On the front page of the Miami-Herald Sunday Edition features the following story The Trayvon Martin Truth Squad on its print edition. The story goes on to discuss the various websites and bloggers and their interest in the Trayvon Martin case.
The article begins quite dismissively enough with the opening of :
Everybody needs a hobby. For these folks, it’s obsessively digging through evidence and theorizing what really happened.
To the reporter Ms Robles the fact that some ordinary citizens spend hours trying to prove or disprove the facts of the case is some unexplained phenomenon that is worthy of the front page in both the print and web edition of a newspaper with 20 Pulitzerz’s to its name.
Ms. Robles has obviously put on some work on the story and she quotes some bloggers both pro-George Zimmerman and against while at the same time denigrating them and to her understanding, obsession. Not once did she ask what it is about this case that stirs such passion and quest to solve it.
It does not occur to Ms. Robles that there may be a reason other than just a time-killer, hobby for people to search for information. Ms. Robles quotes some unnamed experts that say that amateur sleuths are New Media but are in fact taking advantage of “Sunshine Laws” in Florida and undermining the constitutional right to a fair trial by contaminating the jury pool. This is a valid point yet, she finds no connection with how the regular media and its failures to cover stories are what give rise people looking to alternative media for information and answers.
Ms. Robles concludes by quoting George Zimmerman’s lawyer and describing how he has interns assigned to scour the blogs for any information that might be beneficial to his case and Trayvon Martin’s parents who feels it was the defense that by putting this in the social media has proven his clients guilt in her opinion.
Finally she concludes by quoting attorney Jose Baez of Casey Anthony fame who says: “Florida’s public-record law needs to bow to a defendant’s right to a fair trial,” he said. “Some woman sitting behind her computer with nine cats knows more about the case than anybody. What you end up with is a dog and pony show, and people want to march in the parade. I think it is severely perverting justice.”
Throughout the long article Ms. Robles spend a lot time quoting bloggers and the lengths that they have gone through to prove or disprove evidence, how at some blogs it has dramatically increased their traffic, discussing what some bloggers have concluded, all while dismissing their efforts as perverting justice but one question she does not ask is WHY?
The closest she comes to this question is that the admission by one blog that said that their traffic has increased tremendously due to their coverage, but that is it. Ms. Robles does not seem at all curious as to why this particular case has drawn such attention.
She is incurious as to why the shooting of an unarmed 17yr by a Neighborhood Watch captain has drawn the attention of the President of the US, the Congress to hold hearings, the DOJ to investigate, the local Chief of Police to be fired, the lead investigator to be demoted, the NAACP, Jesse Jackson, Rev. Sharpton, multiple athletes and other celebrities to get involved in a simple yet quite common case. There have been other cases that deserved the same type of scrutiny but are largely ignored by the media and bloggers.
She does not wonder whether any of those things pervert justice, just as much if not much more than some blogger with 9 cats talking about it. Ms. Robles does not see that her and her employers are responsible for this “new phenomenon” as she refers to it that leaves ordinary people asking for questions and looking for answers.
The fact that this front page article exists, should clue Ms. Robles as to why Main Street Media is failing. As long as the MSM continue to write puff article long on wording but lacking of any information or insight people will continue to turn to Blogs to get information, share insights and explore that which they ignore.