George Zimmerman Jury Selection Bores Everyone, Ruins Twitter

Categories: Media Watch

A large lawn was set aside for protesters, although Joseph Cuis was the only one to arrive. He was later joined by his wife.
George Zimmerman's trial for the fatal shooting of Miami teen Trayvon Martin is expected to be the case of the summer, a scintillating battle for justice played out on cable TV and Twitter updates. Eager to get into the game, we checked out the scene at Sanford's courthouse as jury selection got underway, only to discover the most soul-deadening scene this side of a paint-drying convention.

Not that the lack of drama has stopped Miami's press gaggle. It apparently takes a small, hastily constructed village to produce a Tweet.

When we rolled up to the courthouse last Tuesday, more than a dozen cops stood guard, prepared for a disaster. Two were posted by the entrance right off State Road 17-92 to make sure visitors were arriving on official court business or, in our case, for press coverage. Aimless John Grisham fans would, presumably, be denied entrance. Many more officers guarded parking spots that never filled up. Across the street, the rides at Fun World, the small town's premier attraction, shimmered like a mirage.

Once the actual trial into Martin's shooting begins, it's bound to be both interesting and important. The ongoing process of attorneys struggling to agree on six jurors and four alternates, however, should interest only the most hardened Court TV fanatics.

Not that that's stopped the Zimmerman gaggle from broadcasting every tiny detail so far.

As we walked past the guards, the stillness of the journo-village was broken only by the occasional AV guy pushing a wheeled backpack around like a high-tech tumbleweed. Looking around at the empty expanse of asphalt, an AP photographer joked to his nearby friend that he missed the days of the Casey Anthony trial, during which Anthony's lawyer would reportedly flip off everyone's cameras. Now, the reporters play a game in which they look inside a courthouse window and try to make eye contact with someone inside. It might not be news, but it passes the time.

At least there was something to look forward to in the Casey Anthony days, apart from maybe snagging a file photo of the Seminole County sheriff. When a third protester showed up yelling, "Repeal the Stand Your Law ground!" the TV crews lined up to interview her, as desperate for content as the day was long.

Not that the news-barren landscape has stopped Miami's Zimmerman hordes from broadcasting every tiny detail so far.

Trial coverage is nearly continuous in Central Florida, with local TV stations interrupting the live feed only to report breaking news or periodically update the weather forecast from hot to more-hot. Unfortunately, that heat index never gets high enough to make the paint dry faster.

Each day, television's most boring show spotlights people on a witness stand, claiming that they can't bear the financial hardship and general disruption that comes with serving on a high-profile case that is likely to last weeks. Reporters such as Christina Vazquez, though, are embracing that same disruption. They are rewriting the stories of their lives around the developing narrative of the trial.

Well, at least their Twitter biographies.

Vazquez, of Miami's WPLG Local 10, changed her Twitter cover photo to one of the Sanford courthouse. Her bio says she is a "George Zimmerman trial reporter." Her oddly specific beat now comprises paraphrasing the belief systems of anonymous people who pay no attention to current events.

The Miami Herald's courts reporter, David Ovalle, doesn't have much else to work with, either. Last week, one protesting couple, a religious dude and a teenager in a "Whitney Houston (RIP)" T-shirt gathered peacefully outside the courtroom. Ovalle was forced to find other things to Tweet about:

Although there's nothing to cover, the press carries on. Here's another sample of the scintillating coverage coming from Sanford:

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
drakemallard topcommenter

The dispatcher asked Zimmerman if he was following him. When Zimmerman answered, "yeah," the dispatcher said, "We don't need you to do that." Zimmerman responded, "Okay

“According to a records search on George, he was previously arrested for domestic violence, resisting an officer without violence and most shockingly, resisting an officer with violence — a felony charge that surely could have landed him in prison.

So how was someone with a violent past including that of battery against an officer able to carry a 9 mm handgun

Logic dictates that the person WITHOUT the gun is more likely the one who would be calling for help” Why would the armed person be screaming and yelling "I'm begging you"? Sounds more like something an unarmed person would do when a gun is pointed at them!!

Zimmerman says Martin had been on top of him, slamming his head against the ground and smothering his mouth and nose with his hand and arm when he grabbed his gun from a holster on his waist before Martin could get it. He shot the teenager once in the chest.Trayvon Martin's DNA Not Found On George Zimmerman's Gun George Zimmerman's was the only DNA that could be identified on the grip of the gun used to fatally shoot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin

His story makes no sense. His mouth and nose were being smothered, yet you don't here any muffled or interrupted screams on the 911 call. If Martin was smothering his "bloody face" then why was there none of Zimmerman's DNA on Martin's hands? His story doesn't begin to add up.

“George Zimmerman Deserves Jail Time For Lying About His Finances

jailhouse tapes of Zimmerman talking to his wife, Shelly, about the amount in his online defense fund. Ever since the judge ordered Zimmerman back to jail, donations to Zimmerman’s online defense fund have begun to significantly increase from the original $1,000 a day the fund was receiving.”

In hushed conversations from a Seminole County, Fla., jail, the man charged with second-degree murder in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin was instructing his wife how to transfer huge amounts of money between bank accounts and allegedly out of the gaze of local authorities.

The name “Peter Pan,” in this case, appears to have been code for the company PayPal. Zimmerman was using the online banking service to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from supporters who believed he was either a hero of gun rights or a man being railroaded by a corrupt justice system.

Clumsy and obvious, the code was just one of several tactics that verged on the absurd that the Zimmermans used to try to keep their fundraising secret from authorities. The tactics were brought to light on Monday when prosecutors released audio recordings of six jailhouse phone calls between Zimmerman and his wife.

 Because they lied under oath about finances, there is no reason to believe anything else they say.

Frank Daddario
Frank Daddario

so in sanford FLA the JUDGE in the trayvon zimmerman trial will make all the jurors wear HOODies to conceal their identity from the media


'news' media =  we need your clicks, to make money....

this is why we shape the story.

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault