Liberal media "played the race card" during the George Zimmerman trial, Newsmax TV host Steve Malzberg noted during a panel discussion on CNN's "Newsroom" about the impact of media on culture.
"When the verdict was read (the media reacted), 'Oh, my God. How could this be? It must be racism.' Well, all along, you knew this was going to be the verdict, because there was no evidence. But, the media played the race card after the verdict — to a T," Malzberg said Friday.
Zimmerman, a Florida neighborhood watch captain, was acquitted
of the murder of African American teen Trayvon Martin, who died of a gunshot wound in a struggle between the two men in February, 2012. The case became a flashpoint for racial tension.
Liberal media also slanted events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings, Malzberg maintained. He said he heard a journalist who wished aloud the suspect would be a white male. After finding out the suspects were Muslims
, he said the media began to make excuses for them.
"After they found out who it was, you know, right away the media's fearing a backlash against the Muslim community, and for the safety of the Muslims. The fact of the matter is, they went on to deny, make excuses," Malzberg said.
"To this day, there are people who are making excuses for (suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev)," he added.
But liberal commentator Eric Boehlert of Media Matters told CNN during the discussion that the conservative response to the Boston bombings was premature. He claimed conservative reaction was skewed, once they learned the suspects were Muslim.
"Rather than letting the story unfold, and rather than letting the facts unfold, you know, the conservatives, they get the whiff of Islam and they, sort of, lose all perspective," Boehlert said.
The media outlet a person follows can shape reaction and understanding of events, CNN senior media analyst Brian Stelter told the panel. He suggested reporters research a variety of sources before reporting on an issue.
"Because we have different options, we sometimes end up with different understandings of what the case is even about. And, that's probably not a good thing overall for the country," Stelter said.
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