Casey Anthony found not guilty; TV talking heads found guilty

Thomas Lifson
I have paid as little attention as possible to the sad, sordid murder trial of a young mother with a lurid indifference to her daughter's death.  Too depressing.  But now that the woman has beaten the charges against her, convicted solely on lying to the police, she could conceivably be released for time served, or spend some years in prison.  Most people think it is very probable she killed her daughter, but the jury had to meet a higher standard, and decided the circumstantial evidence was not sufficient to remove reasonable doubt.

The case became an obsession of cable news, and many talking heads, pre-eminently Nancy Grace (whose ratings soared during the trial), now look foolish.  They were slammed by the defense team after the verdict:

"Well, I hope that this is a lesson to those of you who have indulged in media assassination for three years. Bias, prejudice and incompetent talking heads saying what would be and how to be. I'm disgusted by some of the lawyers that have done this, and I can tell you that my colleagues from coast to coast and border to border have condemned this whole process of lawyers getting on television and talking about cases that they don't know a damn thing about. And don't have the experience to back up their words or the law to do it. Now you learned a lesson, and we appreciate the jury and those of you that have been objective and professional. We like it. Others, we're going to be talking to again. Thank you very much," Cheney Mason, one of Casey Anthony's defense attorneys said at a press conference after the verdict was announced.

Matt Drudge used the following graphic:

All in all, a bad day for cable news legal pundits, and TV talking heads in general.

I have paid as little attention as possible to the sad, sordid murder trial of a young mother with a lurid indifference to her daughter's death.  Too depressing.  But now that the woman has beaten the charges against her, convicted solely on lying to the police, she could conceivably be released for time served, or spend some years in prison.  Most people think it is very probable she killed her daughter, but the jury had to meet a higher standard, and decided the circumstantial evidence was not sufficient to remove reasonable doubt.

The case became an obsession of cable news, and many talking heads, pre-eminently Nancy Grace (whose ratings soared during the trial), now look foolish.  They were slammed by the defense team after the verdict:

"Well, I hope that this is a lesson to those of you who have indulged in media assassination for three years. Bias, prejudice and incompetent talking heads saying what would be and how to be. I'm disgusted by some of the lawyers that have done this, and I can tell you that my colleagues from coast to coast and border to border have condemned this whole process of lawyers getting on television and talking about cases that they don't know a damn thing about. And don't have the experience to back up their words or the law to do it. Now you learned a lesson, and we appreciate the jury and those of you that have been objective and professional. We like it. Others, we're going to be talking to again. Thank you very much," Cheney Mason, one of Casey Anthony's defense attorneys said at a press conference after the verdict was announced.

Matt Drudge used the following graphic:

All in all, a bad day for cable news legal pundits, and TV talking heads in general.