[Marxism] James Woolcott on the Casey Anthony verdict

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Jul 6 06:42:46 MDT 2011


The Casey Anthony Verdict
by James Wolcott
July 5, 2011, 2:45 PM

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 the defense attorney for 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.

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