Trayvon Martin and the Coverage of the Coverage

By Chris Ariens 

As the national media intensified its coverage of the Trayvon Martin killing last week, the coverage of the coverage is also going under the microscope.

Geraldo Rivera’s conclusion on Friday that “the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin‘s death as George Zimmerman was,” resonated all weekend long. Rivera went on with Bill O’Reilly Friday night and doubled down: “My thesis is, parents don’t let your kids go out wearing these damn hoodies because they could attract not only the attention of  the cops but of nut jobs like this George Zimmerman.”

“Fox News Watch” and CNN’s “Reliable Sources” discussed the coverage with “Watch” spending about seven minutes talking about the racial undertones, Pres. Obama’s entry into the discussion and whether it met the threshold of being a national story. The show did not mention their colleague Rivera’s comments.

Rivera’s hoodie thesis did make news on CNN and MSNBC. CNN analyst Roland Martin (among the first to bring the story to the national stage via his voluminous Twitter stream) wore a hoodie during his segment. MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry created a tongue-in-cheek “dress code for black safety.” “If you follow these simple rules, you too, can be safe, and even be considered safe to be around,” said Perry.

Howard Kurtz discussed Rivera on “Reliable Sources.” “It’s so ridiculous it almost doesn’t bear commenting on,” said guest Derek McGinty, former ABC News anchor now with WUSA.

And both “Fox News Watch” and “Reliable Sources” mentioned competitor MSNBC and its show host Al Sharpton who is both covering the story and working as an activist on behalf of Trayvon Martin’s family. “How on Earth can Al Sharpton go there, be an activist and stand with the parents and ask people to contribute money and then he does his show and then he speaks at the rally again? How can MSNBC allow that?” asked Kurtz.

The answers after the jump…