Conservative radio prognosticator Rush Limbaugh used his nationally syndicated show on Tuesday to try and tie Dzhakar Tsarnaev, the captured suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings last week, to murdered teenager Trayvon Martin.
Last March, weeks after 17-year-old Martin was shot and killed, Limbaugh and the rest of the conservative echo chamber spent a considerable amount of time attacking Martin’s character and pushing back against a widely circulated photograph of the teen, claiming that the media was trying to gin up sympathy for the murdered boy.
On Tuesday, Limbaugh compared the media’s portrayal of Trayvon to the treatment of the captured Tsarnaev, citing the media’s use of slightly outdated photographs in both instances:
Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh called out a variety of media outlets on Tuesday for trying to [do] “to Dzhokhar [Tsarnaev] what they did to Trayvon Martin.” He said that showing images of Tsarnaev at 14-years-old is an effort to humanize him and frame him as a “normal” or “mixed-up kid,” rather than an accused murder[er] and terrorist.
‘The news media are doing to Dzhokhar what they did to Trayvon Martin,” Limbaugh observed. “They’re regularly showing a photo of Dzhokhar that was taken when he was about 14. Soft, angelic, nice little boy. Harmless. Cute. Big, loveable eyes.”
“Not at all what he looks like today,” Limbaugh added. “The way, when we’re shown Osama bin Laden, it’s in his shepherd pose with his walking stick, walking through the mountains or whatever.”
The implication, subtly made, is that the liberal media is somehow supportive of Tsarnaev, who is responsible for the murders of three people and the injuries of more than 170 others. In reality, the outdated photograph of the younger Tsarnaev brother is one of several photographs in constant rotation on every news network since he was first identified late last week.
The comparison is also deeply offensive for Trayvon Martin and his family. Martin was a victim of gun violence in a state that remains lenient towards gun owners who turn their weapons on other Floridians.