Under the Hat: Worst Shortcoming of All - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Under the Hat: Worst Shortcoming of All

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There's been intense reaction this week to the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial.

You would probably have had to be off-planet not to know that Anthony was found not guilty of the murder of her two-year old daughter Caylee.

Much of the wailing and gnashing has been aimed at the court system; how could a mother who repeatedly lied to police, a woman so cavalier she waited a month to even report her daughter missing not be responsible for her death?

The din grew louder when some of the jurors, in tears, told reporters that they had prayed for a stronger case only to realize that it wasn't there.

It serves no purpose for me to comment on the guilt or innocence of Casey Anthony.

A jury has spoken and in America that's that.

But there may be value in reminding ourselves this week that the American justice system has never really been about someone's guilt or innocence, but rather what can or can not be proven in court.

A lot of the frustration that we're hearing this week may well be found in that distinction.

The other target of public wrath has been with a media culture that can make sharks look like guppies if comparing feeding frenzies.

The coverage was relentless; first from the round-the-clock news folks and that drew in the traditional broadcasters and eventually just about all of us.

It was all Casey all the time, a force of nature for six weeks as impossible to avoid as a hurricane.

But what if Caylee didn't have that made-for-TV face with dozens of photos and videos to help drive the story?

What if she were African-American, or Asian-American or Hispanic?

Would the coverage have been as fierce?

What impact did those cameras in the courtroom play?

Would the course of events have been any different?

There's a lot of talk about shortcomings this week; of a failure in the courts and our seemingly insatiable appetite for real life reality television.

Those conversations have merit but let's not forget this.

At a critical moment somebody, somewhere failed Caylee Anthony.

And that is the worst shortcoming of all.

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