If Jack Cashill Had A Book To Promote
The WorldNetDaily columnist takes a break from Obama conspiracy-mongering to portray Trayvon Martin as a criminal and George Zimmerman as a civil-rights martyr.
By Terry Krepel
Earlier this year, WorldNetDaily's Jack Cashill temporarily gave up on trying to prove that Barack Obama's books were ghostwritten by Bill Ayers (and it's not because it's not true). He glommed onto the shooting of black teen Trayvon Martin by white/Hispanic George Zimmerman.
Cashill's bias soon became obvious -- as far as he was concerned, Zimmerman was innocent in Martin's death. He had a motive to believe so: a blurb at the end of Cashill's March 6 WND column stated that "Jack Cashill is currently working on a new book for WND Books, 'If I Had A Son: Race, Guns, and the Railroading of George Zimmerman.'”
By contrast, Cashill fretted In a June 20 WND column that "The year has been an existential nightmare for the [Zimmerman] family." Of course, it was even more of one for the Martin family, but he is apparently incapable of feeling the Martin family's pain.
In that same column, Cashill further fretted that the racial makeup of the Zimmerman jury meant that his "likely" acquittal will be challenged:
In a case filled with anomalies, chalk up one more: Unless one of the six chosen jurors is booted from the case, George Zimmerman will have an all female jury.
In a June 24 article, Cashill cheered that experts for the prosecution would not be able to testify that they believe screams on an audio recording of the Martin-Zimmerman encounter came from Martin. He complained that the experts' report, which used "software called Easy Voice Biometrics to determine whether it was Zimmerman who cried out for help on that fateful night in February," was "chock-a-block with arcane pseudo-scientific patois that no jury would ever have been able to understand, to wit, 'Audio CD and 911 data-logging recording both have 16-bit amplitude resolution, which divides the vertical amplitude scae (sic) of the digital signal into 2^16 =65,526 amplitude gradations.'"
Yet Cashill had no problem with arcane software examinations when he was trying to prove that Ayers ghost-wrote Obama's first book. Go figure.
Meanwhile, Cashill was also promoting the anti-media narrative of Zimmerman's brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr. From a June 11 WND article:
Among the first questions Robert received was whether he would continue to send tweets that the media consider provocative or worse. He defended the practice vigorously.
But Cashill was strangely silent about the content of those "tweets that the media consider provocative or worse" that Robert Zimmerman had previously sent -- which is strange because WND promoted them at the time they were made. In a March 27 article, Michael Thompson touted in an "exclusive interview" how Zimmerman's tweet featuring an image likening Martin to the alleged killer of a baby was "his attempt to correct the establishment media’s false portrayal of the Florida teen in the racially charged case."
But a few hours later after Robert Zimmerman's "exclusive interview" appeared, Zimmerman backed away from his racially charged tweets, admitting they weren't the "right thing to do." CNN added that George Zimmerman's lawyer was furiously trying to distance his client from his brother.
Cashill, of course, mentioned none of that.
Biased trial coverage
Cashill's anti-Trayvon bias unsurprisingly extended to his coverage of George Zimmerman's trial. He wrote in a June 28 WND article:
The testimony of eyewitness John Good on Friday in the murder trial of John Good should have put to rest any doubts about George Zimmerman’s innocence on the charge of second-degree murder for the February 2012 shooting in Sanford, Fla., of Trayvon Martin.
Curiously, though, Cashill didn't directly quote any of Good's testimony. That's because he backed off from the assertions he initially made to police after Martin's death -- the same assertions that Cashill previously said when Good testifies to them, "the case will be all but closed."
Cashill has been taking refuge in Good's initial statement to police that Martin "was pretty much just throwing down blows on the guy kind of MMA-style" on Zimmerman as the main hook of Zimmerman's exoneration. But he didn't tell his readers that Good walked that claim back somewhat during his testimony, admitting he never saw an actual punch thrown.
Indeed, Good -- originally known to the public as Witness 6 -- had walked that claim back in another law enforcement interview three weeks after Martin's death. Cashill didn't mention that, either -- the "MMA-style" quote was just too juicy.
After Zimmerman was acquitted in the case, Cashill attacked the U.S. Justice Department for wanting to investigate the case further, using a July 17 column to claim the real victim here was Zimmerman:
The need to satisfy this community pressure led the brass of two police departments, the State of Florida and the U.S. Department of Justice to conspire to arrest Zimmerman, himself a minority. If that were not a civil rights violation, it would be hard to identify what a violation was.
Protecting Zimmerman before book release
Unfortunately for Cashill, Zimmerman's post-trial behavior did not comport well with the picture of him Cashill was painting in his book.
Even more surprisingly, WND -- normally a self-promotion machine -- makes no mention of Cashill's then-upcoming book in Schiling's article, yet another failure to disclose a conflict of interest. Nor did Schilling seek out Cashill for a comment on Zimmerman's arrest -- presumably because Cashill was feverishly devising an explanation for Zimmerman's actions that will blame anyone else but Zimmerman.
Cashill's explanation came in his Sept. 12 column, in which he did indeed paints Zimmerman as a victim and racial martyr on the scale of Clarence Thomas:
Dismayed by the not-guilty verdict in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, they are trying to criminalize Zimmerman in the public’s mind if for no other reason than to save face.
Cashill then amped up Zimmerman's martyr status to that of neglected Vietnam veterans:
In his battle with the Democratic-media complex, Zimmerman had few of the resources available to Thomas, including high-powered allies and the support of a stable, mature wife.
Cashill did his whitewashing, book-protecting duty. The spin he would have to do to respond to a police chief's statement that Zimmerman is a "ticking time bomb" and another "Sandy Hook" waiting to happen, however, would take a little more work.
And that's what he did in his Sept. 18 column, wherein Cashill employed the oldest trick in the book: change the subject by declaring that the real issue is Zimmerman's prosecutor:
Here is the state of the major media in a nutshell: George Zimmerman makes national headlines for a speeding ticket and a divorce dispute while a critical state investigation of his prosecutor, Florida State Attorney Angela Corey, goes unreported beyond her Jacksonville, Fla., home.
Cashill did not mention Zimmerman's problems again until the final paragraph, when he declared: "While the left busily fretted about 'ticking time bomb' George Zimmerman, one of its own, Obama supporter Aaron Alexis, actually did blow up. Such is the state of our media." Cashill didn't mention the fact that the "ticking time bomb" statement came not from someone on the left but, rather, the police chief in the town where Zimmerman lived, who as a law enforcement professional presumably knows a thing or two about ticking time bombs.
Cashill even cynically glommed onto another, separate case for the purpose of book promotion and disparaging Martin. An Oct. 19 WND article highlighted a Mississippi case in which "a bass fisherman who was participating in a professional fishing tournament was gunned down by a hoodie-wearing, 17-year-old black youth," then quoted Cashill:
Jack Cashill, author of “If I Had a Son: Race, Guns, and the Railroading of George Zimmerman,” believes this case highlights a lot of the troubles that currently are plaguing the nation and reveals the biases of the mainstream media, particularly in how media outlets referred to Trayvon as a “child” while the Jackson murder suspect is not, despite the two being similar.
So just because Johnson's accused killer is a back teenager who wore a hoodie, he's just like Trayvon? Please.
According to news reports, Johnson noticed someone burglarizing his boat outside his motel room; he went out to investigate and was shot. 17-year-old Shaun Brown was arrested and has reportedly confessed to being responsible for the shooting. By contrast, there is no evidence Martin was armed or engaged in criminal activity at the time he was confronted by Zimmerman.