As NewsBusters has been reporting since the Trayvon Martin shooting occurred in Sanford, Florida, America's press have predictably declared George Zimmerman guilty before an arrest has even been made with some actually calling for his head on a platter.
On Wednesday, Zimmerman's attorney Craig Sonner appeared on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight saying, "It's been open season on just destroying this man's credibility...The media has just absolutely destroyed him unfairly" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CRAIG SONNER, ATTORNEY FOR GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: The one thing we know as a fact is that George Zimmerman was attacked by Trayvon Martin. He was punched in the nose, his head was beaten on the ground. And he acted in self-defense when Trayvon Martin was shot.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: But they are suppositions, not facts. That's not a fact. That's supposition based on what George Zimmerman has told you and told police. But in terms of factual evidence, that's still not clear. It's not factual evidence yet.
SONNER: That's right. That's why I'm telling everyone to wait before you rush to judgment. Wait till the facts come in. Wait till this case goes to court. Wait till the facts come in. Admissible evidence in court, not what's admissible evidence in public opinion because what's admissible in public opinion are doctored 911 tapes and whatever anyone else wants to say about George Zimmerman. It's been open season on just destroying this man's credibility, destroying who he was, and he can no longer go back to the person he was, being involved in his community, mentoring children.
You've destroyed him – the public, the media has just absolutely destroyed him unfairly. And the conclusions you're drawing in your questions to me show that you've already reached that same conclusion too. And what I want you to do and what I want America to do is to step back, use your cool head and listen to the facts. Listen to what comes out. Listen to what the police investigation shows, and I think when you do that, you will see that George Zimmerman acted in self-defense.
Media have certainly destroyed Zimmerman unfairly and irresponsibly. The bigger issue is what happens if the grand jury doesn't find cause to prosecute him?
After weeks of folks like MSNBC's Al Sharpton and others turning this into a race war, it seems quite possible that Rodney King-style riots will occur in Florida and maybe elsewhere.
This is what happens when a perilously liberal and activist media try someone on the airwaves and in print before all the facts are in.
Will they ever learn?