George Zimmerman defense lawyer Mark O’Mara has been hired by CNN as an on-air legal analyst.
The Orlando, Fla., criminal defense attorney started his new gig on Friday with an appearance on the network’s New Day show but he will also be regularly providing legal commentary on other CNN programs.
The length of the O’Mara’s CNN contract, or how much he will be paid, has not been disclosed.
O’Mara was all over the various cable networks during the Zimmerman trial but has also done commentary on local and national TV during other trials for which he was not directly involved.
In his first paid appearance, O’Mara commented on the Florida Labor Day barbecue shooting in which the suspect is invoking stand your ground and the Bush Doctrine.
In the immediate aftermath of the Zimmerman not guilty verdict, O’Mara — who is now a member of the media — was quite critical of how newsgathering organizations covered his client who was put on trial for second degree murder in the Trayvon Martin shooting.
Said O’Mara at the post-trial press conference: “You guys, the media … [Zimmerman] was like a patient [on] an operating table where a mad scientist was committing experiments on him and he had no anesthesia. He didn’t know why he was turned into this monster but quite honestly you guys had a lot to do with it … you took a story that was fed to you and you ran with it, and you ran right over him.”
On his blog, O’Mara provided a rationale for signing a contract with CNN: “I know first hand what it is like to be the focus of media scrutiny. It is no secret that I’ve been critical of the press, but complaining doesn’t solve anything, and it occurred to me that if I’m not part of the solution, I’m part of the problem. I’m hoping that serving as a legal analyst for CNN will allow me to contribute some thoughtful, moderated insight to what could otherwise be sensational or inflammatory issues.”
O’Mara is the process of filing a motion in Seminole County court for reimbursement of about $300,000 in George Zimmerman’s legal fees (excluding what the former neighborhood watchman owes O’Mara and co-counsel Don West).