Friday, July 26, 2013

Robin Young, Zimmerman and Tsarnaev

I wish Robin Young, host of Here & Now on NPR of Boston station WBUR, would treat George Zimmerman with the same courtesy, compassion and tolerance she gave Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Here & Now pounced on Zimmerman last March when the video of him at the police station surfaced because it called into question his side of the story. When that angle was refuted  few days later she lost interest. I searched the program's web archive in vein and can't find any follow-up coverage. Please inform me if I am wrong.

Zimmerman famously followed Trayvon, hoping to spot him for police, when he was attacked and killed Trayvon in what appears to be self defense. Tsarnaev, on the other hand, committed premeditated murder on strangers and Young wanted to find the external factors that lead him to his crime. She was kind to him, but not to Zimmerman.

Once the Zimmerman trial picked up her program was happy to cover it, and when he was found "not guilty" the program started a parade of losers and hustlers who "do not accept" the verdict. Perhaps those calls for a new trial could have been tempered with some legal analysis about the double jeopardy concerns of a new trial, or the myth that Trayvon's family can appeal the verdict.

Today's program had a segment on a Zimmerman juror who is getting death threats and wanted people to know she thought he killed Trayvon but couldn't convicted him because of those pesky evidence standards.Slate's William Saletan showed that selective editing and leading questions put words in her mouth to get her to say that Zimmerman got away with murder. NPR has done no better than cable news.

Robin Young is using the program to express her outrage against Zimmerman's refusal to let someone beat him to death. She's not the only one who works there and the decisions aren't just hers, but it's her voice and her words. The contrast in treatment between Zimmerman and Tsarnaev is striking.


  1. Although I understand what you mean, she actually knew Tsarnaev. I think that would have made a difference in her reaction.

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