The Zimmerman phonogram: NBC edits phone call to portray Trayvon Martin’s killer as racist?
Zimmerman is also not the sturdy-looking man in an orange-colored jail uniform. That mugshot is seven years old, taken when Zimmerman was charged with assaulting an officer, though that charge was dropped. In a much more recent photo, Zimmerman appears leaner and sports a tie and a suit. Betsi Grabe, a professor at Indiana University-Bloomington who has studied the effects of news images on public opinion, said the media instinctively tries to assign a distinct victim and aggressor in its stories.“At the center of most stories we tell in our society, cross-culturally and across the centuries, is the struggle between good and evil,” she noted. “If the ingredients are there, that is what journalists will grab onto and present.”Martin was killed by Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida on February 26. Zimmerman, a community watch coordinator, followed Martin, who he says appeared suspicious. Zimmerman claims that he was attacked by Martin and was forced to shoot him in self defense. Police officers took Zimmerman to the police station but then let him go, saying they did not find evidence that contradicted his assertion of self defense. Martin’s parents and lawyers contend that the murder was racially motivated, and blame the police for not arresting Zimmerman. The case gained national media attention in March. Martin’s supporters have held rallies in both Sanford and New York. A number of big names including Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey have also commented on the case. Winfrey said it was a shame that police made no arrests, while Obama, mentioning that he had to be careful about what he said so as to not hamper the investigation, stated that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon.