I was surprised the other day when I saw an article on the ABC News website that was not only running with the headline, “Trayvon Martin Had Drugs in System, Autopsy Found,” but included a vaguely surly looking photo of a much more mature Trayvon than we’re used to seeing juxtaposed against a sympathetic photo of George Zimmerman.
I naively thought that, since various facts have come to light that reveal Trayvon may not have been quite the saint the media had tried to paint, that ABC was hoping to
cover its ass retain whatever remains of it’s journalistic integrity. But I was wrong.
You may have noticed that, contrary to my usual practice, I haven’t linked the article I referenced above. That’s because it’s been removed from ABC’s website.
I can, however, prove that it existed.
The article remains MIA, but the photo of Trayvon has returned, this time paired with a different photo of Zimmerman and included in a new article (with a new headline) that does mention the drugs found in Tayvon’s system, but near the end of the article, rather than as the lede.
Compare that composite photo with the original.
Kudos to ABC for sticking with the updated photo of Trayvon, but why go to the trouble of producing a new graphic? Could it be that George Zimmerman looks a little too innocent, a little too harmless, a little too likable in the original? (Note: There was at least one other graphic that accompanied the current article between the two shown here.)
And why bury the news that Trayvon had drugs in his system at the end of the article? Because ABC knows that a large percentage of readers don’t read past the headlines. That’s why the first article and it’s damning headline had to go. At this point the headlines, articles and photos have been switched around so many times, I’m a little confused, but the speed with which the original article, headline and graphic were removed from the website leave me with little doubt that they were found to be unacceptably at odds with the narrative the MSM has been at pains to draw.