Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fox News places Zimmerman in an angry black world

Listening to George Zimmerman's interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, some viewers may wonder if Zimmerman is changing his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity. He told the Fox News pundit that killing Trayvon Martin was "God's plan." I heard about the statement on CNN this morning, and later a friend on Facebook posted this link to Think Progress with the same story and the video you see below.

Mediabistro has the full interview.

Think Progress updated its news brief with this note:
At the very end of the interview, Zimmerman went back to the question and said, “I do wish there was something, anything I could have done that would have put me in the position where I didn’t have to take his life. And I do want to tell everyone…that I’m sorry that this happened.”
Zimmerman sounds mentally unstable with his incongruous rationalization and apology, but he's always struck me as having some kind of asocial pathology motivating his behavior and making him also "crazy like a fox." I wonder, therefore, if he's about to play the "insanity card" for his defense. Why else would he do such a crazy interview?

The headline for this story at Fox News says, "Zimmerman says he's sorry Trayvon Martin's family had to bury their child; family calls apology insincere." The story itself reveals why Zimmerman's statements offended Trayvon's parents.
Martin's mother and father watched the interview and appeared on "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning. His mother and father both said Zimmerman's apology appeared insincere and were troubled that the man accused of killing their son considered it all "God’s plan."

"I don't understand what he was thinking by saying it was God's plan that he murdered our child," Tracy Martin, the teen’s father said. "I really don’t understand what God he worships because it’s not the same God that I worship."

Sabrina Fulton, Martin’s mother, also appeared angered by the comment.

"Why would God have him kill an unarmed teenager?" she asked. "It makes no sense."
It's good that the story includes this information, but most people take a headline as summary or the most important point/take-away of the story; hence, Fox News's message for the reader is really "George is remorseful but the boy's parents won't forgive him." So, Fox News continues to show its support for Zimmerman. With its headline--which does not mention Zimmerman's "God's plan" statement but declares instead that he said he was sorry and Trayvon's parents thought his apology was insincere--Fox News doubles down on its goal to paint Zimmerman as sympathetic and the parents as harsh and unreasonable (by extension the black community becomes the same).

It appears that Fox News (and possibly soon some other conservative, pro-Zimmerman pundits)  is using Trayvon's parents to represent African Americans as a whole (the parents become a metonymical and synecdochical rhetorical device); in doing so, Fox News continues the conservative strategy of painting African Americans as an unforgiving people who want more than they deserve.

Remember Limbaugh and his assertion that "angry" black people have been in a 30 year plot to teach their children to hate America, or how easily Bill O'Reilly called Michelle Obama an "angry woman", or how quickly the late Andrew Breitbart gained attention with his fake Shirley Sherrod video. More recently, consider that the clip of the NAACP booing Romney can be used to make that group and the black community seem "hateful," and ponder as well that Hannity recently found an otherwise obscure black man of questionable credibility to call the NAACP a "hate group". This angry black people spin in reporting and punditry plays into a narrative that is gaining visibility in some conservative media circles that says an unreported "race war rages". By inference and accretion of tales about "angry black people," Fox and allies persuade viewers that black people are waging this war.

This spin creates fertile ground, in a Fox News world, to cultivate the story that Zimmerman is an innocent victim of angry black people; he is not a murderer or even a man guilty of manslaughter but a white martyr being hounded by the black mob. (I mean, has any Fox News pundit ever challenged Zimmerman's version of events or expressed genuine remorse that Trayvon is not here to tell his side of the story?) Finally, the Fox News interpretation of Zimmernan's plight becomes another tale in the far-right grand narrative that black people are taking over America; this convenient and effective myth keeps certain people pulling the GOP lever no matter what.

ABC news also reports on the Zimmerman interiview.

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1 comment:

le0pard13 said...

It's no surprise Zimmerman did this on FOX NEWS. Sheesh. You nailed it, Nordette.