Sean Hannity stressed, repeatedly, there’s a lot we don’t know about the case of George Zimmerman, who was charged with second-degree murder Wednesday in the killing of a Florida teenager, Trayvon Martin.
Hannity wasn’t alone, of course, but he’s been thrust into a supporting role in the story, with Zimmerman’s attorneys having dropped him as a client in part because he contacted Hannity without consulting them. Hannity referenced the conversation again Wednesday while stressing he won’t get into its content, which is perfectly fair.
What hasn’t been fair is the way the opinion-based media has chosen sides, even as they admit how much they don’t know. Because for Hannity or a liberal counterweight like MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, the case isn’t really about what they’re for so much as knowing who they’re against.
Hannity’s indignation over a “rush to judgment” in the case thus has nothing to do with the particulars, and everything to do with who’s doing the rushing and judging. Conservatives are rallying to Zimmerman’s defense — while mouthing half-hearted disclaimers — primarily because activist Al Sharpton and some other MSNBC hosts, Jesse Jackson and African-American Democrats in Congress urged that he be arrested for the shooting.
Of course, it would be nice if everyone practiced what they preached or could acknowledge the cable-news oxygen being swallowed up by the case right now is for the most part a colossal exercise in time-wasting, but how can they when they can’t stop talking about it? “The point is that nobody knows,” Fox contributor Monica Crowley told Hannity Wednesday, accusing the Left of “exploiting this case for their agenda and for their political purposes.”
Precisely. Just as Fox News is — with Hannity turning the case into an attack on (who else?) the Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and rival TV networks, enlisting the Media Research Center’s L. Brent Bozell III to echo his talking points. All of which simply promotes Fox News’ “Trust us, and only us” marketing strategy vis-a-vis other news outlets.
Actually, it’s sort of a shame: For all the finger-pointing that’s going on, nobody’s arm is long enough to point in every direction where the blame resides.