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Nov. 7, 2011
Not since O.J. Simpson’s murder trial in 1995 has national media attention focused so intently on one case, and not since Simpson’s acquittal has the public been more shocked by the verdict that exonerated Casey Anthony of any responsibility in the death of her toddler daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony.
by Denise Noe
The case of Casey Anthony, a young mother accused of murdering her small child, triggered a ravenous media feeding frenzy not seen since the O.J. Simpson double-murder trial in 1995. The parallel was magnified when public outcry at the Casey Anthony verdict echoed the outrage over the Simpson verdict.
A Time magazine article proclaimed the case “the first murder trial of the social-media age.” It noted that hundreds of people began showing up each day as early as 2 a.m. to land one of the 50 courtroom seats reserved for the public at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando.
Millions of people followed the trial every day on live-stream video feeds provided by TruTv and HLN. Both CNN and NBC built two-story structures in a lot across from the courthouse to catch every possible detail of the trial and transmit it to eager viewers. Hundreds of media vehicles often surrounded the Orlando courthouse. Prominent TV personalities such as Geraldo Rivera and Greta Van Susteren covered the trial but no one was more incessant in publicizing this case than Nancy Grace. A former prosecutor and author of three best-selling books, she is known as an outspoken advocate for victims’ rights. Her Headline News’ (HLN) program, called Nancy Grace, garners high ratings. The program focused incessantly on the Casey Anthony trial with its hostess making no secret of her belief that the accused was guilty.