idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Two days after Zimmerman's arrest, they reported the purchases he made as headline news.
Honestly, I never heard any news stories about what he purchased in jail. I believe you, but let's not ignore the possibility that we're looking at different sources and thus have different perceptions of things.
Two weeks later and we've only seen a few headlines, and they're a hell of a lot more important than the fact that he bought some snacks.
Again. I didn't see anything about the snacks. I did see stuff about the bail hearing, a special on CNN about race relations as they relate to the case, stuff about the police chief, stuff about the pictures of Zimmerman's head, stuff about Zimmerman's past arrests, etc. While I suppose the volume of marches and rallies has dropped a tad, that's not really surprising and it doesn't reflect a lack of emotion with regard to the issue itself.
Hence my point--the public has been so inundated with information that they've started to care less and less. By the time the trial is over, their potential for anger is going to be significantly lower than it is now. Do you deny that?
Yes. I do. Do you know how much time passed between when the initial outrage about the Rodney King video occurred and when the trial occurred? Want to guess how much daily news coverage there was between those two? Yet, despite all those months of no talking about it, and despite the fact that most people didn't even realized that the trial of those police officers was going on until the verdict came in, once it did and the media reported it, all those folks who forgot about it became really really angry that things didn't turn out the way they assumed they would.
See. Those people assumed that the cops must be found guilty. They saw it on tape, right? They formed such a strong assumption about the events, that once the legal process started rolling, they just assumed they would get justice for Rodney King. And then when it didn't happen, they were shocked. How could this happen? The system must be rigged! Time to riot!!!
If he was ruled not guilty tomorrow, the risk of violence would be way higher than if the same ruling was delivered in two months.
Actually, I think you're wrong. I think that the longer it goes with the public assuming a given result, and minimal coverage in between to decisively make them realize differently, the greater the odds of a violent response to an acquittal. You're not looking at this from the right perspective. To someone who has formed a complete opinion, Zimmerman is guilty. They know this. Unless something happens to change their mind, they will continue to believe that, right up to the moment he's acquitted. And at that moment, because they still believe absolutely that he must be guilty, the assumption will not be "gee. I must have been wrong", but "OMG! The system is broken. Justice was not served"
The longer it goes, the more violent people will become if the result is not what they believe it should be. Obviously, that's my subjective opinion. Every case is a little different. However, I think you are underestimating how time reinforces peoples assumptions. The best time to counter an assumption is as soon after it's formed as possible. If you show up months later with a different answer and *then* attempt to explain why their assumption was wrong, you've got a much steeper hill to climb than if you challenge them right off the bat.
And it's not because people care any less from a moral perspective--it's because they are inevitably going to have other things to occupy their minds. Rage builds--an acquittal won't bring it back full force, it'll be relative to how angry they are at the time it's announced.
It'll be relative to how certain they were that the ruling was unjust. And that'll rest heavily on how its reported, but also whether they're prepared for the possibility along the way. This is the part that can be a bit hazy. If the news begins doing more and more stories questioning the veracity of the charges, and going over in more detail how the self defense laws apply to the case, more people will be more likely to accept an acquittal based on those things. But aside from the more talk focused news outlets, most are not doing this. So average Joe who just watches the evening news a few times a week has a month of outrage and rallies and headlines to reinforce his opinion about Zimmerman's guilt, and more or less silence since then to suggest otherwise. If he then wakes up one day to a headline about Zimmerman being acquitted, he's going to be shocked, confused, and possibly quite angry.
Even if the media reported nonstop, that would be the case. But they won't, because they are choosing the content that people are willing to invest themselves in. That's quickly including less and less of Zimmerman's case.
Yup. Problem is that it's quickly becoming less and less of the Zimmerman case right during the time period where there's less outrage from the family and other political figures and more calm analysis available. But the news doesn't tend to report calm analysis. It's looking for the emotionally charged stuff. And in a case like this, that's almost all going to occur with anything that makes Zimmerman look guilty.
Again, your rage builds argument would suggest that there shouldn't have been riots after the Rodney King verdict. But there clearly were. May I suggest that rage comes back really really quickly in certain situations, and the appearance of a black person being screwed over by the justice system is one of those situations. As I said earlier, I would absolutely love to be wrong about this, but I have a bad feeling that I'm not.