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Kurtz: Media Is ‘Merchandising Tragedy’ With Casey Anthony ‘Thirst For Ratings’

CNN’s Howard Kurtz and Jeffrey Toobin joined Eliot Spitzer last night to discuss the media’s coverage of the Casey Anthony trial. Toobin suggested that despite most television commentators being hostile toward Anthony, her acquittal is evidence that the media’s influence isn’t so great as to impact the jury. Yet Kurtz was disturbed by a larger issue.

Kurtz was uncomfortable with just how much news coverage is being devoted to Anthony:

“Unfortunately many children are killed each year in this country. It’s television news and it’s thirst for ratings and it’s thirst for sensation and it’s hunger for soap opera that takes relatively unknown people, the Laci Peterson case, the Natalee Holloway case, and now Casey Anthony, and turns it into this spectacle that I feel is kind of merchandising tragedy.”

Even though Kurtz’s own commentary here was part of another story on Anthony, the type of which he was lamenting there was too much, his point is legitimate since it is a bit odd how seemingly every news show and personality is spending so much time weighing in on the case. Kurtz suggests that many “legal loudmouths” on television just want to be like Judge Judy, yet ultimately Toobin thought the only impact of all of the outrage in the media was convincing the prosecution they had a much stronger case than truly existed.

Watch the clip from CNN below:

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