MSNBC issued a statement on Thursday to "correct the record" about comments Hannity made about its host Al Sharpton.
Zimmerman sat down with Hannity on Wednesday night for his first interview since shooting the unarmed Florida teenager in late February. During the interview, Zimmerman discussed the events of that February night and the media firestorm that followed. Hannity said that MSNBC host Al Sharpton, who toed the line between activism and commentary when discussing Martin's death on his show, "rushed to judgment," along with other members of the media.
Hannity said, "You know, look at what happened in this case because it became so public. Spike Lee is tweeting out what he thinks is your home address, the Reverend Al Sharpton and NBC News tries to use this case to bring up the issue of racial profiling. What do you say to Spike Lee? Didn't know the facts of the case, they hadn't been revealed, what do you say to Al Sharpton and those who rushed to judgment? What do you think their motives were?"
"I can't guess what their motives are," Zimmerman said. "I would just ask for an apology. I mean, if I did something that was wrong, I would apologize."
MSNBC responded to Hannity's question by releasing the following statement:
MSNBC would like to set the record straight following some misinformation presented by Fox News during the interview with George Zimmerman last night. Reverend Al Sharpton never “rushed to judgment,” as stated by Mr. Hannity. Reverend Sharpton repeatedly called for calm and for a more thorough investigation in the wake of the tragic events. Ultimately, the authorities agreed an arrest was warranted.
Over at Fox News, Hannity's colleague Greta van Susteren took to her blog to react to the interview. Van Susteren praised Hannity on conducting a "fascinating" interview, but wondered what Zimmerman's lawyer, Mark O'Mara, was thinking.
"What I don’t understand is why in the world his lawyer allowed it to happen…and even sat next to him during the interview," van Susteren wrote. "When I represented defendants charged with serious crimes, I always told them: DON’T SAY ANYTHING! You never never never want your client talking and here Zimmerman is talking on TV."
Van Susteren stressed that she was "not the least bit critical of my colleague Sean for the interview (that’s his job)," but questioned why Zimmerman's lawyer would allow the interview.
Van Susteren's reaction to Zimmerman's lawyer brings to mind former "Today" co-host Ann Curry's hard-nosed question to Joe Amendola, the lawyer of disgraced Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. In light of the fact that Amendola allowed his client to speak to the media on more than one occasion and waived a preliminary hearing, Curry asked if he was "competent to defend Jerry Sandusky," underscoring her incredulity that, like O'Mara, Amendola was allowing his extremely controversial client to give himself potentially more rope.
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