Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Casey Anthony trial watching: Don't Americans have anything better to do with their time?

It's all Casey Anthony all of the time!


In 2008 there were 16,442 murders in the United States ( and only the death of Caylee Anthony, due to the facts as we knew them, caught the attention of the public and traction in the media.

While a tragedy has no doubt occurred and it is possible no one will pay a price for it, there must be a more productive way for the thousands upon thousands of people fixated by this story to spend their time.
Classic chicken or the egg argument:

Which came first, the public fascination with this case that led to media overkill, or media ratings that spurred the news outlets to push and develop public fascination with the case?

The Casey Anthony trial and now the Casey Anthony verdict is dominating the airwaves and peoples minds in a way that is reminiscent of the O.J. trial and verdict!

I woke up this morning to networks carrying "special" programming covering the Casey Anthony "verdict". There are talking heads everywhere you look either vilifying the verdict, agreeing with the verdict and/or explaining away how they got it all so very wrong.

There is rehashing of every detail in order to try and figure out how the "slam dunk" case of the prosecution as these "experts" termed it became an incredible defeat for the prosecution.

The verdict

After the verdict yesterday, there was an outpouring of outrage in the streets over the fact that the prosecution had failed to prove its case "beyond a reasonable doubt" and that Casey Anthony was going to get away with murder.

In reality though, this was a case where the justice system as well as the process of being tried by a jury of ones peers worked the way that it was supposed to. Not to everyones satisfaction but the way that it was set-up to function.

Society, productivity and useless fixations

At the end of the day, don't Americans have anything better to do with their time than to fixate on a court case? Aren't there things to do and people to see that may be slightly more important than the minute by minute surveillance of this trial.

Is there nothing more pressing going on in the world that might deserve "special" programming and attention, or is this where society has gone.

Can people no longer determine for themselves what it is they should focus their time on, so the mainstream media will do it for us?

Is it the old classic line of "when I want your opinion I will give it to you" only reworked to say "when the general public should be interested in something, we the media will tell them what it is."

Now I completely understand the 24-hour news cycle and the fact that networks will go where the ratings are. The money is in the ratings and these are for-profit companies.

Maybe it is more a commentary on the shallow minds of the "average" American whose attention span is limited and whose interest in what is going on in the world is minimal.

Ask the average man or woman on the street about the goings on in Greece (and the rest of the EU), the Middle East or in Washington concerning the debt ceiling debate and the result will most likely be blank stares.

There is no question that the death of Caylee Anthony is an unbelievable tragedy. A human life cut down before it even got a chance to start.

The case put on by the prosecution, however, was obviously not strong enough to overcome the "beyond a reasonable doubt" threshold for the jury and/or the charges were to aggressive to result in a guilty verdict. No matter how guilty Casey Anthony appears to be.

The fact that the events surrounding the death of this little girl may never be known is tragedy number two.

But for most Americans aren't there bigger fish to fry in our own lives that would limit the energy that we can expend on someone else's?

I suppose not!

So not to worry America. In a couple of days Casey Anthony will be off of the front pages and we will be on to the next "story of the century" that will take us through the summer.

Log on, find a job and get to work. Snagajob

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