As if the Internet needs more things to explode over, George Zimmerman, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, brought religion into the mix in an interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity last night. Here’s how the LA Times describes the turn of events:
In his first lengthy TV interview since killing Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman initially said Wednesday night that he did not regret anything that happened that night.
“I feel like it was all God’s plan,” he told conservative talk show host Sean Hannity on Fox News.
Near the end of the interview, he backtracked, saying he would tell the teen’s parents, “I’m sorry,” and that he would be open to talking to them about what happened.
“I can’t imagine what it must feel like. And I pray for them daily,” Zimmerman said.
So, of course, reporters pounce and go to Martin’s family for reaction.
Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press that he rejected a comment Zimmerman made about the events of that night being part of “God’s plan.”
“We must worship a different God. There is no way that my God wanted George Zimmerman to murder my teenage son,” Tracy Martin said.
As a reader put it:
So George Zimmerman said on video that the death of Trayvon Martin was a part of God’s plan? What are George Zimmerman’s religious beliefs? What are the Martin Family’s beliefs? There’s no other details on it other than George Zimmerman said X, and the Martin family responds with Y.
The lack of basic details here is so painfully obvious. Can you imagine reporters accepting the same kind of general description in the details of the crime? For instance, would they be just fine with receiving information that Martin was wearing clothes? No, the hoodie makes it much more descriptive. Was he carrying just any kind of candy? No, we all remember the Skittles. Why is it so hard for reporters to nail down more specifics on religion?
The lack of specifics exacerbate the quotes even more, especially when the family responds that they don’t worship the same God. Easy follow-up questions would be: So what God is that? Do you attend a specific church regularly? Reporters act like these questions are like asking someone’s weight. It’s really not hard. People often want to share that information. And readers are desperately looking for it.
Who cares if the reports and interviews come out of Fox, MSNBC, AP, LA Times, a blogger, a tweeter? Everyone involved is doing a terrible job. It’s not rocket science. It’s reporting. The hole is so big you could drive a truck through it.