Chris Lane Killing Draws Comparisons To Trayvon Martin In Right-Wing Media

Chris Lane and Trayvon Martin were both shot to death by perpetrators of a different race, both murders touching off controversy in media circles for the amount of coverage the racial issues involved.

For many members of conservative media, the comparisons between Martin and Chris Lane, an Australian baseball player killed for seemingly no reason by a group of teens, are striking.

After Trayvon Martin was mistaken for a burglar and killed after a scuffle with George Zimmerman, police determined it was self-defense and the case drew little attention. It was not until the mainstream media picked up on it weeks later and zeroed in on the racial components of the Hispanic Zimmerman killing young black Trayvon Martin that the killing became a cause celebre.

The killing of Chris Lane did not fly under the radar, and instead was national news from the outset. But many conservative media members are pointing out that the racial aspects of the case --- three black youths selecting a white young man to kill at random because they were bored --- seem to have been ignored.

But that is where the case gets a bit trickier. Though many outlets have reported that the accused killers are all black, one of the teens charged with driving a getaway car appears to be white or of mixed race.

Still, the questions of race haven't stopped the right-wing media from latching on to the Chris Lane case. Rush Limbaugh said the case was "Trayvon Martin in reverse, only worse," and on the show Fox and Friends the hosts questioned why the racial components of the case were being ignored.

"Right now, we're going to go to a live shot of Jesse Jackson and Al Shaprton," Brian Kilmeade said as the camera stopped to pan to shot that never happened.

"Oh, wait, we don't have it," said guest host Anna Kooiman. "Why don't we have it? Because they haven't come forward and said anything. Are they going to? Will they? And should they?"

Host Steve Doocy then noted that the activists who decried Martin's killing have been silent on the Chris Lane case. He wondered aloud whether celebrities would wear 'I Am Chris Lane' t-shirts as they did for Martin.

Jesse Jackson did in fact respond, tweeting that he was "Praying for the family of Chris Lane."

Not everyone is buying into the comparisons between Lane and Martin. Salon writer Alex Seitz-Wald said the handling of the cases is what sets them apart.

He wrote:

"It's not that difficult to understand so we'll spell it out: It was not only that a light-skinned Zimmerman killed an unarmed black teenager — but also that police didn't do anything about it. The killing was horribly tragic, as is Lane's senseless murder, but if Zimmerman had actually been arrested for the shooting, the sad reality is that far fewer Americans would know his name."

That argument doesn't seem to be getting across to Fox News. Several hosts have demanded that President Obama make a statement on the senseless killing of Chris Lane.