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Thank God The Zimmerman Story Is Over

By James Donahue

It was such a relief to boot up my computer Sunday, go on line and see the headline that the Zimmerman jury reached a verdict and that long seemingly endless murder trial was finally over. Does this mean we can turn on our regular television news channel and expect to get real news reports?

Don’t bet on it.

Even before the day was out there were new stories popping up all over the web about growing numbers of people who did not agree with the jury’s decision to acquit Zimmerman. Protest groups are organizing. Critics are saying the verdict was incorrect. They are saying it was a failed trial. This damned affair has the potential of continuing on indefinitely.

The media may choose to milk that bone for yet another week or longer.

Then look out for Edward Snowden, the former American technical contractor for the NSA who allegedly blew the whistle on questionable dealings by that government agency, now hiding in Russia and seriously sought by the U.S. military on charges of being a traitor. Now that has all the earmarks of being a long and controversial trial. A lot of Americans are on Snowden’s side.

It seems as if the media always finds some "sensational" story to top its daily news coverage, thus freeing network reporters around the world of having to do much reporting. We knew that they would have important and interesting stories to tell if given a few moments of nightly news time.

Do you ever get the feeling that we are the victims of some major media conspiracy to keep us all so entertained with sensational crime stories that we don’t notice the important things going on in our own back yards?

A recent media poll revealed that MSNBC viewing has dropped to an unexpected low in recent weeks. When asked why they were no longer watching MSNBC, viewers complained "because it’s Zimmerman, Zimmerman, Zimmerman all the time."

Yup. That did it for me. When I saw Zimmrman’s face pop up on the screen, I reached over and turned off the television. I not only didn’t care if he committed the crime, I had no interest in knowing anything more about the case. I’ve covered enough murder trials in my 40 years of news reporting. And I will tell you a secret. They are all alike.

Sometimes the prisoner is acquitted. Sometimes he isn’t. After that we never hear much about the case again.