The George Zimmerman Tape and the Successes of Trayvon Trutherism

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 29 2012 10:30 AM

The George Zimmerman Tape and the Successes of Trayvon Trutherism

ABC News's Matt Gutman, obtainer of the police surveillance video of George Zimmerman, described it this way.

In the video an officer is seen pausing to look at the back of Zimmerman's head, but no abrasions or blood can be seen in the video and he did not check into the emergency room following the police questioning.

Not to get all Bill Frist about the video, but that's a decent take on it. Zimmerman's anonymous spinners have said (according to the Orlando Sentinel) that Trayvon Martin, seven inches taller than Zimmerman, decked him "with a single punch," then "slammed his head into the sidewalk, leaving him bloody and battered." In the video, Zimmerman simply doesn't look bloody and battered.

 

Or... does he? The Daily Caller, a one-stop shop for Trayvon Trutherism all week, has zoomed in on one scene to prove that, maybe, there was some kind of injury.

Screen shot 2012-03-29 at 10.41.47 AM

That's one theory, certainly. Perhaps Zimmerman receieved a laceration while being slammed on pavement, and the laceration healed immediately into a scar several inches long. And perhaps police, noticing this, shrugged and continued moving Zimmerman, never sending him to the hospital despite his mega-scar. Or perhaps this is a crazy theory that you could only come up with if you were deductively looking for ways to prove that Al Sharpton simply must be on the wrong side of a killing.

It's generally good for Republicans that this shooting, like the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, isn't edging into public policy. There was a brief discussion of the "Stand Your Ground" law, just as there was a brief 2011 discussion about extended magazines. But it's been easy enough to move the conversation into the Wonderland of hoodie-wearing congressmen and laceration-spotting.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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