Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

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Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  Howard Beale on Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:44 pm

That link to the Reuters piece is mislabeled as balanced. That article is obviously nothing more than a puff piece done by a Zimmerman flack.

First off, if it was balanced it would have included at least some negative materiel about him, such as the comments about his rage issues by his co-worker or the remarks by some residents that describe him as an annoying busy-body.

Secondly, that nonsense about the dog is so patently ridiculous that no thinking person could consider it anything by fiction. It states that his wife was "cornered" by the pit bull. Cornered? Not attacked? Just cornered? In other words the dog was somewhere near her and she was afraid of him, but, going by the article, the dog never actually attacked or bit anybody.

Thirdly, the advice not to get pepper spray but "to get a gun" came from the animal control officer. I do not believe that for three reasons:
1. Pepper spray is used for BEARS! It is certainly effective against a dog.
2. That quarter-second stuff is nonsense. If a dog is going to attack you, you have plenty of warning: ears back, growling, etc. This dog had been reported twice for wandering around, but had never attacked anyone. If it had, animal control would have taken it in.
3. Using a pistol against an attacking dog is about the stupidest thing I can imagine. Four NYC cops fired 41 shots at Diallo, but only 19 bullets hit him. And that's trained officers shooting at a full-grown human standing still. Imagine an untrained person trying to hit a moving dog. It would takes scores of hours of range work to be able to hit a moving dog, unless of course he was hanging from your arm Hiaasen-style.

Fourthly, the article does not follow up on his failure to join the Marines or the police department. And there are no real interviews with his neighbors, teachers or classmates from Bull Run.

Q.E.D. The article is not "balanced" but is a completely one-sided public relations piece. A truly balanced article would have shown both sides of his complicated personality. If you are going to criticize the Miami Herald and other sources for one-sidedness, it is only fair that the same standards are applied to Z.


Last edited by Admin on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Changing name of thread for clarity// no changes to post by Howard)

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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  CaseyAnderson on Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:59 pm

Howard, please posts sources for your claims that Zimmerman tried to join the Marines. I've never heard that one before. I'd also like a source for the police claim. I've seen it many times but don't have a source for it.

And before you get into a good snit, my eldest was denied entry into a branch of the armed forces due to a history of migraines. The ASVAB scores were almost perfect but because of the migraines my child was denied. To insinuate that "failing" to be admitted to a military branch is de facto proof of poor character is an insult to my child and many others denied entry for many different reasons with nothing to do with character or abilities.

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  CaseyAnderson on Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:07 pm

Sybrina Fulton says shooting was accident (video)
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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  CaseyAnderson on Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:51 pm

Multiple suspensions paint complicated portrait of Trayvon Martin

SANFORD — Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin was suspended from school, because he was caught with an empty baggie with traces of marijuana in it, the boy’s family attorney has confirmed.

Trayvon was killed while serving out the suspension in Sanford Florida, where his father’s girlfriend lives. A community watch volunteer who thought he looked drugged out and suspicious called police and later wound up in a fight with him.

. . ..

EDIT: should've credited rrrottenapple with this one. Sorry rrr!


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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  Howard Beale on Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:28 pm

Anderson, The marine thing is in the article, as are the criminal justice classes remarks. The wanting to be a cop is pretty far back, I don't know what the original source was.

Also I never implied that he was rejected by the Marines, what I said was "...his failure to join the Marines." Obviously you did not closely read the article referenced, the "balanced" thing, or my post. Perhaps you would like to reread both and respond to my assertions about the article.


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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  CaseyAnderson on Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:38 pm

Howard Beale wrote:Anderson, since you posted the "balanced" article link, I presumed you had read the article. How silly of me.

Both this sentence: At 14 he became obsessed with becoming a Marine, a relative said, joining the after-school ROTC program

and these fragments: A criminal justice student... and despite being a course credit shy of his associate's degree in criminal justice.

appear in the article YOU posted as balanced. The desire to be a cop thing I picked up in an article about him very early on and I do not feel the need to backtrack through hundreds of articles to find the original source. The criminal justice student stuff is pretty good evidence he wanted to be a cop. You don't work towards a criminal justice degree because you want to be a barber. Not to mention the fact that your questions do not address my primary point, that the article is listed as "balanced" when in fact it is not, a fact easily discernible to even the least discriminating reader. If you would like to reply to the rest of my perfectly balanced assertions, I would be more than happy to reply.

