Why was Casey Anthony news?

Curious to hear your opinions on this. It’s easy to see why she’s news now: the verdict stretches “reasonable doubt” in a lot of people’s minds. But why was any of this important before? My brother argues that this is the new media generation’s “O.J.” Social media and the Internet supposedly played a big part in creating the buzz around this awful thing. I guess the significance is that people can create our own trashy reality stars?

I wouldn’t know. I had caught glimpses of news about the trial on local news, but even when I watch cable I steer clear of Nancy Grace and the like. And my social media diet also avoids this sort of thing. I’m much more likely to get stories thrown my way about elections, the debt ceiling and Afghanistan. I’m not saying this to be a snob. Don’t most of us get our news filtered, with certain stories kept away from us?

So yeah, I’m fishing for two things here:

What was the appeal of this story, exactly? Did it just cater to people like this:

Among the trial spectators was 51-year-old Robin Wilkie, who said she has spent $3,000 on hotels and food since arriving June 10 from Lake Minnetonka, Minn. She tallied more than 100 hours standing in line to wait for tickets and got into the courtroom 15 times to see Anthony.

“True crime has become a unique genre of entertainment,” Wilkie said. “Her stories are so extreme and fantastic, it’s hard to believe they’re true, but that’s what engrosses people. This case has sex, lies and videotapes — just like on reality TV.”

There are probably some people who might not be as drawn by the “true crime” angle. A search for articles about the case revealed a few comments about potential “conjugal visits.” And I’m sure there’s more people don’t want to admit.

Also, how does media actually work nowadays? Maybe it says something that a news junkie like myself didn’t realize how many people were into this case until the verdict. Surely something has changed from the early 90’s. But still – a quick search on Google trends about this case vs. the “debt ceiling” tells you all you need to know.

3 Comments

  1. In all honesty, I found myself obesessing more over Alberta’s Abathasca oil sands & the Keystone XL pipeline project than I did this sideshow at the start of the day, and absolutely nothing changed as far as that was concerned once the verdict was read.

    I have no idea why the trail got the full on tabloid press treatment, and could not even venture a guess. In all honestly, I felt like a special little snowflake for apparently being one of the few people in the USA to really not give a shit- I mean I was perepherially aware that there was a trial and some such, but the Red Sox, the nuisance lawsuit filed against BNSF and UP, the flooding in Minot, the stock market and the collision with the Amtrak train and truck in Nevada were of greater importance to me.

    “Objection! Your honor! Requesting that entire Casey Anthony trial be stricken from list of things I’m supposed to give a shit about.”

    “Sustained”

  2. It’s interesting how some cases get picked up and appear on those nightly HLN shows and others don’t. It’s all big business so I’m sure the producers of these shoes do polls and such to choose the “popular” crimes and triuls.

  3. Latest news about Casey. “Casey Anthony told her probation officer this week that she is unemployed and hasn’t used any illegal drugs, according to a report released Tuesday by authorities. Anthony reported to her probation officer Monday at an undisclosed location in Florida”

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