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Scoot's Blog

Tune in to "The Scoot Show" for lively, candid discussions about news, politics and culture with WWL's "Radical Moderate!"

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Scoot Blog: CNN host an embarrassment in Zimmerman trial coverage!

As the defense rested in the trial of George Zimmerman, we all find ourselves analyzing which side presented the best case.  Did the prosecution establish that George Zimmerman was a wannabe cop who profiled Trayvon Martin as a young thug?  Or, did the defense successfully paint a picture of a man who wanted to protect a neighborhood and shot and killed Trayvon Martin as he was being beaten by Martin?  The burden is on the prosecution to present a case that would lead the jury to find Zimmerman guilty ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’

We have yet to hear rebuttals and closing arguments, which often decide cases.  I’ve talked about how difficult it is for many people to view this trial objectively and how they are allowing their preconceived ideas about life, crime, guns, teenagers and race to guide their path to a ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ verdict.  We should all hope the jury will not allow any preconceived notions to determine the fate of George Zimmerman.

With every high-profile trial there is sharp criticism of how the media is covering the event.  Is the media being fair and objective - or is the media obviously promoting a certain verdict?  Criticism of the media is fair, but has anyone in the media swayed your opinion of what you think happened that night between Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman?  And if you have not been influenced by the media, then why are you concerned that many members of the media may have an agenda in covering this case? Remember, the jury is sequestered.

There seems to be a reluctance to accept the reality the news is designed to get your attention for the purpose of building audience, therefore news broadcasts and news networks act like other forms of entertainment.  This is more an observation than it is criticism.  We all have our favorite news anchors and news show hosts that we trust more than others.  Often those we trust the most are those who share our political opinions and not necessarily those who most accurately present the truth.

We should all accept those who present the news and host new-oriented TV shows for what they are – individuals on TV with the goal of getting your attention through their personalities. But once in awhile there is an anchor or a host that distinguishes themselves from most others.

In the coverage of the George Zimmerman trial, there is an anchor/host that has far exceeded the expectations of anyone covering a serious news story.  It’s CNN anchor/host Ashley Banfield.  She is a very attractive female with a compelling on-camera persona, highlighted hair and distinguishing glasses.  Ashley Banfield’s daily ‘performance’ from Sanford, Florida has been so inappropriate that she is an embarrassment in a field where embarrassment is the norm.

Banfield is on CNN during the day and her bias has led to a confrontational demeanor with guests and co-hosts, but it is her excitement in reporting this story that is nauseating!  She goes to commercial breaks with excitement in her voice and mannerisms that are more appropriate for someone hosting the red carpet at the Grammy’s than a host on a major news network who is covering the murder trial of a man accused of killing an unarmed 17-year-old teen.

Ashley Banfield has changed, but so has CNN.  The network was taken over by Jeff Zucker, who was put in charge of lifting CNN out of the basement of the ratings.  Zucker has a lot of experience with morning TV news shows that are as entertaining as newsworthy.  The new direction of CNN is noticeably more sensational and it seems to be working.  CNN has risen in the ratings since Zucker took over.  If a news network strives to be more sensational and the ratings go up, do you blame the network or the audience that’s watching?  I blame the audience.

The trial of George Zimmerman provides compelling storylines that perfectly fit the kind of drama that captures a television audience.  It’s a ‘story’ about race, crime, guns, pot, a man who may have a vigilante attitude and a dead teenager.  Though it has the type of elements that are important in any drama, this is a tragic story and the way that CNN’s Ashley Banfield and a few others have approached this story is reprehensible.

Those who program and guide a news network, like CNN, are smart enough to know what they are doing with the coverage of this murder trial, which leaves only one possibility – they believe that America responds more to sensational accounts of the news than to more sensitive accounts.

You can catch Ashley Banfield’s performance at the murder trial of George Zimmerman every day on CNN – and the word ‘performance’ accurately describes her reporting!

Tags :  
Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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Locations : Florida
People : Ashley BanfieldGeorge ZimmermanJeff ZuckerTrayvon Martin

