On a day when the Supreme Court of the United States turned back the clock and issued regressive decisions that will greatly harm women and public sector unions, at least one court case offered a glimmer of hope that the US court system isn’t irretrievably broken. In a decision issued Monday, Circuit Court Judge Debra S. Nelson threw out the libel suit that George Zimmerman had filed against NBC Universal. In his libel suit against the network, Zimmerman claimed that the network falsely portrayed him as a racist by airing an edited clip of the 911 call he made before he shot and killed 17-year old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman also claimed that the network defamed him by broadcasting that he used a racial slur during the call.
Judge Nelson issued a 15-page decision, ruling completely in favor of the network. In her ruling, she stated that Zimmerman and his lawyers were unable to prove that the network had any knowledge that the audio clip that they aired was false or deviated from the truth in any way. Zimmerman’s claim is that the edited clip makes it appear that he volunteered Martin’s race to the 911 dispatcher. Judge Nelson said that Zimmerman’s argument fell apart because when one listens to the entire 911 call, Zimmerman actually does volunteer Martin’s race without any prompting from the dispatcher. While the edited clip used a different instance of Zimmerman mentioning Martin’s race, she was unable to find any malicious intent by NBC, especially when taken in context of the full call.
Furthermore, Judge Nelson dismissed Zimmerman’s position that NBC caused emotional distress by framing him as a racist. She pointed out that the network gave quite a bit of airtime to Zimmerman’s friends and family, who all stated that Zimmerman is not a racist. Also, regarding his argument that NBC falsely stated that Zimmerman used a racial slur during the 911 call, the judge said that the FBI examined the call and was unable to decipher a word that was uttered by Zimmerman. Since there is no way to verify the word, Zimmerman cannot prove that NBC wrongly accused him of using a slur. Basically, every claim that Zimmerman made against the network was summarily shot down by the judge. In the end, this judge did not allow Zimmerman to profit off of his vicious killing of an unarmed teenager.
Thankfully, this is just another instance of Zimmerman being blocked from his attempts to cash in on his horribly achieved notoriety. In January, Zimmerman agreed to a celebrity boxing match with rapper DMX. The public outcry, however, led to the event’s promoter canceling the match days later. Zimmerman also tried to make money by signing autographs at a gun show in Florida. However, few people turned out and the autograph session was an embarrassment for all involved. His attempts to be seen as a serious painter have been mocked by art critics who see him in the same vein as notorious serial killers in prison attempting to profit off of their infamy.
In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin killing, Zimmerman was treated like a misunderstood hero by the conservative media. Fox News’ Sean Hannity propped him up on a nightly basis, giving him and his supporters a platform to speak. Numerous right-wing columnists and websites came to his defense while simultaneously framing Martin as a dangerous thug. Zimmerman rewarded their loyalty to him by proving he really is a violent sociopath. After being found not guilty in July 2013, Zimmerman was involved in two domestic violence incidents, one with his estranged wife and the other with a girlfriend. Both instances involved Zimmerman threatening to shoot others.
It is a shame that Zimmerman is still a free man and loose in our society. At least we can take solace in the fact that he isn’t cashing in from this absurd lawsuit.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).
18 Replies to “George Zimmerman’s Lawsuit Loss Provides Silver Lining On Day Of Horrible Court Decisions”
Is a “Zimmerman” a communicable disease?
If so, I want to warn my children.
“Okay, and this guy is he white, black, or Hispanic?”
Yeah, no prompting there.
As much as I think Zimmerman is a total asshole, the fact is that no you aren’t going to sue NBC Universal for any damn thing and win that. They are a major corporation, can afford the best lawyers can buy, and that slimeball and his shifty lawyer are no match for that. This is America George. Give it the hell up. You got away with murdering someone and you’ve had your fifteen minutes. Go the hell away.
One could take this as jurisprudence at it’s very best on one hand, and believe me on this and check my posting history on Disqus sites, I am far from a Zimmerman fan. Now, with that said, it was another ruling FOR a big corporation, just like the 5-4 SCOTUS rulings today for corporations over people and labor. I don’t know if I should be excited or very nervous about all future decisions concerning corporate power. I mean we all knew with the Fox news verdict in 03 that this one didn’t hold water.
And this “silver lining” has WHAT to do with the travesties that the Ancient Ones foisted upon us today? (RBG and Co excepted of course.)
Zimmerman is a pathetic little man who will get his eventually through his own anti-social and violent and entitlement-driven behavior.
Women and employees in general continue to be crapped upon and there is NO ONE NO HOW that can do any effing thing about it. As a 60-yr-old gay man I don’t even have a dog in this particular fight (birth control) but if I were 25 or 30 I would be high-tailin’ it outta this cesspool of a country as soon as I could. If I wanted the religionist fascists to be the boss of me I might as well be in Iran or Somali or other parts of Africa.
As I opined before, 1789 Franc is looking mighty good to me right now.
Now,you just didn´t pay attention to the entire ruling. Case Law was sited by the Judge. Smh.
This case is nothing new with a defendant claiming defamation. The sad story here is his criminal defense attorney was willing to help sue NBC for clear jurisprudence already set when the guy lied to his defense teams face about a pay pal account, refuses to work and hides behind multiple supporters anonymous harassing accounts on the internet for something he did!
The moral of the story is simple. If you want to be a self professed neighborhood cop and kill someone don´t whine about your life being changed when you could have sat in your car!
The correct answer is “Yes he is”
Just wanted to say that Jake is my hero.
If NBC could not decipher a word, then they cannot say Zimmerman used a racial slur. the judge’s logic is backwards, unless NBC did not definitively say Zimmerman used a slur.
I understand your frustrations, but running
isn’t the answer. We need all good people who believe in a free and just society to stay and fight. It begins this November, start by voting for good progressive Democrats who will stand up for us.
This 59 year old gay man never, ever thought I would see gay and lesbian people in government, out and proud world famous singers and actors and athletes. I never thought growing up in 1960 Amerikkka, I would live to see a black man as President, and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine gay and lesbian people being able to legally marry!
We HAVE to stay and fight for the America we want, the America we were all promised as children.
The bad guys win because good guys give up. I had to leave the country because I have an autistic daughter and our medical bills were escalating and we were heading towards bankruptcy. But I have retained my US citizenship and I vote. Even from overseas I am still a Democrat.
I am going for dual citizenship so I can vote progressive in two countries.
Don’t give up. Vote!
While I understand your sentiment, I gave you the “thumb down” because my mother’s paternal ancestors were originally named Zimmerman.
It’s great to see another of this miscreant’s attempts to cash in on his notoriety at needlessly taking a life shot down. He is a thoroughly disgusting excuse for a human being who apparently is not satisfied with having been acquitted for a crime he was clearly guilty of. He and his lawyer deserve each other because both of them are remorseless slimebags who slandered his victim’s character in order to win in court. Even with his acquittal, he now knows what it’s like to be universally despised except for some diehard defenders who will never acknowledge that Zimmerman was dead wrong.
When an article begins with the completely inaccurate “…and issued regressive decisions that will greatly harm women and public sector unions” then you have to query whether the rest of the article will be worth reading…
Its only inaccurate when you present something show it to be so.
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