Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual
and lost the original black box,
they still remembered to use the stones
--The Lottery, Shirley Jackson
I’ll tell you what’s walking Salem—
vengeance is walking Salem
--The Crucible, Arthur Miller
Do you take it upon yourself to determine
what this court shall believe
and what it shall set aside?
The above the second most viewed story in the New York Times at 2 p.m. yesterday.
Number two not in a tabloid, but #2 in the ostensibly top paper in the United States. These are the things that make me embarrassed to be a liberal today. Zimmerman's fate relies on the decision of a unbiased jury. In his case, as with any similar, the laws will be applied to his actions to arrive at a decision.
So why is the liberal press so assiduously committing character assassination in this case? This headline is naught but indictment sans trial, replete with dime store title: The Killer I Knew. This is nuts -- who is making these editorial decisions? These are the same journalists who would have been horrified by the tactics of the McCarthy era witch hunt trials, so why the about-face? Why feed us this prurient and lurid non-news, and why do we feast upon it?
Unfortunately, an overzealous press in the mistaken business of swaying public opinion has been scrambling to dredge up anything which will heap an adjudication of "guilty" upon Zimmerman's head, even before his case goes to trial (if it even does). The reason for this is unclear.
The WaPo's Jonathan Capehart and the NYT's Charles Blow have embarrassed themselves by keeping up the drumbeat of insinuation against Zimmerman (it is said his family likes blacks as long as they behave like whites ... -- living in South Georgia, I can tell you that attitude blindsided me. Yup.) This is pathetic gruel for a paper of supposed note to be indulging in.
So why is Zimmerman being publicly pilloried in the top paper in the nation? Why are we reading pulp fiction heads like "Woman Tells of Encounters with Killer"? The late Paul Fussell called it "prole drift" in his, "BAD -- the Dumbing of America".
And what were those "encounters"? Zimmerman apparently diddled her under a blanket while they watched t.v. when she was 6 and he 8.
Says witness 9, "a lot of kissing, groping. He would put his hands under my shirt and just rub and grab my chest and put his hands down my pants again ... ". It happened a few more times over the years, but when she was 18, boy, she just got up and left him high and dry: No more groping, so there!
Now, not one to encourage groping, but it does happen, and is not a marker in the making of a murderer. Now, if they could come up with some singed cats or dogs over the clothesline (whoops, that's what pro football players sometimes do.)
Did the victim, Trayvon, ever diddle a girl? We are not told, making him seem virginal, locked in amber in a moment of the press's creation, iced tea and Skittles in hand. Zimmerman grows more heinous with each lurid innuendo, like something on a late night werewolf movie.
Anyway, I don't get it. This coverage is so blatantly inappropriate on so many levels. That the U.S. president spoke out sympathizing with the victim hopelessly biased the case. Why must Zimmerman be martyred for our collective sense of guilt? The witch hunt is so pagan and atavistic in nature.
He must have hairy palms, which would further prove something, if they can just trick him into opening them upwards.