"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, April 2, 2012

Trayvon Update II - More Media Incompetence

From the beginning of this story, the picture in everyone's head has been of a man weighing 240 pounds killing a little boy who weighed a hundred pounds less.   Here's a paragraph from a story just last week published in the New York Times, by Charles Blow, an African-American columnist:

He was a gangly boy, all arms and legs but little weight, nearly six feet three inches tall but only 140 pounds and with the cherubic face of a boy years younger.... To believe Zimmerman’s [self-defense] scenario, you have to believe that Trayvon, an unarmed boy, a boy so thin that people called him Slimm, a boy whose mother said that he had not had a fight since he was a preschooler, chose that night and that man to attack. You have to believe that Trayvon chose to attack a man who outweighed him by 100 pounds...

The pictures the media selected to use with the story emphasized this disparity:

Yesterday's New York Times -- the same paper -- presents a different set of facts:

However it started, witnesses described to the 911 dispatcher what resulted: the neighborhood watch coordinator, 5 foot 9 and 170 pounds, and the visitor, 6 foot 1 and 150, wrestling on the ground.

Hmmmm.... a 150 lb. seventeen year-old who's over six foot tall and a 170 lb. 28 year-old who's maybe a little chubby.   That sounds familiar... I can tell you that the Regular Son is 6' and weighs about 135 soaking wet, while I am 5'6" and weigh about 170.    He is in very good shape, long and lean and tough as nails.   At 52, I wouldn't want to mess with him, and he's smaller and younger than Trayvon.  

That's a little different story, isn't it?  Makes me wonder what Charles Blow knew and when he knew it.   I wonder if the NYT's ombudsman would want to look into that.   

So, a question for the New York Times, the supposed "paper of record"... we can all be sympathetic with the victim and his family without simply lying about the facts of the story, can't we?

None of this, again, means that Zimmerman was justified in what he did.  

I.   Don't.   Know.   The.   Facts.     

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