P.S. I just reread you post and would like you to do the same to mine. Nowhere did I insinuate that he failed admission to the Marines. I choose my words pretty carefully and what I said was "failure to join" the Marines which has no implication that the Marines rejected him in any way. What it in fact does is point out that he, like everyone else, failed to attain aspired to goals. Being "obsessed" with joining the Marines and then not doing so is interesting. Why? I just want to turn the guy into a human, neither saint nor sinner. The link you described as balanced is in fact a public relations puff piece and not at all balanced.

No I didn't post that article. I haven't even read it and didn't connect your statement to it. I stand corrected. I would ask that you note that my name isn't "Admin," though.

Having raised children through high school it's very common for kids to become "obsessed" with things during high school. One of my kids was obsessed with playing a string instrument, I was sure I'd be paying for a music degree, but once high school was over the instrument became a pastime. I don't see anything unusual in that.

I need to go read the article I suppose, but even if it's half as biased as you're suggesting it's still one out of literally two million Google hits for stories praising Martin. I'm all for looking at this event and its participants realistically but I'm doubtful there will be much in the media realistic about Zimmerman. I'll go read the article on the off chance I'm wrong.
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Fair and Balanced

Post  Howard Beale on Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:50 pm

You're right, I snarked at the wrong guy. I've got a couple of thirty year old sons so don't talk down to me about having kids or raising them. If the "Marine obsession" was so insignificant, why did the author include it, if not to bolster his unbalanced purpose. That is my point.

And I was hoping that this site would not describe public relations stuff as "balanced" but would be able to take a more even-handed view of stuff ON BOTH SIDES. Zimmerman is not all saint and Martin is not all thug. They are both some of both, both troubled, both angry, both having difficulties dealing with current circumstances.


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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  CaseyAnderson on Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:04 pm

Howard, why did you edit your post to remove the section in which you said that I posted the article? I went to quote you so I could address you more thoroughly and it's gone. I'm willing to publicly fess up when I'm wrong or misunderstood and I tend to be frustrated by people who use the edit option to cover tracks.

I just reread the first section and I think I might have read it before at a different site. A lot of it sounds familiar but I've been reading a lot lately and some of it's starting to fade into one big lump. At any rate, to address the two points of contention:

Both this sentence: At 14 he became obsessed with becoming a Marine, a relative said, joining the after-school ROTC program

The article doesn't say that Zimmerman ever actually pursued enlisting in the Marines. As I said earlier, high schoolers become obsessive over all sorts of things that never go anywhere. Music, sports, drama--there are a great many dreamers walking the halls of high schools who never actually pursue those ambitions for whatever reason. The way I read your statement was that the Marines rejected him. If that's not what you intended I apologize for misunderstanding you. If that is what you intended why do you think Zimmerman tried to enlist? Have you seen that somewhere else?

and these fragments: A criminal justice student... and despite being a course credit shy of his associate's degree in criminal justice.

He was kicked out of school after the shooting because the school felt threatened by the controversy. From the article:

On March 22, nearly a month after the shooting and with the controversy by then swirling nationwide, the school issued a press release saying it was taking the "unusual, but necessary" step of withdrawing Zimmerman's enrollment, citing "the safety of our students on campus as well as for Mr. Zimmerman."

As an aside I hope Zimmerman sues the school for a full refund of this semester's tuition. That was totally uncalled for.

I don't know how it is in Florida or where you live but in these parts, almost all police officers have to have completed a CJ AS or be very near completion before being hired. The article stated that he aspired to be a judge, which may or may not include employment as a police officer. Many judges have law degrees and a CJ is a common step toward a law degree.

At any rate, I read your post as aggravated that the article wasn't sufficiently negative toward Zimmerman on those counts. Again, if you weren't intending that impression I accept that.
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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  CaseyAnderson on Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:07 pm

Howard Beale wrote:You're right, I snarked at the wrong guy. I've got a couple of thirty year old sons so don't talk down to me about having kids or raising them. If the "Marine obsession" was so insignificant, why did the author include it, if not to bolster his unbalanced purpose. That is my point.

And I was hoping that this site would not describe public relations stuff as "balanced" but would be able to take a more even-handed view of stuff ON BOTH SIDES. Zimmerman is not all saint and Martin is not all thug. They are both some of both, both troubled, both angry, both having difficulties dealing with current circumstances.


Well Howard, everyone is welcome to participate. If you don't think I'm being sufficiently evenhanded you're welcome to post your opinion here. Unlike elsewhere no one is going to take your posts down or ban you. Have at it.

As far as why the author included the Marine part, I have no idea other than trying to form a more thorough picture of the man. What is your take on that question?