07/10/2013 7:30PM
Scoot Blog: CNN host an embarrassment in Zimmerman trial coverage!
Please Enter Your Comments Below
07/10/2013 8:37PM
I think if I wasn't watching it you could come to the conclusion that Ashley is performing. But, I find that this is like a chess match between attorneys and in its own way becomes exciting. Your blog sounds like you already "know" whatyou want to "know" so you walk past the tv and say something like ...look at this tv announcer doesn't she know its a murder trial.
07/10/2013 9:00PM
CNN Journalist an Embarrassment
Ashley Banfield turned me off as well. I have not seen many of her performances because of my work schedule; however, I saw enough. "Amateurish" is the word that came to mind. Also, while I'm no prude, I believe that journalists, especially ones covering such a grave story, should dress in a professional manner. I saw her in a sleeveless striped shirt or dress that screamed, "Look at my boobs." It discredits any credentials she may have as a journalist.
07/10/2013 11:27PM
i think scoop is jealous of a woman who has achieved success in the broadcast industry in a way he never did.
07/10/2013 11:36PM
Nancy Grace is so biased she makes Banfield look good. Jane Velez Mitchell is the worst most sensational reporter.
07/10/2013 11:38PM
The Media is mostly corrupt and a side show ... most are clowns.
The Media is mostly corrupt and a side show ... most are clowns.
07/11/2013 12:05AM
news media
Since race is one of the issues focused on in the Zimmerman trial why isn't it worthy of mention by the national news media of the recent death of a New Orleans policeman and the recent arrest of suspects of the same race. That death was a real tragedy also. One thing though about this highly publicized trial is that it ought to make everyone examine their own personal beliefs about guns etc.
07/11/2013 12:13AM
Thanks Scoot
Thanks for on your shows in discussion of trying to show many sides of an issue. Part of being a mature adult is being willing to look at other sides whether you agree or not.
07/11/2013 7:23AM
Examine my beliefs?
What is it about this trial that should make me examine my belief about guns, news media? If Zimmerman hadn't had a gun that night he might be dead today while Martin would be walking around free. Cases like this one make me feel that the Second Amendment and my right to carry a concealed handgun are more important than ever.
07/11/2013 8:27AM
Scoot, I keep you hearing you say that George Zimmerman profiled Martin. I have don many searches and I can not find a single definition of the word that does not include Law enforcement nor a single law that deals with citizens not directly involved with law enforcement's ability to profile. Because this is a court case, shouldn't we talk about how the evidence pertains to actual laws that Zimmerman may or may not have broken? This is a serious matter and it does not make sense to make up laws that Zimmerman could have not broken and therefore can not be guilty of? Because there are no laws pertaining to Zimmerman 's possible profiling, maybe we should be content that he had a hunch. Zimmerman was well within his rights to call the police if he had a gut feeling about Martin. That fact alone does not have any bearing on whether or not Zimmerman broke the law but it is being used against him in the court of public opinion.
07/11/2013 8:41AM
"New Orleans policeman and the recent arrest of suspects of the same race"
What does the "New Orleans policeman and the recent arrest of suspects of the same race" have to do with this trial or race??? Nice stretch...
07/11/2013 10:05AM
Agree with Scoot
I totally agree with Scoot, Ashley Banfield over-performed her role on the CNN Zimmerman trial coverage. I almost turned it off due to Ashley Banfield's over zealous mannerism. It was uncalled for and tended to sway the public opinion.
07/11/2013 11:21AM
ashley banfield
she 's ugly and unprofessional. she's so bias.
07/11/2013 12:09PM
Couldn't agree More!
She is a disgrace to the news profession and CNN has become the ambulance chaser of the news media. It's a sad day, she is pathetic!!!
07/12/2013 12:15PM
The media should be excluded from anything other than direct quotes.
The case shouldn't be tried in the press. Actually the press should not be allowed in the courtroom any more than any other citizen. Any reporting should be limited to he said , she said and the quotes. First hand example, my cousin died and the press declared there was suspicion of drugs and alcohol. When asked who suspected this the answer was they didn't have to revile their source. This was announced every 20 minutes for three days. When the autopsy came back, there was no drugs, no alcohol, she had a heart attack. They did a retraction. Thirty years later I met a lady who as some many do wanted the family line so she would know who I was and where I came from. She declared it was such a waste cousin had died in her twenties, and she would have never believed she did drugs. Fact is she did believe and she couldn't believe the autopsy said other wise. She had heard it on the radio and if it was on the radio it had to be true. A copy of the autopsy wouldn't convince her otherwise. Seems she had seen on TV that anyone with a computer can print out an autopsy. I wasn't there and have no knowledge of the events of the night. I can't read the mans mind either. If I were a juror I would have to depend on the evidence to decide the case. A lot of the questions you have may not be asked by either side and therefore wouldn't be a part of the deliberations. Last time I was a juror we we sent out several times while the judge questioned the lawyers to determine if there point was evidence or speculation. Seems some of what I heard was to be ignored as the judge said it wasn't to be admitted into evidence. You can't unsay or erase what was said. The things the judge disallowed was in fact considered by my fellow jurors. Unfortunately there are places in this country where the thugs own the streets at night. Why did the man have a gun? Only he could tell you that. Was he looking for someone to shoot or was he concerned that he was in a bad neighborhood? When you ask such question you only lay doubt. Where is your evidence? How long had he been on the neighborhood watch? How many people has he confronted? Has he ever pulled the gun on anyone? Thugs play a game of huff and bluff. When they approach each other you will think someone is about to die. Next thing their laughing and hugging each. They make a game of it. I was told he would be waiting at my car and he had sharpened his knife. Next time I saw the guy he called me buddy and did the knuckle bump. It was a test to see if I would stand my ground. The thugs live in a whole different world. bottom line if you weren't there you don't know and even if you were you need to know the culture.
07/12/2013 1:36PM
Nancy Grace
Nancy Grace is the true "Drama Queen".
07/13/2013 8:40AM
Turn the channel
She's Canadian....
07/13/2013 1:55PM
Calling people ugly and other nasty things makes you a very insecure person. If all of you don't like the show then STOP watching it and quit being so nasty. That is how this case got so full of hate! Quit judging and worry about yourself and your own business.
07/14/2013 9:22AM
07/14/2013 10:14AM
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