Thursday, July 7, 2011
Not Guilty, Not Innocent: Please Don’t Publish Casey’s Book
Did the justice system fail to convict a child killer? Did a mother really kill her child? Will the media stop talking about Casey Anthony?
This trial is either a travesty of justice or it exemplifies what’s great about our legal system, depending on the truth, which we will likely never know. So please, please book publishers of the nation, do not publish the memoir of Casey Anthony. But if she wants to write a confession, don’t publish it either. She will lie to make money and with no risk of legal prosecution, she’ll write a book saying she did it, even if she didn’t – or did she?
This is why people don’t like checkbook journalism. In theory, established media outlets do not pay people for interviews. But payments are made, often discreetly, when the media outlet can cash in on the scoop. Book publishing takes the opposite approach. It will admittedly pay millions to publish someone’s story and they won’t even do a lot of fact checking to ensure that what and who they publish are not fakes and frauds.
But one person who should write a book is her lead lawyer. He managed to get a woman off who looks pretty guilty. That guy is set for life. He comes off as a genius, a strategist, a great orator. The jurors could write books as well but all they will do is tell us they didn’t have the evidence to convict. Not much drama there.
Maybe it’s good that people still get outraged over cases like this one. It shows we’re not all jaded. But the more cases we see like this the sadder we get. We’re sad how someone could kill their child and we’re sad the killer has not yet been convicted. We want justice.
But we don’t need a book by or about Casey Anthony. And yet, if I had the opportunity to promote such a book I’d likely participate. Would that make me an accessory to the circus surrounding this case? I’ll let the media be my judge.
Maybe Casey can become a legal analyst on CNN. They have a talk-show host opening with the abrupt dismissal of Eliot Spitzer, the scandalized hooker-happy governor who couldn’t parlay his infamy into better ratings. Or maybe Spitzer will now have free time to reflect on his corrupt life and write a book about it.
I’d probably promote that as well, if it came my way.