Remember Liz Trotta? She’s the Fox News analyst who said a few weeks ago that women in the military should expect to be raped. And who can forget her accusation that Seal Team 6 was being used as political operatives when they rescued Americans held by pirates? And then there was the time that she dismissed acts of violence against Democrats by asserting that the victims were whining. She also famously used her Fox News platform to make a joke about assassinating President Obama.
Well now we can add another commendation for contemptuous commentary to her nauseating resume. This weekend Trotta took her place on Fox News to lambaste the media, and particularly African-American reporters, for covering the Trayvon Martin killing. Trotta complained that “NBC News did a show with a couple of their black employees,” including Lester Holt, who she said was her favorite anchorman of all time. However, she charged that Holt and his fellow African-American reporters…
“…had to agree to telling their experiences as a black person, how the cops would follow them, how security and departments would follow them. It was a sorry show. Where’s the objectivity of this? Why do you involve your black reporters and anchors in this kind of framework that can only hurt their credibility?”
Trotta never revealed where she got the idea that these reporters “had to agree” to express themselves as if they had no editorial discretion or free will. And she is curiously critical of the notion that African-Americans are even able to provide news commentary from a personal perspective (you know, the way white reporters do every day). In her remarks Trotta defined “unique perspective” as “reaching really far to make their liberal case without any evidence to black it up.” And yes, after repeated listening it seems to me that she actually said “black it up,” an interesting Freudian slip off the edge of a harrowing cliff. Then Trotta delivered an absolutely ludicrous closing that demonstrated her utter lack of knowledge of the law:
“Why must we convict George Zimmerman before he’s even arrested? The fact that he isn’t arrested, I open that to the court. But let’s not fry the guy before he’s even given a hearing. That’s what he’s getting now, is a hearing. It’s been a disgraceful show from the media.”
There is so much wrong in those comments that it’s hard to know where to begin. First of all, nobody is convicting Zimmerman before he’s arrested. However, he has to be arrested before there can be a full investigation that preserves and analyzes evidence, records statements, and interviews witnesses and experts. Secondly, it isn’t up to a court to decide whether he should be arrested. Why she’s leaving that “open” to the court I have no idea. Third, Zimmerman is not getting a hearing now, as Trotta claims. It’s the justice system that is getting a hearing from the public for failing to act responsibly. And finally, while Trotta, and others in the conservative media, are so concerned about the rights and reputation of Zimmerman, they are quick to smear Martin as a delinquent and a gangster thug.
I would, however, have to agree with Trotta that some of the media reporting on this has been disgraceful, starting with Trotta herself and her colleagues at Fox News. The insult to reporters of color who contribute perspectives that only they are able to, is reprehensible. It’s also hypocritical since it was just that sort of personal observation that Fox News defended when they hired Juan Williams. Apparently Fox News thinks it’s OK for a black reporter to express his feelings when they insult Muslims, but it’s disgraceful and hurtful to their credibility if those feelings are sympathetic toward a murdered teenager.