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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 10/3/14


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Message Kathy Malloy
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Cross-posted from Mike Malloy

From George Zimmerman

Speaking of alternate realities, the family of George Zimmerman are redefining crazy. Seems George may just be the sanest of the bunch. Their antics rival the Palin's for sheer lunacy. Have you heard about this crew? There's quite an expose in the latest issue of GQ. Seems all the Zimmermans love their guns, suffer serious paranoia, and George's brother Robert wanted to get George a reality TV show that was some kind of hybrid of Candid Camera and Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

You can't make this stuff up.

See, before George killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin a couple of years ago, his brother Robert was considered the black sheep of the family. Robert recently sat for a GQ interview with Amanda Robb, and this is from her article:

"'Unemployed. College dropout. With a DWI and a boyfriend,' he {Robert} said, listing his sins. But then, overnight, George had become 'the Wreck-It Ralph of America,' and Robert -- articulate, sweet-natured, maybe in over his head -- was thrust into the role of family savior. 'You know what that means?' he said, ordering a second gin and soda. 'Zimmerman in charge of rebranding.'

"So Robert got to work, defending his brother in the media dozens of times over the next year. The circumstances may have been grim, but the small doses of celebrity could be fun. He had both Greta Van Susteren and Sean Hannity in his phone contacts. He braved HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, appearing on the show shortly before the first anniversary of the night that George shot Trayvon Martin. Unlike with the news channels, he got paid this time: $800. It was the only income Robert earned that whole year.

"After George was found not guilty of second-degree murder in July 2013, Robert began thinking about how to accelerate the Zimmerman rebranding project. There had to be a way to capitalize on George's notoriety. A family business, maybe. He and his mother had an idea: George could be the frontman for a home-security company called Z Security Products. 'They all start with Z,' Robert explained, walking me through an imagined product line. 'There's the Z Bar, the Z Rock, and the Z Beam. They're all targeted to women. One is to secure sliding doors. One is to put in the front door. The light is to carry and is designed by George. It has a little alarm -- you know, Help me, help me!'

Robert's ultimate goal was to turn George into a reality-TV star. His models were John Walsh, who began hosting America's Most Wanted after his 6-year-old son was abducted and killed, and the Kardashians, whose fame was launched by Kim's leaked sex tape. 'I learn a lot from watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians,' Robert told me. 'Like, use the sh*t you've got.' One idea was for George to be the focus of a Candid Camera-style program. One episode, for example, might feature a professor teaching a class about self-defense, and at the end of the episode it would be revealed -- surprise! -- that George was one of the students."

Oh my God, where to begin? A Zimmerman security business with a line of "Z" branded products?? A little alarm that cries "help me. . . ???" Too bad Trayvon didn't have a "Z" bulletproof vest.

And forgive me, but who in their right mind would think it was a fun surprise to have George Zimmerman suddenly "pop up" in unexpected places? Sounds like some kind of horror show. Remember, his wife Shellie left him after a much-publicized 911 call in which she claimed he was threatening her with a gun. Now wouldn't it be fun to have George pop up as say, a car wash attendant ready to suds up your minivan? SURPRISE!

But wait, there's more. The whole Zimmerman clan is gun-crazy. Immediately following Trayvon's murder, the family armed up, starting with George's little sister. GQ continues:

"It was Grace, the little sister, who first grasped how all their lives were about to change. 'We need to get guns!' she screamed when she saw the first news report pop up on her phone. The brief story didn't even have George's name -- the shooter was still publicly unidentified -- but that was no comfort. It was only a matter of time.

"The Zimmermans already owned a lot of guns -- at least ten altogether, between Grace and her fiance, her two brothers, and her parents. Still, Grace bought herself a new Taurus pistol.

"They had good reason to believe they might be in danger. Soon after Reuters published George's name on March 7, 2012, the New Black Panthers put out a $10,000 bounty for his 'citizen's arrest.'

"The family decided they could no longer stay put. George and Shellie holed up with a friend who was a federal air marshal, so they were reasonably safe. But for years, George's name had been on the deed to the house where his parents lived. Someone would find them. Bob worried about the large window that faced the street at the front of the house. 'That's my mother-in-law's room,' he said. Gladys's mother: 87 years old, Alzheimer's-afflicted. 'I could just see somebody shooting into the bedroom or throwing a Molotov cocktail or something.'

"George still hadn't been charged with a crime, and he was sick of waiting until it was dark outside to walk his dogs. So in early April, the couple snuck out of Florida to a scrubland trailer on a remote island off the coast of Maryland. The rest of the family, meanwhile, hid out in one Orlando-area hotel after another, moving every few days to avoid being seen by the same people. Money was getting tight -- their only income was Bob's and Gladys's modest public-service pensions -- so they often booked just one room for five adults. They paid in cash to avoid using credit cards. They used false names. They tore up their garbage and threw it into random Dumpsters. They usually declined housekeeping; maids, they told me, could be spies or thieves.

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Kathy never expected a career in radio as a talk show producer. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Kathy was completing her nursing degree when in 2001 - in an emergency - she was asked to fill in as the producer of Mike's program. Within a few (more...)
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