Trayvon Martin ‘Sideshow’ Comes to Cable News

By Chris Ariens 

For more than 10 days after Trayvon Martin was shot, his death was not national news. Now, a month after the killing, the story is consuming cable news. On one channel, a host/activist Al Sharpton has set up camp in Sanford, FL just north of Orlando; at one moment standing with the Martin family calling for justice, and the next, reporting the latest developments on his 6pmET show.

POLL: Are You Okay with Al Sharpton’s Dual Role in Martin Story?

On the other channels the discussion — heated at times — focuses on why an accused killer walks free. On AC360 last night, Anderson Cooper talked to a member of the New Black Panther Party which has put a bounty on George Zimmerman. Martin’s family disavows their motives and doesn’t want them there. About their presence in Sanford, Cooper asked, “Isn’t this kind of a sideshow?”


The man also challenged the CNN anchor: “Oh Anderson, you are not so concerned about Trayvon’s family. You’re not worried about his pain, Anderson.”

“Well, sir, you actually have no idea what’s in my mind, or my heart or what I’ve been reporting on.”

On Fox News, Bill O’Reilly made the case his Talking Points Memo and talked about it with Juan Williams who challenged O’Reilly’s position on Zimmeran’s right to follow Trayvon Martin through the neighborhood in the minutes before a fight ended in the death of the 17-year-old. O’Reilly also used the opportunity to take a shot at his cable competitors: “Zimmerman’s already been convicted on MSNBC. And CNN, I’m not sure exactly where they are, but certainly there have been some inflammatory statements made.”

Watch the sideshows, after the jump…