After the not-guilty verdict was handed down, George Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara strongly criticized the media’s role in getting his client charged in the case. He compared the media to “mad scientists” who had turned Zimmerman into a “monster.” He said the media “took a story that was fed to you and you ran with it and you ran right over him and that was horrid to him.”
But the false story line—that Zimmerman was a racist who shot a black man for no reason—continued during the trial, especially in the reckless and wild CNN commentaries of Asunción “Sunny” Hostin.
Hostin boosted the prosecutors throughout and wanted viewers to believe a guilty verdict was a slam-dunk. “I think that they [the prosecutors] put the pieces of the puzzle together for this jury extremely well,” she told Anderson Cooper on Thursday night, July 11.
What was astonishing about Hostin’s commentary during the trial was her inability to find much of anything wrong in how the prosecutors presented it. She was sometimes in the courtroom and pretending to pay attention to what was going on, with a focus on jury reactions. She claimed to have somehow divined what some of the jurors were thinking.
She said of the prosecution’s closing argument, “It was passionate. It was convincing. The jury was watching everything he was doing. And what was terrific, I think, about this closing argument is that they brought the focus back to Trayvon Martin, the victim here. They brought the commonsense argument to this jury.”
Fortunately, another CNN commentator, criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, was usually on hand, taking strong issue with what Hostin was saying. “There’s reality and then there’s Sunny-ville,” he said. Mocking her rosy view of the prosecution’s extremely weak case, he said, “So I’m going to start believing what Sunny tells me and I’m going to start ignoring everything that I watch on TV.”
Earlier, he told her, “Sunny, you have been bringing your own stuff to the table in this case and you know it.”
Whatever she was bringing to the table, it was not an objective analysis of what was taking place in front of her own eyes. Yet, she carried the title of “CNN Legal Analyst.”
An attorney, she calls herself a “multi-platform journalist” who serves as both a CNN legal analyst and anchor for ABC News. “Before joining CNN, Sunny could be seen on the Fox News Channel, where she was seen weekly on The O’Reilly Factor’s ‘Is It Legal?’ segment, sparring with Megan [sic] Kelly and Bill O’Reilly on various provocative issues and high-profile cases,” her bio says.
Regarding prosecutor John Guy’s rebuttal to the closing argument of defense attorney O’Mara, Hostin said on CNN, “John Guy hit it out of the park, he did great.”
She added, “If people were calling him ‘McDreamy’ before…they’re calling him ‘McBrilliant’ now. It was one of the best closing rebuttal arguments I have seen. The jury was riveted, they did not take their eyes off of this man.