ETA: Howard, let's take this to a new thread and leave the links thread relatively clear of non-link posts, ok?
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Reuters article on Zimmerman: from Links thread

Post  CaseyAnderson on Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:36 pm

Howard, I started this thread to keep the links thread clean of debate. I'm going to repost my posts from there so we can talk here.

I saw a video by the author of this article and as soon as I find it, I'll post the link for you.

Howard Beale wrote:Anderson, since you posted the "balanced" article link, I presumed you had read the article. How silly of me.

Both this sentence: At 14 he became obsessed with becoming a Marine, a relative said, joining the after-school ROTC program

and these fragments: A criminal justice student... and despite being a course credit shy of his associate's degree in criminal justice.

appear in the article YOU posted as balanced. The desire to be a cop thing I picked up in an article about him very early on and I do not feel the need to backtrack through hundreds of articles to find the original source. The criminal justice student stuff is pretty good evidence he wanted to be a cop. You don't work towards a criminal justice degree because you want to be a barber. Not to mention the fact that your questions do not address my primary point, that the article is listed as "balanced" when in fact it is not, a fact easily discernible to even the least discriminating reader. If you would like to reply to the rest of my perfectly balanced assertions, I would be more than happy to reply.

P.S. I just reread you post and would like you to do the same to mine. Nowhere did I insinuate that he failed admission to the Marines. I choose my words pretty carefully and what I said was "failure to join" the Marines which has no implication that the Marines rejected him in any way. What it in fact does is point out that he, like everyone else, failed to attain aspired to goals. Being "obsessed" with joining the Marines and then not doing so is interesting. Why? I just want to turn the guy into a human, neither saint nor sinner. The link you described as balanced is in fact a public relations puff piece and not at all balanced.

No I didn't post that article. I haven't even read it and didn't connect your statement to it. I stand corrected. I would ask that you note that my name isn't "Admin," though.

Having raised children through high school it's very common for kids to become "obsessed" with things during high school. One of my kids was obsessed with playing a string instrument, I was sure I'd be paying for a music degree, but once high school was over the instrument became a pastime. I don't see anything unusual in that.

I need to go read the article I suppose, but even if it's half as biased as you're suggesting it's still one out of literally two million Google hits for stories praising Martin. I'm all for looking at this event and its participants realistically but I'm doubtful there will be much in the media realistic about Zimmerman. I'll go read the article on the off chance I'm wrong.

Howard, why did you edit your post to remove the section in which you said that I posted the article? I went to quote you so I could address you more thoroughly and it's gone. I'm willing to publicly fess up when I'm wrong or misunderstood and I tend to be frustrated by people who use the edit option to cover tracks.

I just reread the first section and I think I might have read it before at a different site. A lot of it sounds familiar but I've been reading a lot lately and some of it's starting to fade into one big lump. At any rate, to address the two points of contention:

Both this sentence: At 14 he became obsessed with becoming a Marine, a relative said, joining the after-school ROTC program

The article doesn't say that Zimmerman ever actually pursued enlisting in the Marines. As I said earlier, high schoolers become obsessive over all sorts of things that never go anywhere. Music, sports, drama--there are a great many dreamers walking the halls of high schools who never actually pursue those ambitions for whatever reason. The way I read your statement was that the Marines rejected him. If that's not what you intended I apologize for misunderstanding you. If that is what you intended why do you think Zimmerman tried to enlist? Have you seen that somewhere else?

and these fragments: A criminal justice student... and despite being a course credit shy of his associate's degree in criminal justice.

He was kicked out of school after the shooting because the school felt threatened by the controversy. From the article:

On March 22, nearly a month after the shooting and with the controversy by then swirling nationwide, the school issued a press release saying it was taking the "unusual, but necessary" step of withdrawing Zimmerman's enrollment, citing "the safety of our students on campus as well as for Mr. Zimmerman."

As an aside I hope Zimmerman sues the school for a full refund of this semester's tuition. That was totally uncalled for.

I don't know how it is in Florida or where you live but in these parts, almost all police officers have to have completed a CJ AS or be very near completion before being hired. The article stated that he aspired to be a judge, which may or may not include employment as a police officer. Many judges have law degrees and a CJ is a common step toward a law degree.

At any rate, I read your post as aggravated that the article wasn't sufficiently negative toward Zimmerman on those counts. Again, if you weren't intending that impression I accept that.

Howard Beale wrote:"]You're right, I snarked at the wrong guy. I've got a couple of thirty year old sons so don't talk down to me about having kids or raising them. If the "Marine obsession" was so insignificant, why did the author include it, if not to bolster his unbalanced purpose. That is my point.

