-By Warner Todd Huston
MSNBC is drawing fire for having aired a still photograph of Florida youth Trayvon Martin lying dead on the grass in the aftermath of his altercation with accused killer George Zimmerman in February of last year.
During MSNBC’s Thursday afternoon, July 11 wall-to-wall coverage of the George Zimmerman trial, during Tamron Hall’s News Nation show, an image of Martin lying dead on the grass aired for about one second included as a slide show of photos from the trial feed.
Hall Tweeted that it was an “awful mistake.”
— Tamron Hall (@tamronhall) July 12, 2013
Some, like Pete Ingemi, immediately felt it was a “political” move meant to stir those that hope Zimmerman gets a stiff penalty. “I think that image was released for political reasons and damn the consequences,” Ingemi wrote on July 12.
Matt at FreeRepublic agreed with that saying, “MSNBC is fanning the hate as well with these pics.”
Some, however, felt that airing the photos was the right thing to do.
The sensationalist website Gawker also highlighted the image after MSNBC aired it. Gawker writer Adan Weinstein used the occasion of his post to stir racial issues and appeared to hope for riots to occur if Zimmerman isn’t punished to his liking.
Weinstein said that he posted the photo to stir “Good old-fashioned rage” and at one point in his post focused on Martin’s race as a factor in the shooting.
One Gawker reader was not impressed by Weinstein’s “rage,” though. A commenter named KilgoreHTrout said, “You did it for the page views, everything else is rationalizations on your part… Seriously, to say this is poor taste would the understatement of the year, but I guess it was inevitable, so enjoy the cash that comes with it.”
An African American woman also complained about Weinstein’s actions scolding him for using Martin’s death photo without first asking permission from Martin’s family.
“I’m glad you’d like to incite anger. As a Black woman, I am angry. livid. distraught. BUT, you should have asked permission from Trayvon’s parents,” the woman wrote to Weinstein. “They should have had that right. Trayvon and his parents had no respect/hand in how he was portrayed in the mind of his ignorant murderer. That decision cost him his life.”
She went on to say, “You saw him as a call to arms. A sorrowful Black body. No regards for his family, his dignity as a human being. And you didn’t even reach out to his parents.”
Finally, as reported by Bryan Preston, the Occupy Wall Street group InterOccupy.net seems to have set itself up as the main organizers for the race riots that many fear will spring up after the Zimmerman verdict is released.
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, Wizbang.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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