The feeding frenzy has begun. It will likely be a short-lived frenzy–the real meat of racial grievance mongering is absent and can’t reasonably be sustained, after all–but media vultures are circling about and descending upon the carcass of the Shellie Zimmerman perjury case. As regular readers know, that case was settled this week with a plea bargain. In exchange for a guilty plea to a misdemeanor–not the felony for which the prosecution hungered–Shellie Zimmerman will serve a year of probation and the case will be dismissed as though it never happened. She will have no record.
Each year, I teach a media unit, and during that unit, I play a video I made. The video has two versions of the same interview. In the first, a student quizzes a principal about a supposed school uniform policy. It’s completely innocuous, and what the principal said is presented whole, without editing. Then, I present an NBC-type interview, appropriately (actually, inappropriately) edited. While the principal’s words are his own, suddenly, he’s confessing to strangling Winnie the Pooh, stepping on baby ducks, torturing students for fun, and a variety of other evils.
The point, of course, is that no one in their right mind should ever be interviewed by the lamestream media. Even if they are saints, because the media has the last word in editing and commentary, they’ll come out of the interview looking like demons. Sadly, this is a lesson Shellie Zimmerman obviously has yet to learn.
The Florida investigative journalist who is the first reporter to sit down with George Zimmerman’s wife, Shellie, said that during their ‘stunning’ hour long interview, the acquitted killer’s wife said that her husband has ‘beaten down her self-esteem,’ but she is ‘looking forward to getting her life back.’
Christi O’Connor spoke with ABCNews.com today about her experience locking down an interview with Shellie Zimmerman as the media focused its attention on her husband, who was acquitted of second-degree murder charges in the death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, in Sanford, Fla., in February 2012.
Oh my goodness! It was a “stunning” interview! And George Zimmerman has “beaten down her self-esteem”! And in case you missed it, George is an “acquitted killer.” Hmm. That’s a rather odd formulation. Why not “George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of murder?” He began the trial with a presumption of innocence and retained it throughout. He did not commit murder. The state spent a great deal of time and money conclusively proving he did not commit murder. Isn’t referring to him as a “killer” a bit disingenuous? “But he killed Trayvon Martin!” Yes he did. In self-defense. Because Trayvon Martin unlawfully and viciously attacked him. It is, therefore, logically, grammatically, and lawfully wrong–and deceptive–to refer to him as a killer, acquitted or otherwise. Who, after all, thinks of someone who defended anyone’s life against a criminal attack as a killer or murderer?
Ah. Yes. Racial grievance hacks, progressives, the President of the United States and the Attorney General, and of course, ABC News.
ABC inadvertently provided the real story:
When I asked her why she was doing [the interview], Shellie said, ‘I want to start my life back.’ George Zimmerman has beaten down her self-esteem,’ O’Connor told ABCNews.com, adding that Shellie is using this opportunity for a new start. ‘She has a moment in the spotlight. She wants everyone to know that she changed her life.
Notice that Shellie is not quoted as saying that George “has beaten down her self-esteem,” as the beginning of the ABC article deceptively suggested. It was, instead, the conclusion of Ms. O’Connor. But if ABC has an hour of Shellie’s statements on tape, why wouldn’t they simply quote Shellie saying that? Why indeed. It’s obviously Ms. O’Connor’s invention, not Shellie’s words.
And did Shellie indeed change her life? One would expect that anyone living through the horrors of the last year plus, as Shellie and George did, would surely experience changes in their lives.
Shellie also told O’Connor that the aftermath of the shooting and months until the trial put a major strain on the couple’s relationship.
‘It put great stress on their marriage,’ she said. ‘Constantly having to move. She got threats. A lot of threats. She doesn’t want to reveal from who…. They are constantly living under fear of being attacked.
Who woulda thunk it? Having a group of racists put a bounty on your head, a bounty ignored by the most racist Department of Justice in history, will tend to invoke that kind of fear. Is this the “stunning” part? I’m not quite stunned, at least not yet…
O’Connor, who is working on a book about the George Zimmerman trial, also hinted that there was evidence that was mishandled, saying that during the sensational trial, ‘there were so many untruths told.’
‘What the jury never heard could have led to a different verdict,’ she said.
Wait a minute…O’Connor is writing a book about the trial? You don’t suppose that could have anything to so with the unfounded hyperbole of this article, do you? Evidence was mishandled and untruths were told? O’Connor at least has this right: the prosecutors consistently mishandled evidence and lied. I wonder why she didn’t make that explicit?
“What the jury never heard could have led to a different verdict”? Uh-huh. Indeed, if the jury heard every lie, bit of innuendo, rumor, hysterically false and unscientific “expert” testimony, irrelevant stories and laughably prejudicial theories the prosecution was not allowed–by a blatantly pro-prosecution judge–to present, the jury might have delivered a different verdict. Thank goodness our criminal justice system doesn’t allow the kinds of things a journalist practices as their daily stock-in-trade. No one would ever stand a chance of acquittal.
