech
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm |

    A grand example of the difference between reporting news (like in the olden days) and MAKING news.

    Not unlike the infamous time maggotzine photoshop cover images of oj and others.

  6. Justin Credible
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm |

    And who didn’t see this coming?

  7. Melissa In Texas
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

    ^and look for more to come :( ^

  8. Buzz
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 9:33 pm |

    “may have helped shape initial public perception” shall heretofore be known as the understatement of the last 50 years.

    People are staging hoodie marches and protests based upon initial perceptions that are nowhere near the whole, actual truth.
    The participants believe Trayvon was simply walking along when George gunned him down from behind, simply because he was “a black kid wearing a hoodie.”
    Any mention of George shooting in the process of getting his ass kicked is dismissed as right-wing racism.

    The whole fracking country has lost the ability to think and reason, replaced by mob mentality.

  9. Spin
    Posted March 31, 2012 at 11:47 pm |

    The whole fracking country has lost the ability to think and reason, replaced by mob mentality.

    With only seven months left until ballot stuffing day.

  10. DOK
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 1:02 am |

    a person was shot and the shooter was not prosecuted, one of you go shoot somebody and claim you were taking care of yourself and i bet you will find your ass in jail. I don’t know why he wasn’t arrested but they should be looking at the police about this. Florida has a law that allows a person to shoot someone in supposed self defence on his word. bullshit…. if trayvon had been the shooter I bet money his ass would be in jail, you know that and I know that. there are a bunch of racist out there and it sounds like a lot of you are on the ticket. the president has stepped up for a lot of people with situations of different races. you all just wait for you freaking turn so you talk your dumbass shit. “Talking about the president want stop air pollution.” Besides all the other shit, the kid was only 17 years old. Seems to me at that age we all made wierd mistakes, but not bad enough to have asshole like you justify it.

  11. DOK
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 1:05 am |

    by justify I meant that you folks are making it ok that a kid was killed, a 17 year old kid that was 6 feet tall, waht does his height have to do with anything? And if the 5′ 8 guy got his ass kicked he probably said some smart ass shit to the kid and the kid responded. I recall something about the zimmerman guy assaulting an officer. you people are idiots if you can’t figure that out. go suck on a biscuit….

  12. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 6:49 am |

    So anyways….we were talking about media manipulating idiots…

  13. mech
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 6:52 am |

    DOK, have some wheaties, put fresh coffee in your coffee maker and go back to read the emerging details on the story. I’m surprised you don’t have a cramp or charlie horse from holding that knee jerk position.

    When you finish those and spend a half hour in the sunlight outdoors, come play again.

  14. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 8:29 am |

    DOK,

    Would be interested on your take of the 10 Chicago Black youths killed by other Chicago Black youths at about the same time as this 17 year old in Florida. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Spike Lee have said/done nothing in regard to that tragedy; curious that….

  15. Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:46 am |

    I’m leaving for church shortly or I would thoroughly love delivering a mighty smiting to a certain preening product of today’s educational system, but I feel confident that the remaining minkees will sweep up the trash in my absence.

    Don’t forget to leave permanent emotional scars, mkay?

  16. MKEgal
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:55 am |

    DOK: “I don’t know why he wasn’t arrested”
    Because the police can’t prove he committed a crime.
    That’s how it works.
    Here’s the statement from the city & police explaining the law:
    http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/Zimmerman_Martin_shooting.pdf

    On pg. 2:
    “Mr. Zimmerman was not acting outside the legal boundaries of Florida Statute by carrying his weapon when this incident occurred. He was in fact on a personal errand in his vehicle”

    “Zimmerman’s statement was that he had lost sight of Trayvon and was returning to his truck to meet the police officer when he says he was attacked by Trayvon.”

