Yellow journalism is a phrase my mother used to describe the Boston Record American newspaper. It was a Hearst daily that I sold along with the Boston Globe and the Herald-Traveller as a paper boy. It was sensationalist and divisive. It fabricated stories at the request of law enforcement, and when it didn't actually fabricate stories, it would handle existing stories in a manner most advantageous to the elected officials beholden to them.
When Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation replaced the Hearst dynasty, Hearst newspapers faded into the background.
News Corp. is much more efficient at running smear campaigns and spreading propaganda.
Whenever there is an incident the right-wing doesn't like, News Corp. is ready to roll into action.
Racism is a particularly irritating topic for the right-wing; and playing into the general population's racism makes for an easy outcome.
When Trayvon Martin was shot to death, in cold blood, facts about the shooter emerged. He's a wacko who likes to play cop and bully people. He has made hundreds of calls to 911 to report imaginary danger. He also hates "fucking coons." I am certain that in his mind, Trayvon Martin was a "fucking coon." In fact, I know he thought Trayvon Martin was a "fucking coon" because he was recorded saying it.
The right-wing media, those organizations that think it is perfectly A-OK to kill "fucking coons" has begun its smear campaign against the victim. They plan to make the shooter a hero, and Trayvon Martin just another dead "fucking coon."
The following is lifted directly from an article at Think Progress:
1. Prominent conservative websites published fake photos of Martin. Twitchy, a new website run by prominent conservative blogger Michelle Malkin, promoted a photo — purportedly from Martin’s Facebook page — that shows Martin in saggy pants and flipping the bird. The photo, which spread quickly on conservative websites and Twitter, is intended to paint Martin as a thug. As Twitchy later acknowledged, it is not a photo of Trayvon Martin. [Examiner]
2. The Sanford Police selectively leaked irrelevant, negative information about Martin. The authorities told the Orlando Sentinel this morning that Trayvon was suspended from school for ten days “after being found with an empty marijuana baggie.” There is no evidence that Martin was under the influence of drugs at the time of his death, nor would prior possession of marijuana be a reason for killing him. It’s unclear what the relevance of the leak was, other than to smear Martin. [Orlando Sentinel]
3. On Fox News, Geraldo said that Martin was dressed “like a wannabe gangster.” Bill O’Reilly agreed with him. The sole evidence is that Martin was wearing a hoodie. Geraldo added that “everyone that ever stuck up a convenience store” was wearing a hoodie. [ThinkProgress; The Blaze]
4. Without any evidence, prominent right-wing bloggers suggested that Martin was a drug dealer. Right-wing blogger Dan Riehl advances the theory, also advanced in a widely linked peice on a site called Wagist. There does not appear to be any evidence to support this claim whatsoever. [Riehl World View]
5. Without any evidence, a right-wing columnist alleged that Martin assaulted a bus driver. Unlike Zimmerman, Trayvon has no documented history of violence. This allegation continues to be advanced by a blogger on the Examiner even after the real reason was leaked to the police and confirmed by the family. [Miami Herald; Examiner]
6. Zimmerman’s friend says Martin was to blame because he was disrespectful to Zimmerman. Zimmerman’s friend Joe Oliver said that Martin would not have been shot to death if Trayvon had just said “I’m staying with my parents.” Of course, Zimmerman was not a police officer, and Trayvon had no duty to tell him who he was or where he was going. [NBC News]
See, Think Progress
The most popular spin has been the ludicrous remark by Geraldo Rivera that Martin wearing a hoodie played as much a role in his death as the shooter.
Really: now wearing a hoodie is representative of someone who should be shot dead?
No matter what the right-wing media has to say: whether it's a blogger or NBC News, there is one known fact. The shooter chased Trayvon Martin and shot him. This is not self-defense and this crime is not protected by the laws that allow citizens to shoot each other when endangered.
This is murder.
If my hoodie was white and my skin was brown, would I deserve to die?