posted at 1:21 pm on March 24, 2017 by John Sexton
Rap artist and entrepreneur Jaz Z is partnering with the Weinstein Company to create a feature film and a documentary series about Trayvon Martin. From Variety:
The indie label and the rap icon won a heated bidding war for the rights to two books — “Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It” and “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin.”…
“Suspicion Nation” is by Lisa Bloom and recounts her experience covering the trial for NBC. She looks at the mistakes made by prosecutors that caused them to lose what she describes as a “winnable case.” “Rest in Power” is by Martin’s parents, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. It tells a more personal story, looking at Martin’s childhood and the aftermath of his death.
I haven’t read either book but based on the description it sounds as if the storyline here is going to be that Zimmerman was guilty of murder but got away with it. That’s how a reviewer for the LA Times described it:
Bloom rails on the prosecutors for the inept job they did prosecuting George Zimmerman for the tragic death of black teenager Trayvon Martin. Indeed, there is no disguising that Bloom, who has never been a prosecutor, believes that she could have won the Zimmerman case…
In page after page, Bloom details errors she says the prosecution made that led to what she clearly believes was the wrong verdict in the case. Bloom is plainspoken in her attacks. “In openings, the prosecution won on style, the defense won on content.” She spends pages explaining how the prosecution missed what she believes was the key evidence undermining Zimmerman’s self-defense claim…
Bloom loves pretend scripts. She writes them for many of the witnesses. She would have loved for the prosecution’s key witness, Rachel Jeantel, to have been asked: “Do you think this trial is a racial thing?” What she doesn’t include in her scripts are all of the objections that the judge would likely have sustained to many of her questions.
Finally, Bloom regales the reader with her own closing argument for the trial. It is dramatic. It also includes reversible error.
Add to that the fact that this is coming from a reporter for NBC, the network that “accidentally” created a misleading audio segment suggesting Zimmerman had a racial bias against Martin doesn’t inspire much confidence. After the issue was raised on conservative blogs, NBC apologized and eventually fired three people who were involved.
There probably is an interesting documentary that could be made about this story but it would have to include all of the mistakes and errors of judgment made by the media which left so many people with the mistaken impression this case was something it was not. Maybe Jaz Z and the Weinstein company will surprise me and dive into some of that, but I won’t hold my breath.