@tgoldsmith Or … Armed A retreats, is pursued by unarmed B with attitude, etc… We don’t know who the aggressor was. Character counts.
— David Martosko (@EditMeDavid) March 29, 2012
It’s the “character” issue that has kept the Web busy this week. Whether it’s Business Insider publishing photos (one of them not of Martin) taken from a neo-Nazi website, or Martosko digging up two Twitter accounts that apparently belonged to the dead teenager, the intent is fairly clear: Establish a counternarrative that doesn’t make Martin look like a saint.
“Like the site’s previous post on another Twitter feed apparently maintained by Trayvon Martin,” Robert Mackey writes of The Daily Caller’s story, “the information published on Thursday seems to have been selected to reinforce the argument that the victim of the fatal shooting was a menacing figure who might plausibly have been mistaken for a criminal.” Evidence of that, Mackey writes, is that The Daily Caller “chose not to display any of the many photographs posted there that show him in a far softer light.”
Adrian Chen reported Thursday about a white supremacist hacker named Klanklannon who appears to have hacked into Martin’s email and social media accounts. “But Klanklannon included none of Martin’s emails in his leak, because the picture they paint is of a normal high school junior preparing for college,” Chen writes.
Race has been the top focus of blog posts about the case, according to a new study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. On Twitter, conversation has centered around calls for justice and sympathy for the family. Legal issues such as gun control and Florida’s “stand your ground” law dominated talk radio and cable news.
PEJ also reports that MSNBC has devoted three times as much of its news coverage to the story as Fox News.
Related: The iconic photos of Trayvon Martin & George Zimmerman & why you may not see the others | Pew finds racial gap among those following Trayvon Martin story | How to cover Trayvon Martin killing: Report on ‘racial tension’ and look beyond the hoodie | ESPN should find ways to cover the Trayvon Martin story rather than become part of it