    Here’s the police report.
    http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/Twin%20Lakes%20Shooting%20Initial%20Report.pdf

    Notice that their description of the “child” shows that he’s 6′ tall & 160 lb. The reason that matters is because that’s a full-size adult. M was taller & younger than Z, M was athletic (played football). M was definitely able to seriously harm Z.

    Notice on the lower half of pg 3 that the officer says Z’s injuries were consistent with his statement of what happened.

    And even if Z did say something to M, that doesn’t excuse the attack.
    Witnesses (plural) have said that M was on top of Z, hitting him & bashing his head against the ground.
    _IF_ Z had done something so that M was in fear for his life or great harm, which we’ll assume for the sake of discussion that he had, M was allowed to defend himself.
    But once Z wasn’t a threat M had to stop.
    Since he didn’t, Z regained his right to self-defense.
    And when M tried to get Z’s pistol, saying M would kill Z, that’s definitely a threat to life so Z was allowed to shoot to stop the threat.

  17. MKEgal
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 9:57 am |

    Forgot to add… if Z’s statement that he was walking back to his truck when M attacked is true, then M did not have the protection of self-defense laws. Z walking away is not a threat.

  18. Ironic in Denver
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 11:34 am |

    MKEgal: thanks for the excellent analysis.

    OBTW: when M tried to get Z’s pistol, saying M would kill Z…. MKEgal’s analysis is legal, which is what counts in our legal system. However, there is this also this — if you have a weapon and someone tries to take it, saying they will kill you, then both common sense and natural law comes to bear as well: if you have the slightest inclination toward self-preservation, then at that point you are going to have to use the weapon. This may not help you in court (unless there are people with common sense on the jury), but it hard to see how else you can act.

    Some side observations:

    At 17 years old and 160 pounds, this young man could have been a United States Marine. Calling him a “kid” is disingenuous (as was publishing his childhood photo); and pretending that he wasn’t dangerous, while emotively satisfying to some, avoids reality.

    I have just finished watching the Pacific WWII documentary. It appears that in the early Pacific engagements, some of the most brutal and horrific combat history has ever seen, was fought on the ground by many (perhaps a majority) of Marines who were only 17 and 18 years old, and who little training. This was brutal, short range, frequently hand-to-hand, fighting in which men got killed in pretty much every way it is possible to kill people at short range.

    I also observe that there are plenty of brutal killings by “youth” (17 and under) gang members, both real and de facto, of all races pretty much every day right here in the USA.

    It is unfortunate that many men (young and otherwise) think that it is okay to escalate from words to physical violence. If they do, they are crossing a line, and they are going in harm’s way; sometimes it costs them their lives.

    Any physical encounter has the potential to end in fatality; something to think about before giving that first shove, or swinging that first fist. No doubt M thought that he wouldn’t be the one to pay for resorting to this. He was mistaken. It is a tragedy. Many people are paying some price for it, and he has paid the ultimate price.

    I think that it is a necessary thing to be prepared to defend one’s self. It is also a necessary thing to learn about boundaries and learn about restraint.

    Caveat: ColJ, and others — I trust that it is clear that my US Marine example is to illustrate a point. It is not intended to imply anything about The Corps, the people in it, or any individual’s fitness to serve.

  19. Kathy Miller
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

    The ‘Stand Your Ground’ rule applies only if an individual feels his life is in immenent danger of death,or grievious bodily harm is intended or implied.

    ‘Captain’ Zimmerman knows BlockWatch personnel are not allowed to carry weapons or persue a ‘suspect’. Their job is to observe and call the police.

    Zimmerman called Trayvon Martin a ‘fucking coon’ and decided, since he couldnt be a “real” cop, to live his baby boy fantasy by shooting an unarmed 17 year old.

    Yes-Z. applied to the police dept for a job and was turned away. He’s a two time felon, who probably got away with his domestic assault charges because his daddy’s a (ret) judge, you know, the good ol’ boy practice of ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’

    So Martin was 6′ tall? Zimmerman outweighed him by 100 pounds. He had a weapon. He harassed a 17 year old who was on his way to his fathers home. He shot and killed unarmed teenager. Sounds like a badass.

