“Gut Check: Fear of Facts”
“One thing I noticed throughout the Martin/Zimmerman story cycle: the “opinion/fact” mutation. As more facts are introduced into the mix, opinions don’t disappear after being proven wrong, they simply mutate.
Opinion moves like water–when one path is blocked, it finds an alternative route. If the bad guy is white, but it turns out he isn’t white, he becomes “white Hispanic.” When you find out that nearly every person involved in the matter says race isn’t a factor, then the story becomes about “stand your ground.” And even if you find that “stand your ground” may not play a role, then it becomes a “national conversation” about “self-defense” or about “the system” in general. Every time you change the turf, the opposing teams just pick a different strategy to push their point of view.
The only consistency is Al Sharpton, who never lets a fact get in the way of his persona-building outrage.’