This has been a week of visceral reactions to Trayvon Martin's shooting. Last weekend, most people were united in outrage that Zimmerman hadn't been arrested. But since then, conservatives have hit back against what they saw as false outrage, and accused African American protestors of "playing the race card." The Drudge Report began portraying Trayvon as a delinquent, and conservative site The Daily Caller dug around in Trayvon Martin's Twitter feeds for evidence of bad behavior, as though they might find something that would justify Trayvon being shot dead while unarmed.
But if the smear campaign against Trayvon Martin is disturbing, it's also unfair to subject Zimmerman to a trial by media and convict him on the basis of gossip and hearsay about his past life. And that's pretty much what's been happening: on Friday, the New York Daily News published a story on Zimmerman's alleged "history of violence." An unnamed ex-co-worker told the paper that in 2005, Zimmerman was fired from his job as a security guard at illegal house parties for being "too aggressive." His former co-worker used vivid language: "it was like Jekyll and Hyde. When the dude snapped, he snapped."
Weigh in: is it fair for the media to report on Martin's past history, or Zimmerman's? Are any of these details relevant to the case?