    The police say Zimmerman made over 40 calls in a 12 month period, most of which were to complain about “suspicious looking black” males.

    Hmmm…

    If anybody should exercise his right to self-defence under the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, seems it should have been Martin. After all, he was the person in danger, as an armed felon approached him at 11p.m.

    Frm. Senator Durell Peaden, and Rep Dennis who co-authored the Stand Your Ground law, say Zimmerman should be arrested and he lost his defence when he said, in the released recordings of the call he made to 911, “I’m following him” in spite of the 911 operator telling him not to do so, and being told police were on the way.

    Rep Baxley said the law does not allow just anybody who feel they the “right to confront and persue people” because that’s “aggravating an incident…”

    The ME who performed the autopsy on Trayvon Martin says there are no bruises, scrapes or other injury to Martins’ hands or body (other than the gaping bullet wound in Trayvons chest), that indicate he was in an altercation.

    Odd for someone who had been in a fight and just broken a nose.

    Zimmerman claims his nose was broken, but he refused medical help.
    The film didn’t show a trace of blood on Zimmerman’s clothing or person-a broken nose would swell badly. He looked fine.

    Zimmerman is not an official member of law enforcement. Following people and confronting them is what causes shit like this to happen.
    What would you do if you were confronted by an armed stranger who outweighed you by 100 pounds, on a dark street?

    Zimmerman is a coward. He hits women and murders unarmed teenagers.
    He is one of the lucky few who has family who can afford to help him run and hide, like the yellow cur he really is.

    Zimmerman is a ‘Hispanic’ /Peruvian racist, who obviously has no self respect. He’s a weakling who’s afraid to face the consequences of his actions.

    The crap investigation the cops did make them just as guilty as Zimmerman. They kept Trayvon’s body in the morgue for 2 days without informing his family he was dead, murdered by a thug.
    It makes you wonder how many times the cops have gotten away with covering up murders.

    Whites are discriminated against, too. Racism is a disease only truly stupid people believe is justified. The Klan and people like them, do not represent most of America-their rants sound like pissed off children who can’t have their way.
    They seem to enjoy the attention their hate mongoring brings, in spite of the fact that ‘ignorance’, which means ‘without knowledge,’ is not an excuse to do evil. If you want to know what is happening, make yourself informed.

    If you can’t read, there are places that tutor the illiterate.

    I

  20. Melissa In Texas
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm |

    Oh look another troll.
    Kathy, we WORK at staying informed, so your illiterate statement carries no weight here.
    That being said…
    read THIS:
    As exposed by Fox News and media watchdog site NewsBusters, the “Today” segment took this approach to a key part of the dispatcher call:

    Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.

    Here’s how the actual conversation went down:

    Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.

    Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?

    Zimmerman: He looks black.

    So I guess the dispatcher was racist too.

  21. Posted April 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm |

    Kathy Miller: Are you a comedian, or just clinically retarded? Hint: before you start accusing others of being idiots, you might want to run your rants through spell-check or something. Otherwise it makes you look like, well… The Klan and people like them, do not represent most of America-their rants sound like pissed off children who can’t have their way.

    Zimmerman called Trayvon Martin a ‘fucking coon’

    Really? Evidence please. Real evidence — not the kind manufactured by a raving talking head on MSNBC or CNN or wherever that one came from.

    He’s a two time felon

    Mmmm… going to need some evidence for that one too. Sorry. Try not to strain your brain while looking for it. Hint: evidence is not what you wish to be so, but what actually is. The Truth is a real bitch that way.

    Last hint: please look-up the word “irony”. Learn to pronounce it. Learn what it means. Check out “ironic while you’re at it. It applies to you.

    Ok, bonus hint:

    Photobucket

  22. geezerette
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm |

    Kathy is a Obama voter and that’s what scares the crap out of me.

