The complaint against NBC completely ignores the fact that George Zimmerman killed the unarmed Trayvon Martin not because he might be a racist, but because he arrogantly and recklessly ignored Neighborhood Watch regulations and the advisory from the police dispatcher. He chased and confronted Martin, regardless of what he claims. Read my post: Zimmerman Ultimately Killed Martin Because Unknown Young Black Males Were Burglars To Him which includes the transcript of the investigators playing Zimmerman’s “911 call”, Transcript of 3rd Tape of Investigators Serino and Singleton interviewing Zimmerman
Additionally, Zimmerman’s claim that he shot Martin in self-defense is flimsy at best, and quite unbelievable at worst. Read my post: George Zimmerman Did Not Kill Trayvon Martin In Self-Defense
So many in the public believe, with good reasons, not related to the NBC broadcasts, thought that Zimmerman chased and provoked an innocent, unarmed minor into a fight, and then falsely claimed that he was in fear of his life to excuse shooting him. This was completely unnecessary and had the police been allowed to handle it, Martin would still be alive.
Thus, if Zimmerman is one of the most hated men in America, one could easily argue it is the result of his vigilantism and not NBC’s broadcast allegedly portraying him as a racist! Zimmerman’s own actions are what “detracted from [his] respect and effectiveness as a leader in the community.”
Wantonly disregarding the very regulations that govern his position as a neighborhood watch person and as a result shooting an innocent visitor obviously would imperil anyone’s view of his leadership abilities! He could shoot your kid next, if he happened not to know him. He is irresponsible! Someone who ignores regulations is not someone who you would entrust with authority. In fact, his actions resulted in the HOA’s insurers paying out a multi-million dollar settlement to Martin’s parents which potentially raised everyone’s HOA fees.
Those who believe that Zimmerman lawsuit against NBC is a slam dunk appear to assume several things, or more importantly discount others! Even if Zimmerman can prove that NBC defamed him:
1. Was NBC’s broadcasts the only reason why Zimmerman is thought of as a racist?
2. If Zimmerman so reviled only because he is believed to be a racist?
3. Is NBC’s broadcasts the only reason why Zimmerman is reviled?
The answer to all these questions is no! The cause of the tragedy was not George Zimmerman’s being a racist or even racially profiling Trayvon Martin, it was his irresponsible and reckless vigilantism. Once he decided that Martin was a criminal, even if his suspicious were the result of him racially profiling Martin, nothing would have happened if he had let the police handle the situation which NW regulations clearly dictated he do!
Furthermore, even if George Zimmerman is not a racist per se, it is clear that once he realized Martin was a young AA male, it strengthened his conviction that he was a burglar, because the other burglaries had been committed by young male AAs. That is one of the reasons he followed him to ensure that he didn’t “escape.”
So again, the reasons George Zimmerman is so reviled are not as simple as NBC allegedly maliciously manipulating the transcript of his “911” call to portray him as a racist. NBC’s attorneys has made a compelling case that Zimmerman was a public figure for purposes of the lawsuit. Zimmerman and his surrogates made every effort to mold public opinion in his favor and that effort continues now.
So, even if Zimmerman can overcome the heavy burden of proving that what NBC did was willful and malicious, much of the opprobrium heaped upon him, i.e., his damages, can be attributable to his own actions! So what portion of the Zimmerman’s “damage to his reputation” are attributable to NBC’s broadcasts instead of his own actions?
I think its absurd to believe that Zimmerman’s reputation is in taters simply because of a series of four or five NBC broadcasts when the full tape of the call had been released and was available from other sources. The proposition presumes that people at large, and the black community specifically, are so stupid as to duped by a few broadcasts from one network. They wouldn’t read or listen to any other news source regarding one of the most controversial events of the century? That’s ridiculous!
Moreover, how stellar was his reputation anyway? He had a criminal record, was not paying his rent, and was a junior college dropout!
If you are going to clam substantial damages, it would help if you had something that was in reasonable condition before it was allegedly damaged!