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Published:May 29th, 2011 18:30 EST
caylee last photo thumbnail

The Problem With HLN`s Coverage of the Casey Anthony Case!

By John G. Kays

I have Untraceable playing in the background as I type my reflections on Saturday`s testimony of mainly Cindy Anthony (Tony Lazzaro had some interesting things to say also). A motive for reviewing the Blue Ray is I`m attempting to get inside Casey Anthony`s mind on the night of June 16, 2008. What was she thinking as she viewed this film with Tony that evening?

anthony house on hope springs drive

We`ll never know her actual thoughts on the very evening of the day when the prosecution says she killed her own daughter. One thing I do know with certainty, is that yesterday was the first time I could experience the Casey Anthony murder trial with any objectivity. HLN broadcast three hours straight of the trial and a one hour recap later in the day.

cindy anthony

I recorded these four hours of the trial and have reviewed them several times today and have taken plenty of good notes. I will say, however, one has to white out with their eyes that `Justice For Caylee` power phrase in the bottom corner of the screen. HLN rotates that prejudicial title with the most ubiquitous photo of Caysee Anthony around. HLN refuses to report this case without a slant and a spin.

caylees last photo

You know this is true, and you long to witness (experience, drink in, absorb) this most intriguing trial since O. J. Simpson with a modicum of objectivity, detachment, or birds-eye perspective. The American people would like to take in the trial in a similar fashion to the jurors, who have to look at all sides of every single testifying witness, and every single document presented as evidence to the jury.

caylees playhouse

This is hard to achieve with HLN, who has already convicted Casey Anthony as guilty even before she can get her scheduled day in court. I`ve been recording Nancy Grace all this week, since I`m at work all day, and need a good summary of what`s going on in Orlando. Nancy is there herself, but she refuses to provide you with any objective reporting, and instead shows only film clips that provide support for her GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY rendition of Tot Mom.

I don`t know why HLN is doing this? In no way whatsoever does this resemble reporting of the news. That`s why I was so thankful to see some raw footage of the trial yesterday on HLN. And I will say also, that the Orlando Sentinel is doing an excellent job of reporting the trial. Good summaries are provided everyday after an eventful day of testimony. And the Orlando Sentinel doesn`t try to spin it in any one direction. They just report it.

I`ll get off my high horse for now, but I`ll nonetheless let you know, I don`t expect HLN will change anything, even if writers like myself chastise them publicly, and even if Nancy Grace herself reads my piece and sees how I`m characterizing her as big of a spin doctor as Fox`s Bill O`Reilly. Okay, maybe Nancy`s not that bad. But why won`t she let Casey get a fair trial? It`s not American of her to be so predisposed to slanted reporting right at trial time (for Tot Mom).

Cindy words and expressions were worth a million dollars yesterday. And we got a good tour of the Anthony home on Hope Springs Drive, as it appeared in 2008. Okay, so there`s Caylee`s playhouse, there`s her sandbox and her picnic table. She even had her own mailbox. And there`s the above ground swimming pool, where Cindy and Caylee went swimming in the late afternoon of June 15, 2008. In case you don`t know, that Sunday was Father`s Day, the day before Caylee probably died.

Cindy`s testimony really shook me up! Her account of visiting her dying father at Mount Dora and the documenting (both film and photographs) of an important event in her life, seems as real to me as if I was there in person!

Little did Cindy know, this would also be the last day she would ever see her granddaughter alive. Casey is said to have returned home around 5:30 or 6 PM that pivotal Father`s Day of 2008. She helped her mother get Caylee out of this unusual pool by providing a towel for the toddler. In the evening the three (George was at work) of them spent a sentimental evening reviewing Cindy`s homemade film and photos.

What is not told about that `day of crisis,` is what was going through Casey`s dippy mind, what was possibly angering her so, that she would completely flip out the very next day, Monday, June 16th. This is not something anyone can ever know, except Casey Anthony. Nor could I detect anything even slightly obvious (that may have been going wrong), from what Cindy was saying on the witness stand.

For some unknown reason something bad co-gelled on that particular Father`s Day. It must have been a slow build and apparently coagulated south on that day. Father`s Day has a Freudian quality to it; I`ve always thought this to be true. Don`t suppose we should read so much into a stupid Hallmark card, but stubbornly we do so anyway. What`s unclear heretofore, is Casey`s shifting psychology towards her parents? I fathom it`s not too healthy. Duhh!

The amazing thing is with yesterday`s broadcast of the trial, I felt as if I was in and around the Anthony house, in the summer of 2008, no less. The prosecution did make a strong case for how difficult it would have been for Caylee to meander out of her bedroom, go into the yard, and climb into the swimming pool to accidentally drown herself. It was an impossibility, if you believe Cindy when she said she remembered to take the detachable ladder off the pool that Father`s Day.

Cindy`s testimony was very credible and most interesting to watch. She`s a very smart woman and it seems like she was a good mother and an excellent grandmother. Yet even in saying that, it was still hard to understand how she could have let a full 30 days go by (June15th-July 15th, 2008) without contacting the police about her suspicions of her missing granddaughter.

The reason I say this, is that one time during Cindy`s testimony, she confesses she would tend to see Caylee every single day. One senses she was almost bringing Caylee up; uh oh, cat out of the bag, Cindy was a surrogate mother! This observation may provide insight into Casey`s mounting rage. A domineering mother who squeezes her out of her own God-given role of Motherhood. This is insightful to Casey`s state of mind three years ago.

Equally revealing, were the glancing camera shots of Casey crying or voicing angry words to her lawyer, as Cindy spilled the beans about those life-shattering days. Casey gets out of Dodge like Speedy Gonzalez on that Monday, and reverts to a juvenile party mode that`s a chapter right out of Russ Meyers` Beyond The Valley of the Dolls. Okay, so maybe I meant Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Scratch that, if you need to. Her ID was fully blasting, and her conscience (if she has one) had left town. The forces of her mind must have morphed to `alternate personality overdrive.`  The Three Faces of Eve all over again.

Orlando Sentinel