July 6, 2011
by Dan Ward
Though many supposedly objective journalists are joining the throngs of Cable Network pundits in denouncing the Casey Anthony verdict, my guess is that there is much rejoicing in media business offices.
If Anthony had been found guilty of murder and sentenced to prison, there would have been follow-up news coverage to be sure, but at some point the world would move on and media would have to fight over the next major non-news story that drives web click revenue.
But now, media will be able to continue their non-stop coverage … Casey comes home, Casey meets with her family, Casey applies for work, Casey goes to a restaurant, Casey signs a book deal. Every move that Casey makes for the foreseeable future will be cause for “Breaking News” coverage, keeping her name and image front and center on online news sites.
Many of us had hoped that the verdict would be the beginning of the end for wall-to-wall Casey coverage, but to paraphrase Winston Churchill, I’m afraid we’ve only reached the end of the beginning.
July 6, 2011
by Roger Pynn
I’m one of those who can’t wait for the Anthony Circus to pack up and leave town, but can’t let the train pull out without noting that Sunday’s coverage of the Casey Anthony trial added another step below the waterline in American media history when television stations broadcast live the defendant’s taped telephone conversations from jail laced with more “f” words than ever before heard on the air.
Somehow the protection normally provided the public by the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission went out the window with this trial and THAT WORD streamed into living rooms across Central Florida no doubt filled with young children, elderly folks and others for whom language like this is inappropriate and offensive.
I admit to having a colorful vocabulary, but try to use restraint and common sense about when and where and before whom I use an expletive. WESH was on in our living room when Casey’s “f”-laced rant began, but my mother probably heard that word more times than she has in her 96 years on earth. I don’t know if other stations carried it or bleeped it – although I was told that FOX News apologized after the third iteration.
Regardless, the point is simple: decorum has gone out the window.
CBS was assessed a huge fine when we had to see Janet Jackson’s naked nipple during the infamous “costume malfunction” during her halftime act with Justin Timberlake at Super Bowl XXXVIII. Although overturned by an appellate court, the incident sparked a furious debate. Yet, we’ve heard no such uproar over this.
Will the FCC react to this? Will language inappropriate for broadcasting now be deemed acceptable anytime a trial is covered live or on tape? Should producers and editors have known this was coming and prepared to use a delay? Is this freedom of the press? Or have we reached the bottom?