As a bit of cocktail party prep I wanted to get suggestions identifying the most pervasive and misleading media myths swirling about the Trayvon Martin shooting and the current George Zimmerman case.
So, to start. The NY Times and others have inveighed against Florida's Stand Your Ground law. SYG does eliminate a 'duty to retreat' but that is not in play here because Zimmerman was reportedly on his back getting pummelled.
The only consequence of SYG is that it entitles Zimmerman to a pre-trial hearing evaluating his self-defense claim; the case could be ended right there. If not, Zimmerman can raise the same claims in a full trial.
A second myth is that Zimmerman ignored the instruction of the 911 dispatcher not to follow Martin. That may be true, but it can't be proved from the 911 tape. The NY Times eventually got this right even though their editors did not. [To be fair, the prosecutor makes the same claim in the very unimpressive arrest affidavit, with no supporting evidence.]
As a third myth, the general notion seems to be that Martin was innocently headed for home. That was presumably true when he first caught Zimmerman's eye, but he had plenty of time to get home, a clear path ahead of him, and Zimmerman behind him. It is highly probable that Martin doubled back. Why?
That is a start. Sorry for the no-links; technology is against me now.