Friday, May 4, 2012

Trayvon and Zimmerman: The Structure and Elements of a Disinformation Campaign

BtyScott Swett ,the primary author of To Set The Record Straight: How Swift Boat Veterans, POWs and the New Media Defeated John Kerry and webmaster for and  The veteran-led opposition to John Kerry in 2004 countered a longstanding leftist disinformation campaign that smeared American troops and veterans as "war criminals."
"Trayvon," of course, is Trayvon Martin, the black 17-year-old who was killed two months ago in Florida.  "Zimmerman" is George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who shot him.  Referring to Martin by his first name and Zimmerman by his last is just one small tactic in the national media campaign to make Martin's death an enduring symbol of white racism.
The Trayvon campaign is accurately described as "disinformation" because deception is a fundamental part of its planning, strategy, and implementation.  Leftist disinformation campaigns are common but not widely understood.  This article is intended to make them easier to recognize, and to provide a framework for additional research and investigation.  Whether or not George Zimmerman was justified in pulling the trigger is outside the scope of this analysis.
The Trayvon narrative can be summarized as follows: a black child was walking innocently through a gated community after buying some candy at a store, when a white racist stalked and murdered him for no reason but his color.  The police, who are also racists, let the white man go free.
This narrative is similar to those used in previous racial disinformation campaigns:
  • 1987 - White racists have raped a young black girl and left her in a trash bag.
  • 1996 - White racists are burning down black churches across the South.
  • 2005 - White racists at Duke University have raped a black woman.
Like the Trayvon narrative, the earlier narratives were untrue.  However, they remain widely believed as a result of the massive media coverage used to bring them to national attention.


  1. As I pointed out at AT, the author draws all the right conclusions -- and just a little more research would have given him the whole sick, twisted ball of wax...

    The Passion of Saint Skittles has been - from the beginning - a professional media production, managed by one Ryan Julison of "Julison Associates" - a "media consultant" who makes his living by leveraging his media contacts to "sell" the version of whatever story his clients want sold.

    In short, he's a one-man orwellian "minitrue" who makes his living helping to "fix" reality for his clients.

    This - and about every other aspect of "The Passion..." has been exposed in excruciating detail over at "The Conservative Treehouse.

    It will take you a while, but if you REALLY want to know the whole, ugly reality there's simply no better place to go!

  2. Look for the "Update" posts at the link I provided...