The Casey Anthony Verdict

James Wolcott, at the “Vanity Fair” website pretty much sums up my thoughts on this….

Great article about the collective nervous breakdown and media hysteria this case seems to be generating…

Don’t get me wrong, the murder of any child is tragic.  It’s the media firestorm and manipulation I find, frankly, disgusting.

I really haven’t paid much attention to this….mainly because I came across Nancy Grace’s coverage on TV in a hotel room when I was traveling.  During the 5 minutes or so I could tolerate watching her false anger and over-acting, I decided I just didn’t care to know about anything she was trying so hard to exploit for her own ratings.

It’s a tough title to win and the competition is intense, but Nancy Grace has to hold the title as the World’s Most Annoying Uptight White Woman.  And when she covers these things, she still manages to somehow make it all about her….

Anyway…

People need to remember a few things:

  1. In the American Judicial System, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty.  No matter what Nancy Grace thinks.
  2.  “Not Guilty” does not mean innocent.
  3. “Not Guilty”  means reasonable doubt exists
  4. Reasonable doubt means the prosecution didn’t prove the case beyond the reasonable possibility that the accused is innocent.
  5. Unlike some countries, the U.S. Justice system errs on the side of caution.  The Founders believed it was better to let a guilty person go free than make it easy to convict the innocent.  They were wise men.

But then “reasonable” is not a word anyone could apply to any aspect of this tragic mess….

I’ll let James Wolcott take it from here….

I don’t claim powers of clairvoyance or psychic reading, but the other day I was channel-hopping and paused at one of the cable channels doing a live feed from the Casey Anthony trial. I hadn’t followed the case, had only a dim awareness of the apparently endless discussion of duct tape, stench from the car, and Casey Anthony’s visit to a tattoo place that had taken place within the endless cable palaver during the trial coverage, but after a few minutes of watching I vaguely thought, I dunno, I could see her getting off.

So when the not-guilty verdicts came down within the last hour on the charges of murder and manslaughter (she was found guilty on the charges of lying to investigators), I seemed to be one of the few whose world didn’t flip sideways–I wasn’t that surprised and if anything pleased that the jury made up its own collective mind in defiance of the lynch-mob clamor on the cable channels.

It can’t be said that the know-nothing know-it-alls on Fox News and Nancy Grace’s Sweeney Todd cooking school accepted the jury’s verdict with modesty and maturity. After expressing shock and taking turns to tell us how “stunned” they were, they accused the jury of suffering from Stockholm Syndrome (staring at Casey Anthony’s face somehow melting their reason and resolve), appearing to resent that fact that the defendant might be freed soon (since she might be granted time-served on the lesser charges, having already served years behind bars), and acting peevish that they didn’t get their way, having already convicted Casey Anthony on the airwaves for years now and treating the trial as an audiovisual demonstration of what to them was self-evident.

“Appearing to resent” and “peevish” are too mild, actually–many of the instant commentators on cable were visibly, audibly angry at the AUDACITY these acquittals. (Once exception: Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox News, who was calm and sensible.)

It may have annoyed Nancy Grace (everything annoys Nancy Grace), but defense attorney Casey Anthony slamdunked it afterwards when he told the press that this verdict was a rebuke to the demonization of his client and the ugly, unprofessional spectacle of lawyers going on TV to talk about a case about which they clearly didn’t know as much as they thought they did.

What little I saw of the coverage was disgusting and sob-sister, this endless fetishizing of “little Caylee,” as if these well-dressed, high-paid lawyers and media mouths had adopted her as their own little angel, and minutes after the verdict came down there was Judge Jeanine Pirro wailing, Where is the justice for this little girl? (“Justice for Caylee” was the sidebar subhead on Grace’s Headline News coverage, as if it were a personal crusade.)

Look, I don’t know if Casey Anthony is guilty or not, but neither does Nancy Grace or any of the performing seals brought in as expert commentators to bark and clap their fins, and maybe if they acknowledged they lack of godly omniscience they might be a little less “shocked” and “stunned” the next time around.

Barring exorcism, I don’t expect Nancy Grace to change, she being the only person whose nose seems tilted into a permanent sneer.

Postscript: Thanks, Florida, FOR WASTING OUR TIME YET AGAIN.

via The Casey Anthony Verdict | James Wolcott’s Blog | Vanity Fair.

1 Comment

Filed under Entertainment, Media, Television, Uncategorized

One response to “The Casey Anthony Verdict

  1. gail

    Every summer there has to be something dramatic to entertain the American public. It started with Nxon and the Watergate trials. That historic trial started it all, and everyone is more interested in high profile murder cases than politics.

    I live in Florida and Casey Anthony didn’t really become big news until the disappearance of another little girl, Haleigh Cummings, a year later. They still haven’t figured that one out because all of the parties involved are now in prison on drug charges. Nobody could make heads or tails of the Haleigh disappearance (an even more twisted story than the Anthony case), so the media started to focus on Casey Anthony.
    Casey Anothony, by her own admission, is guilty of Criminal child endangerment, child neglect, tampering with evidence and probably more. She violated the civil rights of her daughter, a federal crime which she could still be charged with and, if convicted, could go to prison for life.

    If “Liar, liar, pants on fire” were a crime she would rot in prison.

    A sad case, indeed. No one wins and no justice for anyone.

    Like

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