I have previously opined on this blog that George Zimmerman's supporters talking to the media are not helping his chances of acquittal at trial. Very few attempts at using the media by Zimmerman's family, friends and attorneysin defense of his actions have done anything but appeared to worsen public opinion against Zimmerman. On September 11, 2012, Mark and Sondra Osterman appeared on the Dr. Phil Show to talk about their friend George Zimmerman. The couple claimed that during Zimmerman's absence from public appearances following the shooting of Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman stayed in their home. This past Monday, October 8, 2012, Zimmerman's mother, Gladys Zimmerman, joined his brother Robert Zimmerman, Jr., on Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN and became the latest on the growing list of Zimmerman's family of friends who just can't seem to stay out of the media spotlight.
On the Dr. Phil show the Ostermans were perhaps the first of Zimmerman's camp to be interviewed that actually appeared to help Zimmerman's image. While Mark Osterman, a law enforcement officer, was very careful to never repeat what Zimmerman told him about the shooting incident (an extremely wise choice), Osterman stated, based on what Zimmerman told him and based on his knowledge of Zimmerman's character, that he believed Zimmerman did not break the law. What makes Osterman's statements particularly credible is that, recognizing hindsight being 20/20, if he had the chance, Osterman would advise Zimmerman to act differently on that tragic night. Perhaps more importantly, Osterman did not engage in the victim-blaming that so many others to have spoken to the media have done. He appeared thoughtful and insightful in his comments rather than the cavalier way in which others (including Zimmerman himself) have defendend Zimmerman.
Yesterday on Piers Morgan Tonight, Zimmerman's mother emphatically denounced the notion that Zimmerman is a racist. She stated she places her faith in the judicial system to find her son innocent. Gladys's comments, though unwise, may not have been damaging to Zimmerman's image. In contrast, Zimmerman's brother engaged in the same victim-blaming in which he has engaged from the beginning. While the Ostermans may have helped Zimmerman's image, the latest interview may be enough to erase whatever goodwill the Ostermans were able to garner for Zimmerman.