Nancy Grace's HLN show Tuesday night opened with a screeching "child advocate," complaining that the jury had gotten in wrong in the afternoon's verdict acquitting Casey Anthony in the death of her daughter.
"We've been OJ'd!" shouted Susan Moss in a voice I feared would crack my TV screen. "This is the worst thing to happen to Florida since hanging chads!"
It was as ridiculous as Grace's own contention on her show that "the devil is dancing tonight" in the wake of the verdict.
"But this has been going on for years as Grace early on decided that Anthony was guilty, and hammered away night after night, dubbing Anthony, "tot mom." But it often sounded like she was calling her "top mom."
Grace is clearly one of the pundits blasted by Anthony defense lawyer Cheney Mason after the verdict. He blasted three years of "media assassination" of Casey Anthony, and criticized uninformed legal analysts.
Mason's list might have included lawyer Richard Herman, who was pontificating on CNN before the verdict came in. "Somebody had to have told her if they came back this quick it's going to be murder. And she's got to know it. I mean, someone had to have told her if they came back this quick, it's going to be murder.
"No way out for her," Herman said of Anthony, shortly before she was found not guilty.
One of the few legal pundits worth listening to – and one who never shouts – is Jeffrey Toobin. He countered Herman gently.
"This certainly seems like a good prosecution jury," Toobin said. "But, you know, I just think that it's important to recognize how wrong we can be about these stereotypes.
"One of the classic pieces of folklore is that juries deliberate one day for each week of testimony. So, if it's an eight-week trial, you can expect eight days of deliberations. Here, we had a more than an eight-week trial, and we're going to have essentially two days of deliberations."
In other words, things are not always as they seem.
The bottom line is that all of this was noise about as unimportant a story as you'll find. It was a local murder story that was transformed into a national soap opera, turning Casey Anthony into a celeb.
Cable TV news outlets have found these unimportant stories a great way to lure in viewers (like police chases). But trials go on and on and if they're like this one, they retain viewers. The yelling and screaming is an intrinsic part of the show.
And that's all any of this is to those of us with no real connection to the case, just a sad TV show.
On TV: Comedy Central is planning a roast of troubled Charlie Sheen on Sept. 19, the same day the season premiere of the Sheen-less "Two and a Half Men" on CBS. The roast will air after the sitcom's return.
- The second season DVD of Fox's "Glee" is due out Sept. 13.
- The last of three outlets of Soul Daddy, the fast-casual restaurant that resulted from NBC's "Next Great Restaurant," has closed at the Mall of America making it a complete and total failure. The show has not been renewed.
- Elizabeth Hurley has joined the CW Network's "Gossip Girl" as a media mogul.
It's almost "Shark Week" again: Discovery Channel has released its first promo for this year's "Shark Week," the annual programming event that kicks off July 31. This one has a Lady Gaga theme:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.