And I was hoping that this site would not describe public relations stuff as "balanced" but would be able to take a more even-handed view of stuff ON BOTH SIDES. Zimmerman is not all saint and Martin is not all thug. They are both some of both, both troubled, both angry, both having difficulties dealing with current circumstances.


Well Howard, everyone is welcome to participate. If you don't think I'm being sufficiently evenhanded you're welcome to post your opinion here. Unlike elsewhere no one is going to take your posts down or ban you. Have at it.

As far as why the author included the Marine part, I have no idea other than trying to form a more thorough picture of the man. What is your take on that question?

ETA: Howard, let's take this to a new thread and leave the links thread relatively clear of non-link posts, ok?
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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  CaseyAnderson on Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:44 pm

I think this is the same author, Howard. How sad that so many people were afraid to talk to him for fear of the thugs. That is just wrong. That is NOT America.

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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  CaseyAnderson on Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:37 am

Lawyer: Angela Corey missed deadline to release evidence
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well you are wrong Howard

Post  Aussie54 on Sun Apr 29, 2012 5:22 am

Howard Beale wrote:You're right, I snarked at the wrong guy. I've got a couple of thirty year old sons so don't talk down to me about having kids or raising them. If the "Marine obsession" was so insignificant, why did the author include it, if not to bolster his unbalanced purpose. That is my point.

And I was hoping that this site would not describe public relations stuff as "balanced" but would be able to take a more even-handed view of stuff ON BOTH SIDES. Zimmerman is not all saint and Martin is not all thug. They are both some of both, both troubled, both angry, both having difficulties dealing with current circumstances.


Your argument about the Marines is actually crap. Like the other lady I have sons and one of them showed interest in joining the army when he was at school. He even joined the army cadet program... however and without going into detail he did not go in that direction by the end of his schooling. There was a very personal reason for the change of heart.

This can happen to anyone, and I would suggest that it is common for boys to have such ambitions when they are younger only to decide upon something else when they are a little older.

You are also wrong about wanting to join the police. At the time of the incident GZ was completing his certificate relating to justice. Unfortunately because of the behaviour of Al Sharpton, Benjamin Crump and other liars George was not allowed to finish that unit.

In other words there is no evidence that his intention was to join the police force. It is possible he wanted to join some other area of the justice system.

So much for your speculation... there is simply no proof to support what you have stated. geek

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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  Howard Beale on Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:18 am

Anderson: Okay, a couple of things, well more than a couple:

I changed my post when I realized that I was mistaken about who originally posted the "balanced" comment. I did not want to spread misinformation. I had not imagined nor could I have known that anyone would be following my comments so closely. I am not familiar with forum protocol and procedures, having never posted on one before. You obviously have me at a disadvantage there. A disadvantage you are quick to exploit, I notice with remarks like "covering my tracks". [For instance, I just now, several minutes after I started this post, realized that I could scroll down and find the post to which I am replying. If I had known that yesterday, I would not be posting a mea culpa today]. But, go ahead, take as much advantage of my ignorance as you can, while it lasts. It won't last long.

I liked the Reuters article, "Prelude to a Shooting", because it humanized a guy who has been much maligned in this whole case. As the author points out in the video you posted, Zimmerman is a "complex guy", as are we all. But I did not accept the article as absolute truth.

What seemed obvious to me, perhaps not to you, was that the article did not explore that complexity, it merely presented one side, the most favorable side, of the guy. That is not balanced. The article certainly balances the scales towards fairness in understanding the guy, but it is unbalanced in the same way the anti-Zimmerman articles are unbalanced.

The author must have felt that Zimmerman's desire to join the Marines was indicative of some aspect of Z's formative years or he would not have included it. I would imagine that, like most other teenagers he had other "obsessions"--poor choice of word, in my opinion--than just joining the Marines, but the author did not mention them, which demonstrates that he thought that that particular piece of information was useful. I might point out that both of my kids pretty much followed their major teenage interests into adulthood and careers. Others of their friends, "dreamers walking the halls of high schools" as you put it, interests and followed completely different and unexpected paths.

About the dog stuff, the author states in the video that he got the story--about the pit bull and subsequent gun purchases--from two sources. I do not believe that story and I think he was sold a bill of goods by two "sources" with their own agendas, which he should have more closely examined. But, he probably has the same time and budget constraints we all do so he went with it. The story does seem plausible on the face but on closer examination by a person familiar with both guns and dogs it does not hold up. Go ask any mailman letter carrier what he or she uses for scary dogs. As a matter of fact, if you can find one that walks instead of rides, look at the bag. There'll be a pepper-spray canister clipped there. That particular aspect of the story is not credible and that alone makes me wonder about the rest of it.

