When a television station promotes ‘continuous coverage of the protest violence’ generated by the George Zimmerman verdict –this at 11 am Tuesday after some protests got out of hand on Monday but before any Tuesday protests — media has become part of this story. While Los Angeles area community leaders were encouraging a stop to the violence and advocating peaceful demonstrations, KCBS television station seemingly promoted its newscast as if violence would continue. At least, that’s the way I saw the promo.

Whatever circumstances led to Trayvon Martin’s tragic death at the hands of George Zimmerman the case and its aftermath are now about race. Part of the discussion urged by President Obama and others following the jury’s verdict should include the role of the media in the perceptions and conclusions drawn about the killing of Martin and Zimmerman’s trial.

The media has been both the target of critics and, in some cases, the target of protestors.

Perhaps KCBS promoted coverage of the violence because the station’s own veteran political reporter Dave Bryan and his cameraman were attacked while doing an interview at a protest rally Monday night. A video of the incident is here.

Media analyst Howard Kurtz said that the, “Polarized media culture thrives on high decibel argument and still seems to be feasting on what remains a tragedy.”

Doesn’t the KCBS promotion support this attitude?

KCBSThe media has certainly been part of the story from NBC’s editing of Zimmerman’s 9-1-1 call to an Associated Press reporter making her feelings known on Twitter.

The Los Angeles Times editorial cartoon Tuesday indicated that media was involved by depicting a figure labeled Media beating Zimmerman with a rolled up newspaper.

Aggressive media by no means excuses Zimmerman’s culpability in this tragedy. I agree with Kurtz that “The fact that George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder doesn’t mean he didn’t do anything morally wrong by getting out of his vehicle and going after an unarmed teenager.”

Bringing up the media in a discussion is often dismissed simply as members of the media just doing their jobs. But the media’s roll in the discussions and the debates that follow the verdict is fair game when the media puts itself in the story.