On the other hand, if every fact–not rumor or lie–about Trayvon Martin was presented to the jury, facts such as his school records, his criminal conduct, his self-documented record of drug abuse, his crude and disrespectful social media treatment of women, his desire to assault people–his particular desire to punch people in the nose and make them bleed–the presence of marijuana in his blood the night he attacked Zimmerman, his attempts to obtain illegal guns, the photos of him with false gold teeth, photos of him making obscene gestures–and on and on–the jury might have rendered an acquittal in 15 minutes.
Another ABC News story provided more detail, if not more illumination:
Shellie and her husband spent a year and a half in hiding, isolated and in ‘terror’ for their lives as they awaited the trial for the death of the unarmed teenager in 2012.
‘I think we have been pretty much like gypsies…We’ve lived in a 20-foot trailer in the woods, scared every night that someone was going to find us and that we’d be out in the woods alone and that it would be horrific,’ she said.
It put a strain on their marriage.
‘It’s difficult to communicate with your spouse when you’re under so much scrutiny from both sides and I think we both have been fighting for our own individual struggles to be heard by each other and that’s been difficult,’ she said.
This is news? The burdens of living under credible death threats, in hiding for a year have been hard on their marriage? This is somehow unexpected and “stunning?” ABC certainly did its best to drum up controversy, lie to the public about the case, and support The Narrative. The article notes that Shellie and George had a fight the night before Martin attacked George and Shellie was staying elsewhere that night.
Does George have a temper? How volatile did it get the evening before?’ asked O’Connor.
‘Not going to answer that,’ responded Zimmerman.
Aha! Obviously the prosecution was right! George Zimmerman was a volcano of rage boiling and bubbling just under the surface, waiting for the slightest provocation to drive him to murder. Note, however, the very different tone of this passage:
George has never laid a hand on me nor has he ever used any sort of force. I was concerned that we were living in something that we’d never experienced before and that there is a first time for everything….I just always had that kind of fear in the back of mind,’ she said.
Likely inadvertently, the article reveals something of the extraordinary stresses the Zimmermans faced:
Mrs. Zimmerman says the experience that probably sticks out most in her mind was the moments immediately following the not guilty verdict.
‘The deputies were so afraid of people shooting into the windows of the courthouse that they were pushing us up against the wall so that we couldn’t be seen by the people outside and that was really scary because at that moment it became very real. It’s been real this whole time, but that was a distinct moment for me that I’ll never forget, being pushed against the walls and thinking at any second, my life could be over.
The article quotes Shellie as being unsure of the status of her marriage, and tries to paint George as unsympathetically as possible, bringing up his visit to Kel-Tec, the manufacturer of the handgun he used to save his life. However, ABC doesn’t entirely succeed:
She said she believes her husband’s story that he shot and killed Martin in self defense, and said the most hurtful thing she experienced was hearing that he was a “murderer or some sort of racist.” But she also expressed sorrow and anguish about what the parents of Trayvon Martin have dealt with.
By all means, read both articles and make up your own mind. If you have the stomach for it, you might view these excerpts from the interview. It is obviously heavily edited, and even with the relatively few excerpts available, it’s clear Shellie’s answers are being steered toward The Narrative. I’m not aware of a complete transcript of the interview, and doubt one will be available anytime soon, if at all. Such a transcript may reveal the kind of misleading and unethical editing for which the lamestream media has become justly infamous. If not, the solution is simple: release a complete and unedited transcript.
She says she is writing a book about the trial. I don’t recall her reporting on the case prior to now, and with the exception of a reference to her in a video clip on CNN the night on July 13, Lexis.com has no record of articles or media transcripts with her about the case.
She says her book will reveal new information that could have resulted in a different verdict. Here’s what she is peddling: A story about a white Sanford police officer’s alleged misconduct in tasering an African American male which she is self-publishing on her weblog. On her blog, she writes:
Is there a connection between George Zimmerman’s shooting of Trayvon Martin and a white Sanford police officer’s tazing of a black man? Does this tragedy add credence to allegations that Zimmerman’s motives for shooting Martin were racist? These are the kinds of questions I’ve been investigating since moving to Sanford to witness the trial from inside the courtroom. I’ve discovered unreported information in many areas; some of which may have led to a different verdict- -had prosecutors not missed it.
I’m in Sanford now writing a book on what the public doesn’t know and what the jury never heard.
What? A white Sanford police officer tazed a black man–long after the shooting–and this is somehow connected to the Zimmerman affair? Let’s see what O’Connor, according to Merritt, has to say:
I close by circling back to George Zimmerman. Sanford’s black community believes Fuller’s tazing is more proof of a racist police department to which the ‘Wannabe Police Officer, Zimmerman’ has close ties. And that this ‘culture of racism’ influenced Zimmerman’s decision to shoot Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, of course, denies this and a jury seemed to agree. But, I’ve spoken with several credible people who provide interesting insight and who offer proof that Zimmerman and his family are racist. I’ve also discovered a lot more about the Zimmerman/Trayvon tragedy. But I can’t share it yet. I will when the time is right. So, stay tuned.
