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Are Nancy-Grace-led media as vile as Casey Anthony lawyer claims?

Cheney Mason, one of Casey Anthony's defense attorneys, blasted the media Tuesday in the wake of her non-guilty verdict for what he termed "media assassination" of his client before and during the trial.

HLN show host Nancy Grace was one target of his wrath, according to Jeffrey Toobin, a legal analyst on CNN, HLN's sister channel. Grace contemptuously dubbed Anthony "tot mom."

The other target of Mason's ire: the lawyers who went on shows like Grace's and pronounced his client guilty. He described them after the trial as "lawyers getting on TV and talking about cases they don't know a damn thing about." He said he was "disgusted" by them.

Mason said he hoped the TV "talking heads" and show hosts had "learned a lesson" from today's verdict.

One of the most interesting aspects of his remarks immediately after the verdict involved a suggestion that he and his team were not through with those in the media whom they think treated their client unfairly.

Using the plural, he said, "we'll be talking to" them.

Mason's words will surely put the media dead center in post-trial discussions in coming days, and that's a debate definitely worth having.

But the truth is that the sky-high ratings for the O.J. Simpon trial probably sealed the deal forever as to how TV host like Grace behave. Grace has been a one-woman, all-supreme, TV, judge-and-jury for a long time now. It's her act, and it seems as if she couldn't care less where the facts lie or how her judgments of guilt affect suspects' lives.

As for HLN, if it has to take some harsh post-trial criticism, it will probably consider the denunciations a relatively small price to pay for the record ratings it has enjoyed thanks to the trial and Grace's coverage of it.

But again, as I asked with the ratings Fox News enjoyed with Glenn Beck, at what price?

What do you think about cable TV coverage of the trial, lawyers who go on TV and talk about cases in which they are not involved and TV hosts like Grace who independently decide innocence and guilt and then ride that phony sense of righteous condemnation to ratings glory?

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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