YEAH, I THINK HE SAID IT
Remember, I'm the guy who thinks Rick Santorum didn't say "black people" in that much-discussed campaign soundbite back in January (and I still feel that way) -- but this is hitting my ears the way it's hitting the ears of Ta-Nehisi Coates:
The question at hand is whether Zimmerman muttered "fucking coons" during the 911 call minutes before he killed Trayvon Martin. Several people whom I respect--all of them black actually--don't hear it. When I listened, I heard it immediately and in this CNN account, I hear it clear as day.
Here's the CNN segment:
I suspect, though, that this is going to be the opening Fox and the other right-wing media haters have been waiting for. It's just technological mumbo-jumbo bamboozlement from the liberal media! is what we'll probably start hearing from Fox and Limbaugh and Coulter. But it seems to me that, if anything, CNN is trying to make this audio-enhancement process seem more of a matter for experts than it actually is -- audio editing software is so widespread these days that it wouldn't be very hard for a lot of people to replicate this on their own computers or phones. And I'm guessing they'd get the same result. (Mashup DJs? Remixers? Dubsteppers? Care to weigh in?) But the right-wing core audience is old enough to have collected 78s -- they're not going to believe that this isn't a high-tech lynching of an innocent armed citizen who was just fed up with crime.
They're alo not going to like the multiple repeats of the offending phrase -- cue the right-wing pundit invocations of Orwell and Two-Minutes' Hates. (Because we all know the right-wing media would never try to hit you over the head with what it sees as a smoking gun!) I think there's a bit of overkill in the CNN clip, but it almost seems like Andreson Cooper stretching out the bit to fill time, or imagining himself in Coppola's The Conversation or De Palma's Blow Out.
In any case, I think Zimmerman said it. It's a weirdly old-school slur for a guy as young as he is, but he does seem to be living in a '70s/'80s time warp as it is, so why not?