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Sick of Casey Anthony

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Today in Florida, Casey Anthony will be sentenced for the handful of misdemeanors for which the jury on Tuesday found her guilty, all related to giving false information to law enforcement. Since Anthony was acquitted of the more sensational charges against her, I am hoping that the whole media circus will now go away.

I am sick of it. And I am sick of the pundits and everyday citizens expressing their outrage over the jury's decision on Tuesday that Anthony is not guilty of the murder of her 2-year-old daughter. (As if these armchair critics are privy to some secret evidence that would erase the reasonable doubt. But no, they just know it anyway.)

Just after the verdict broke, an acquaintance asked me what I thought of it. I answered honestly: I don't care. I do not personally know Casey Anthony. She is not a member of my family or my professional or social circle, so it's none of my immediate business, unless her human rights are at some point violated (which would have been the case had she been convicted with a death sentence).

The Casey Anthony story got so big, and so out of control, because the media saw some glamour (and therefore ratings) in it. A hot white middle-class mom may have killed her cute white daughter because the toddler was interfering with mom's party-happy social life. Cha-ching! Not even Paris Hilton can compete with that.

But I hear stories every week here in Philly of missing children. In many of those cases, a parent is a suspect. But those other cases don't become national news sensations. Maybe they're just not glamorous enough. The parties involved might be minorities, or they just might not be interesting or edgy enough to capture the national spotlight.

This double standard is not solely the fault of the media that hype the select few cases. It's also the fault of the sheep who turn them into a ratings success.

Get a life, people.

Sadly, though, I predict some major magazine exposure for Anthony after this, along with maybe a book and a made-for-TV movie.

Again: Get a life, people.


Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views (more...)

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