As you are well aware by now, cable news is engaged in their full metal jacket (wall-to-wall) coverage of the George Zimmerman trial. Almost every show on CNN, MSNBC and FOX has been focused on the trial; only cutting away to another story when there's some kind of flash political uprising, Snowden bashing or plane crash. I know many pundits are taking this apart, but I doubt most political viewers are shocked by this behavior because we've all witnessed the OJ-ifying of the Beltway media since 1994. But, it's still very unsettling to see Zimmerman's mug on the TV from 6am to 10pm every night.
I've been a media critic ever since 2004 and I've watched more TV coverage than you could ever imagine or ever want to so when I say the coverage is bad, it's bad. How bad has it been, you ask? My friend Jay Rosen has given up entirely on critiquing CNN and writes a post: Criticizing CNN: Goodbye to that. He says sayonara to Jeff Zucker.
FOX News has taken up Zimmerman's cause as if they are on trial and are acting like his very own TV network law practice. Chris Hayes in the above segment outlines how Bill O'Reilly and others are promoting the idea that African Americans will most definitely be rioting in the streets when George Zimmerman is found innocent. They've picked up and thrown away the dog whistle and replaced it with a network bullhorn. It's really sickening, and it's also very dangerous. What is FOX and O'Reilly trying to accomplish by race baiting the trial? Why are conservatives stirring up racial animus in America?
1) Conservatives really, really can't stand being labeled racists. They cringe when pundits discuss the Southern Strategy. They shiver at the mention of one Lee Atwater, who used racial politics to perfection. They have been determined for decades to undermine the term(racist) entirely. The late Andrew Breitbart would just shout the word racist, racist, racist, over and over again to try and dull your senses towards the true meaning of the word. He was crazy enough to actually attack Rep. John Lewis, over racist behavior by the Tea party. (I debated him on this subject once and he was just ugly about it.)
As for Bill O'Reilly, he's always had it in for minorities. Remember back in 2007 when Bill dared to check out the Harlem dining experience? Bill O'Reilly Surprised At Civility Of Black Restaurant Patrons. He was shocked that anyone objected to his depiction of the experience.
Summary: Discussing his recent dinner with Rev. Al Sharpton at the Harlem restaurant Sylvia's, Bill O'Reilly reported that he "couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship." O'Reilly added: "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.'" Read more.