Wednesday, July 06, 2011

883 Casey Anthony and A Note to the All News TV Channels

883  Casey Anthony and A Note to the All News TV Channels

Okay the jury said Casey Anthony is not guilty of the main charges, Murder-1, Manslaughter and Aggravated Child Abuse.

Of all the blah blah that followed the “stunning” “news” is this:  The state did not prove its case.  They proved she was a liar and a lousy parent.  They proved she was a party girl with a walnut brain.  But they didn’t prove she killed her daughter.

Maybe she did the deed.  It sure looks like it on the surface.  But this was a case of pure prosecutorial ineptitude.   So howl all you want about “justice for Caylee” and miscarriage of justice and all that.  

As William Blackstone said “It is better that ten guilty men go free than one innocent man be wrongly convicted.”  It’s an old saw, but as good now as when said -- a long time ago.  Blackstone’s 288th birthday is this coming Saturday.


Now, to the Newsies:

Hey, guys, that little ribbon that runs horizontally across the bottom of the screen?  We used to call it the crawl or the “lower third” or the “lower fifth.”  You can use it for more than just promoting the next program.  You can put real information in it.

So here’s a suggestion:  Next time you don’t know what to talk about, put what you DO know in the crawl and forget the wall to wall coverage of whatever walls you’re covering.

Here’s an example: “Jury deliberating Casey Anthony case... Live coverage when there’s a verdict.”  You can play that over and over for hours or days instead of doing what you do now.

What you do now is replay tapes from previous moments in the trial (or the firestorm or the battle or the congressional hearing.)  No one failed to see those the first hundred times you played them between court recesses or firefighter down time, lulls in the battle or congressional throat clearings.  And no one needs to see them again.

What you do now is speculate.

Anchor: “Hey we have Judge Alex of the ‘Judge Alex Show’ here.  Hey your honor, how long do you think the jury will deliberate?”
Alex:  “Well, it’s hard to tell.  You never can really know what a jury is going to do.  Could take a few hours.  Could take a long time.  I think it’ll take two or three days.  But you never know.  It could take three weeks or three months or they could be coming back right now.”
Anchor:  Our Countdown Clock shows the jury has been deliberating for 4 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds.  Back with wall-to-wall coverage right after these messages...”

Judge Alex has just revealed his biggest secret:  He doesn’t know any more than you do.

Then there’s talking to people with little or no standing.

Anchor:  “You helped George Anthony search for his missing granddaughter. What do you think?  Did he hide evidence?”
Middle Aged Female Interviewee:  “Oh, he couldn’t possibly have done that. He’s such a nice man.  A real trouper and a real trooper.   No, of COURSE he didn’t do anything wrong, a nice man like him.”

M.A.F.I has just revealed her biggest secret:  She wants to believe in George Anthony and she wants you to, too.  That George Anthony is not on trial, that he may or may not have had a hand in killing or hiding or covering up or not covering up the death of his granddaughter is completely irrelevant.

Repeat:  A peripheral player is analyzed by an even more peripheral player about a subject on which she has no evidence to back her claim other than a gut feeling based on spending a few minutes here and there with the guy at a time when he might have been either genuinely concerned or hiding something, we know not which and neither does she.

Guys:  Instead of throwing this mud against the wall-to-wall, how about playing music videos, covering other news, doing a cooking segment, selling vacuum cleaners for three “easy payments” or running travelogues or home improvement programs, all the while with the crawl at the bottom of the screen, “Jury deliberating Casey Anthony case... Live coverage when there’s a verdict.”

Also:  can you please stop hiring men and women who don’t speak but yell and screech and who continue to promote the notion of guilt even after the jury has said otherwise?

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them.
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com.
© WJR 2011

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