Over the next months, more that shouldn’t wait will emerge. I’ll report it here. This now includes an increasingly excessive use of death and injury-linked Taser guns by police here and across the nation.
Right. What we do know is that Zimmerman’s relationship with the Sanford Police was at best, informal. When their neighborhood watch coordinator offered him a position that would have put him in a marked car and given him near-officer status, Zimmerman turned her down. Even so, she actually admired him. Yet, Zimmerman’s actions in forcing the Sanford Police to charge an officer’s relative with the beating of a black, homeless man, certainly didn’t endear him to the police force. Other than his arms-length status as a neighborhood watch volunteer, and one, perhaps two ride-alongs, Zimmerman had no actual relationship with the police, and certainly no relationship that would have branded him a racist.
But what is O’Connor seeking to accomplish? The “about” page of her blog provides an answer:
When you’re allergic to deception, you create things like this blog. After years of leading television investigative units, I recently moved to Sanford, Florida to witness the George Zimmerman trial from inside the courtroom. By the third day of proceedings, I knew that–regardless of the verdict jurors would decide–I was witnessing injustice that had begun long before the night of February 26th, 2012 when Zimmerman shot 17-year old, Trayvon Martin. I’d found and would continue to discover mistakes, misrepresentations, corruption and cover ups that remain the unrealized hallmarks of this outrage-provoking case. There are many accessories to this injustice. They include law enforcement, forensic experts, witnesses, prosecutors and defense attorneys. The victims include Trayvon and George, their families and a country that still doesn’t know the truth. Jurors never heard it. Over the next months in this blog, I will expose some of the prejudice, negligence, manipulations, mistake, politics as well as legal and judicial system failures that impacted the verdict and undermine an unsuspecting nation that deserves to know.
And who are the “credible people” who will provide information on racist/victim George Zimmerman? Merritt speculates:
I won’t be surprised if her ‘credible sources’ are the Martin family lawyers. Why? The tasered-man’s lawyer, Shayan Modarres, was one of Benjamin Crump’s lawyers in the appeal of the order to take his deposition. Here’s a brief he co-wrote with attorney Bruce Blackwell. Modarres was the sponsor (along with Martin family lawyer Natalie Jackson) of the No Justice No Peace- ‘March Against Gun Violence’ rally on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 in Orange County, FL. According to this article, Modarres is a member of the Martin family legal team. (A former law professor of Moadarres also says he’s a part of the family’s legal team.)
If these sources are indeed the Scheme Team, we can reasonably believe their stories will have less than no credibility, brought to us by the people who produced Rachel Jeantel (see trial updates here and here).
In any case, O’Connor’s rendition of the taser incident suggests an officer getting excited and using excessive force, but admits that the Sanford Police are conducting an internal investigation. There is not the slightest indication that this incident has even an indirect relationship to George Zimmerman, as it apparently happened long after the shooting. How anyone could claim the taser incident in any way reflects on the character or motivations of a private citizen having no part–indeed, no knowledge of the event–is beyond me, but apparently not beyond Ms. O’Connor.
Merritt sums up:
The status of their marriage has no bearing on the criminal case and is not of interest to me. I am writing about this simply to opine that I doubt O’Connor has, as she claims on her website, any new and credible information on the criminal case that prosecutors missed which could have resulted in a different verdict. She’s selling a book that any number of reporters (and bloggers) who have followed the case since its inception (not just for trial) could write, probably more informatively.
As with Merritt, I have no interest in whatever marital strife may or may not exist between the Zimmermans. I note only that the kind of stresses forced on them would be more than enough to shake and destroy the relationship of many a married couple. As I am not in the business of producing reality entertainment, I have no interest in following this issue, perhaps other than to call attention to the desperation of “journalists” seeking to keep The Narrative alive at all costs.
I have no doubt that there is previously unknown information about this case. I also have no doubt that it is most likely information destructive to the prosecution’s case, which they may have concealed in violation of their duty under the law to provide all relevant evidence to the defense. Such information would surely not be helpful to The Narrative.
As to people who think George Zimmerman a racist, I’ve no doubt such people can be found. However, from what is currently known, an intensive FBI investigation not only found no evidence to support the George Zimmerman as racist theme, it disproved it. It would not be unreasonable to believe that any investigation directed by Erik Holder would overturn every possible rock in pursuit of its goals and would use every bit of innuendo and rumor it could twist and spin to pursue the racist meme, yet they came up empty.
We are left with two people–the Zimmermans–whose lives remain chaotic, and who struggle to obtain some sense of normalcy. Christi O’Connor would not seem, with what is currently known, to be helping the Zimmermans, or working to provide a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of the criminal case.