  23. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm |

    My trolls suck.

  24. Melissa In Texas
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

    ^but WE rock ;) ^

  25. Posted April 1, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

    …just a thought:

    Picture == 1k words: http://leelusplace.blogspot.com/2012/04/pick-one.html

  26. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |

    Melissy, our trolls are too stupid to know that :)

  27. Melissa In Texas
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm |

    ^bahahahahahaaaa^
    *whut?

  28. DougM (jackassophobe)
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm |

    DOK (10)
    Florida has a law that allows a person to shoot someone in supposed self defence [sic] on his word.”
    That is, as you say, “bullshit,” although not the way you meant it. What you said is a lie. The law says that the circumstances must back up a claim of self-defense.

    if trayvon had been the shooter I bet money his ass would be in jail, you know that and I know that. there are a bunch of racist out there and it sounds like a lot of you are on the ticket.”
    [insert long discussion of the meaning of "racist"]
    Let me pose the inverse proposition: “if trayvon had been the shooter I bet money nobody would be screaming ‘racism’ for his killing a Hispanic.”
    Point is: So? What’s your friggin’ point? I challenge you to point out one conservative that considers this a race issue, except to point out the left’s spring-loaded Pavlovian bigotry. Quite the contrary, people like me consider it primarily an attack on the concealed-carry movement wrapped in vile race-baiting hatred by the anti-self-defense left.

    the president has stepped up for a lot of people with situations of different races
    For example? (I mean besides his “beer summit” over-reaction and having the Justice Department refuse to prosecute the NBPs and other minorities.) When has he ever told A.Sharpton, J.White, etc. and their ilk to cool it on hating non-minority folks?

    The Anthropogenic Global Warming (due to CO2) scam is not about “air pollution.” CO2 is not a pollutant.

    DOK (11)
    And if the 5′ 8 guy got his ass kicked he probably said some smart ass shit to the kid and the kid responded.
    Probably? We’ll skip that.
    So, you think it’s okay to beat a guy’s head into the pavement over words? The law calls that felonious assault, which may be cause for the use of deadly force in self-defense.

    Now, let the cops and prosecutors do their jobs.
    Lynch mobs are ugly things, white hoods or black.

  29. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 6:17 pm |

    ^ *sigh*faintz*yur so dreemy*

  30. DougM (jackassophobe)
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 6:32 pm |

    Kathy (19)
    When you begin with a misunderstanding of the difference between “stand your ground” and “use of
    deadly force,” your credibility suffers.

    Charged with felonies and convicted of felonies are two entirely different things: “Charges were reduced from a felony and Zimmerman was sentenced to anger management classes. If Zimmerman’s charges hadn’t been reduced he would have been unable to get a concealed weapons permit.” — Daily Kos

    Contrary to your inference, a young man of 17 in his athletic prime is a larger threat under the law, not more vulnerable.

    The presence of a weapon is not necessary to the presumption of a threat of death or great bodily harm.

    The rest of your comments are puzzling.
    About a third of ‘em are totally immaterial to the question of whether Z acted in self-defense or not.
    The other two-thirds appear to be merely the vicious, blithering slanders of a hate-filled, brainwashed, sophomoric bigot. You might want to work on that. It ruins your argument… assuming there’s one in there.

    Now, let the cops and prosecutors do their jobs.
    Lynch mobs are ugly things, white hoods or black.

  31. mech
    Posted April 1, 2012 at 6:56 pm |

    My trolls suck.

    Comment by SondraK, Queen of my domain

    Well, considering that it is April 1, maybe that is the best they could do. The rest were celebrating their holiday.

    Could be this one is working double time and a half with that outdated script.

  32. TheOldMan
    Posted April 2, 2012 at 10:58 am |

    6′ and 140 lbs doesn’t sound all that built. I’m 6’4″, 175lbs, and skinny.