The stunning news of the verdict in the widely covered Casey Anthony murder trial had some networks breaking into their regular programming today, according to The Hollywood Reporter, while cable news networks went into a frenzy analyzing the unexpected acquittal on murder charges stemming from the death of Anthony’s 2-year-old daughter Caylee.
Anthony was found guilty only of four misdemeanor counts of giving false information to law enforcement officials. She was found not guilty on the three much more serious charges of murder, manslaughter and child abuse.
On ABC, George Stephanopoulos, co-host of “Good Morning America,” anchored coverage of the verdict, which also featured legal analyst Dan Abrams. Fox tapped into the Fox News Channel feed, anchored by Bill Hemmer. CBS had “The Talk” co-hosts, including CBS News veteran Julie Chen, providing trial updates.
On cable, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and HLN all covered the verdicts live, continuing what has been a media circus for several weeks as the trial has played out on television.
Anthony faced a possible death penalty had she been found guilty of murder. She remained in jail after the verdicts, with many experts expressing the opinion that she will be released on time served when she is sentenced Thursday on the false information convictions.
In a separate report, Fox News covered celebrity reactions on Twitter, including Kim Kardashian’s tweet: "WHAT!!!!???!!!! CASEY ANTHONY FOUND NOT GUILTY!!!! I am speechless!!!"
Carson Daly’s tweet was more concise: "This is bull[expletive]!!"
Added Star Jones: "I believe in the jury system and accept (the) verdict, but I can’t take smiles from Casey Anthony right now. She may be not guilty but her baby is dead!”