The fatal shooting of an African-American teen has spurred a national controversy, as racial tensions ignite and media outlets exploit and capitalize on the story of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin’s death. George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer whom the New York Times labels a "white" Hispanic, shot and killed the teen after Martin allegedly attacked Zimmerman and banged his head against the sidewalk.
As noted above, the incident quickly evolved into a racial war, involving the media, civil rights groups, congressional lawmakers, and Americans on both sides of the political aisle. One of the latest skirmishes involved a social-media tangle between renowned journalist Matt Drudge and MJ Rosenberg (photo), a senior analyst with the liberal watchdog group Media Matters.
Shortly after Drudge posted a photo of Martin — sporting a tank top and grinning at the camera through gold teeth — on his popular website drudgereport.com, Mr. Rosenberg railed against Drudge on his Twitter account. "Racist demagogue Drudge continues to run photo of some kid, not Trayvon for incitement purposes," he tweeted. Rosenberg followed up with a post indicating that Drudge’s purportedly "phony" brand of journalism is a disservice to the American public, writing, "Matt Drudge has done more to debase American news coverage than anyone in history of country."
However, the Media Matters blogger had his facts wrong. Drudge’s photo was not a fake, but an authentic photo that shows Martin noticeably older and bigger than displayed in a photo that has been largely broadcasted by media outlets reporting on the contentious story.
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