Casey Anthony and Reality TV

Wow. The Casey Anthony verdict yesterday afternoon sure created a shitstorm on Twitter and elsewhere. I’ll admit that I didn’t pay much attention to this case at all until last week when I was chasing the treadmill in the mountains of Colorado and stuck with the early-morning show on ABC with George Stephanopoulous: every day 45 minutes of commercials wrapped around 15 minutes of speculation about Casey Anthony.

Talk about cruel and unusual punishment. I digress.

But judging by the comments on Twitter and Facebook, many followed this case closely and were outraged by the verdict. Hey, if the glove don’t fit… Oops. Wrong outrage.

And I’m sure that I’m missing the big picture here, but you would think that after all this time, all the investigations, all the depositions and court testimony, that somebody could piece together with some certainty how Caylee Anthony died.

Short of that, here’s an interesting article about the verdict in USA Today, “How the Casey Anthony case came apart“:

All summer, the case against Casey Anthony in an Orlando courtroom had audiences discussing her life as if she were the star of a reality television show.

The narrative became familiar: Hard-partying single mother fails to report her toddler missing for a month, then lies to police about a kidnapping by a non-existent nanny. Then there was the suspiciously foul smell in the trunk of the mother’s car before Caylee Anthony’s remains were found in a wooded area.

Inside Courtroom 23, however, the seven women and five men of the jury in the Anthony case had to look beyond the salacious details and decide: Was there enough evidence to prove Casey Anthony killed her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee?

Their answer was no. On Tuesday, the jury acquitted Anthony, 25, of murdering her child in June 2008.

The reason, legal analysts and court watchers said, is that despite the seemingly endless hype surrounding the investigation and trial, the prosecution’s case simply didn’t hold up. There was no forensic evidence — such as DNA or fingerprints — directly linking Anthony to her daughter’s death. In fact, the precise cause of the girl’s death was unclear.

I’m still not sure exactly why this case gathered such intense national interest — although I’m sure the cable networks were not disappointed by the hike in ratings and pundits like Nancy Grace I expect relished the increased exposure.

So I’ll defer to Bernard Goldberg, the former CBS reporter turned Fox News Talking Head. He opined on the Bill O’Reilly show — and I’m paraphrasing here since I don’t carry a notebook and pen while chasing the treadmill belt.

Goldberg argued that this was reality TV at its best: a courtroom drama involving a white middle-class family and an attractive young women — with the possibility of a death sentence in the final episode.

And he made the case that as a nation we are much more interested in entertainment than news these days.

Hard to disagree.

And the reality is that in a few days Casey Anthony will be history as the Royals, Kate and William, dominate the news 24/7.

4 responses to “Casey Anthony and Reality TV

  1. Nancy Grace has been totally out of control. But the media covering this case–like Grace–aren’t journalists. They truly convicted her from day one. And Nancy Grace (and Headline News) have gotten more viewers than ever for it. And probably Anthony did do it. But in the words of Lt. Daniel Caffey from A Few Good Men, it doesn’t matter what you believe, it only matters what you can prove. And I honestly think that juries have a tough time sentencing people to death, and when death is on the table, the issue of reasonable doubt can really catch a jury.

    • I agree. You can judge these cases all you want from the comfort of a sofa. But something tells me that if you have to actually make a “life or death” decision it’s a different situation. And as I said, I really didn’t pay all that much attention to this. But apparently it’s difficult to convict someone of murder if you can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a murder actually occurred.

  2. To those convicting Nancy Grace of the character assassination of Casey Anthony, first remember that Casey Anthony gave NG et al more than enough material to work with.

    Yes, Nancy Grace’s ‘journalism’ is tabloid. BUT, without this media frenzy which begain on NG, Casey Anthony would not be able to profit off of her daughters death. She can thank NG for making the life of a millionaire possible for her. If it weren’t for NG, Casey Anthony would still be a nobody.

  3. burghthoughts

    “resonable doubt” is the key. The defense team took a page right out of washington politics and the mainstream media by immediately turning the case 180. “The Father abused her since she was young” and “she drowned in the swimming pool and the family covered it up”. Where was their evidence? Don’t need any..they turn the debate so now the accusers are now the accused. Like David Alxelrod once said-It’s not up to me to prove my accusation is true…it’s up to them to prove it’s a lie.

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