You state that you feel that it is wrong that people were not willing to talk to him out of fear. THAT statement is wrong. What the author says in the video was that people were not willing to be identified out of fear. This is so common over so many issues that I'm not sure it is worthy of comment... but that won't stop either of us. The business about unattributed sources is a constant in any discussion of journalism. Whistleblowers get shafted, snitches get killed, professionals get shunned, the list of reasons for not wanting to be identified is endless. People were not afraid to talk, they just didn't want to be identified.

The author also states that he talked to a number of people in the neighborhood. Is it your experience that everyone in your neighborhood would have nothing but positive comments about some other neighbor? The lack of any negative impressions makes me take the article with a grain of salt, as did the lack of any negative impressions in the original reporting about Martin. It was that lack of evenhandness that made me examine the whole issue more closely. I see no reason not to apply the same curiosity and skepticism to this article and the subsequent video.

What aggravated me and continues to do so is that people on both sides of this issue do not closely examine all the information, with both an eye towards plausibility and motives of the sources.

And thank you for allowing me to participate, you're too kind. Would you like to see my I.D. or something?

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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  Admin on Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:02 pm

Hi Howard. I am the one who posted the link and labelled it as "balanced". Perhaps that is not quite the right word, or at least not used quite the right way. What I meant was that this article (partially) balances out the heavily negative portrayal of George Zimmerman in the media to date. Casey had a good idea to move this discussion to another thread; I'll see if I can do that and preserve both your and his comments.
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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  CaseyAnderson on Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:42 pm

Howard, it appears I irritate you no matter how hard I try to be neutral. Perhaps my communication skills are lagging. I didn't take you for a board noob (that's a compliment) so I apologize for the covering the tracks comment. Generally, it's accepted practice on message boards to leave original text or indicate what has been added or removed. I often use ETA when I edit, meaning Edited to Add. Of course when you're editing to close a tag or correct spelling or similar reasons there's no need to indicate it.

I hope you stay around and post your thoughts on Martin, Zimmerman and the case as it goes along. I look forward to reading a position different from my own.
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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  stobberdobber on Wed May 02, 2012 3:25 am

If people are going to be this snarky about posting and replying in this forum I am going to be in real danger because I have not figured out how to do things in here still and not sure I am going to put much effort into it. Not worth being snarked on all the time. Sad
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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  MSimon on Wed May 02, 2012 12:05 pm

Howard Beale wrote:I had not imagined nor could I have known that anyone would be following my comments so closely.

So you were hoping no one was paying attention? I'll take that into consideration in the future.
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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  CaseyAnderson on Sun May 06, 2012 12:24 pm

stobberdobber wrote:If people are going to be this snarky about posting and replying in this forum I am going to be in real danger because I have not figured out how to do things in here still and not sure I am going to put much effort into it. Not worth being snarked on all the time. Sad

I'm sure it'll be fine, Stobber. It's just good forum protocol to let people know when you've substantially modified a post, since responses may be written to the original post and not the edited post. When one edits for things like closing tags and the like it's really not necessary to indicate that. Only when a post's point is added to, removed from or changed should one leave the original and add/make corrections as needed.

You'll often see me using the abbreviation ETA: That means Edit to Add.

But please don't go away! This is a great forum for beginners to learn forum etiquette.
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Re: Further Discussion of Reuters Article: from Link Thread

Post  Andybinga on Tue May 08, 2012 3:33 am

Howard Beale wrote:

Thirdly, the advice not to get pepper spray but "to get a gun" came from the animal control officer. I do not believe that for three reasons:
1. Pepper spray is used for BEARS! It is certainly effective against a dog.
2. That quarter-second stuff is nonsense. If a dog is going to attack you, you have plenty of warning: ears back, growling, etc. This dog had been reported twice for wandering around, but had never attacked anyone. If it had, animal control would have taken it in.
3. Using a pistol against an attacking dog is about the stupidest thing I can imagine. Four NYC cops fired 41 shots at Diallo, but only 19 bullets hit him. And that's trained officers shooting at a full-grown human standing still. Imagine an untrained person trying to hit a moving dog. It would takes scores of hours of range work to be able to hit a moving dog, unless of course he was hanging from your arm Hiaasen-style.



Bear pepper spray and your usual pepper spray are two different creatures.
I have been bit by a dog before and I did not see it.
Plenty of Youtube videos of Policeman shooting pitbulls without a problem.

Here is a link that has more than a few stories about pepewr spray not working well on some pitbulls.

http://tinyurl.com/dx44kys

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