The New York Times reports without a hint of skepticism that “rap star Jay Z and the Weinstein Company will team up to produce a series of television and film projects about the life of Trayvon Martin.”
The Times dutifully describes Martin as “the unarmed black teenager who was shot dead in 2012 near his home by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman.”
As if to underscore the fraud about to be perpetuated, the Times leads with a photo of an innocent young Martin from 2009. This was three years before the shooting and a year before his life fell apart when his father abandoned his second wife, the woman who had largely raised Martin.
By the way, the accepted journalistic standard is to use the most recent photo of an individual. The media routinely violated this in its effort to portray Martin as an innocent “child” up to and during Zimmerman’s trial. Why change now?
The Times shares the depressing news that the projects are to be based on two books to which producers have acquired rights. The first one, “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin,” I have not bothered to read. It is “written by his parents.” One can imagine the rest.
The second book is “Suspicion Nation” by Lisa Bloom, NBC’s gavel-to-gavel analyst. The book is a living testament to the enduring power of fake news, a flat-out disgrace.
I am in a position to know. I attended the trial as well and wrote the only other book on the case, “If I Had a Son.”
Bloom, a trial attorney, has been covering murder trials for the major networks for nearly 20 years. Her mother is the notoriously litigious Gloria Allred.
As Bloom interpreted events, Zimmerman “fear[s]” black men. He profiles 17-year-old Martin for no reason other than his race. He follows him after the officer tells him not to. He confronts Martin. He “grabs or shoves him.” These are all provable lies.
A “frightened” Martin punches Zimmerman. A “tussle” ensues. It is “not particularly significant” who is on top. Zimmerman pulls the gun, points it at Martin, and continues his “profane insulting rant” for 40 seconds during which time Martin screams “aaah” in fear. An angry, panicky Zimmerman shoots and kills Martin. Again, all provable lies.
Bloom’s treatment of the most important eyewitness, Witness No. 6, Jonathan Good, is unforgivable. On the night of the shooting, Good told Sanford PD investigator Chris Serino:
So I open my door. It was a black man with a black hoodie on top of the other, either a white guy or now I found out I think it was a Hispanic guy with a red sweatshirt on the ground yelling out help! And I tried to tell them, get out of here, you know, stop or whatever, and then one guy on top in the black hoodie was pretty much just throwing down blows on the guy kind of MMA [mixed martial arts]-style.
The next day, Good told a local TV reporter, “The guy on bottom who I believe had a red sweater on was yelling to me, ‘help, help.’ I told them to stop and I was calling 911.”
Independently on that same day, Zimmerman confirmed Good’s story. As he told the Sanford PD, when Good offered to call 911, he answered, “No, help me. I need help.”
Astonishingly, however, Bloom claims that all evidence “pointed to Trayvon Martin as the screamer.” To make this case Bloom ignores the testimony of Good, of Zimmerman and of Serino.
Of all the witnesses to testify at the trial, Good was the most succinct and coherent, but Bloom spends only one sentence on him and gets everything wrong.
It reads as follows: “Trayvon remained a threat after the shooting, according to Zimmerman, which is why he asked John Good, the first to come outside after the gunshot, ‘to help me.'” (italics added)
Other elements of Bloom’s theory are equally false or misleading. When the dispatcher requested that Zimmerman not follow Martin, he responded “OK” and stopped following.
Just as NBC did with Zimmerman’s “OK” in its notorious audio, Bloom edits out Zimmerman’s compliance. “He continues following Trayvon anyway,” she writes in full disregard of the facts.
True to form, Bloom ignores the contents of Martin’s cellphone that showed him to be an aspiring mixed martial artist with an unhealthy taste for blood. Forensic expert Richard Connor testified to this at the trial. The jury was out. Bloom must have been as well.
In reality, Martin was a troubled kid. His drug use went well beyond the THC from marijuana found in his system. His cellphone exchanges showed a growing interest in guns.
His mother had recently kicked him out of the house for fighting. And he had been suspended from school three times in the past semester, the last time for possessing burglary tools and stolen jewelry.
I have not heard from Jay Z or the Weinstein Company. I did not expect to. The last thing they want to know is the truth.
Media wishing to interview Jack Cashill, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.