As many of us know, George Zimmerman began selling some of his paintings on eBay in recent months. These images included an American flag painting, as well as a painting of the very prosecutor in his murder trial. There was a lot of talk on a number of news outlets – both mainstream and alternative media alike – about these paintings and the prices they fetched (or would-have-fetched in the case of the second).
But now there are a number of websites running clearly Photoshopped images of other paintings superimposed over the original photograph that Zimmerman uploaded to eBay.
Sites like “News Nerd” commented on the fake images they ran, saying:
The 30-year-old, oft troubled man, who was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin, decided it was a good idea to paint a portrait of the teen with the words “Justice For All” transcribed in the background. It would seem that for many, “Justice For All” is exactly what Trayvon Martin did not receive.
The article then went on to say that Zimmerman had made $30,000 off of a painting of Trayvon Martin. Though this is a totally believable story, it is not the least bit true. That’s why it doesn’t link to an eBay listing for said image. Right now that article is going viral, not because it’s true – it isn’t – but because Zimmerman has shown the world that he will compromise his integrity (or our assumptions about what human dignity looks like), for money, or to save himself in court.
We believe these photoshopped – and re-photoshopped – images of Zimmerman with yet another painting exploiting his celebrity for the sake of making a quick buck.
With that said, while it is easy to think the worst of Zimmerman (no doubt because he keeps showing us the worst), we should always check the facts and not assume that every picture we see online is legitimate. That goes double for news outlets and alternative media, which should always do their fact checking before even beginning to write an article.
(Article by M.B. David)