Advertising in the News

Tannebaum wrote in No One Would Like My Commentary On The Casey Anthony Case about lawyers taking advantage of the “press frenzy” to get their faces on TV:

Some of the “reporting” by the local Orlando media is disgraceful. No one cares about fair trials anymore, it’s all about the opinions, the “bombshells,” and the guessing about what a jury will believe. Few of the commentators have ever tried a death penalty case, but no one asks, nor cares.

Of course I have opinions about the case, about what I see going on in court. But this is not theatre, this is not a punching bag for the local defense bar to hit throughout the day. Have some damn dignity, let the trial go on – tell the media that you will not be a part of the frenzy. You walk the halls of the criminal justice system and using a life or death moment for your own fame is indefensible.

You want to educate the public – do that. Do not use the time or microphone and camera to play contrarian to your brother of the bar just to gain favor with the vultures of the media that have already decided that the defendant is guilty.

Tannebaum paints a bleak picture, but I think it’s much worse than he makes it out to be.

I got this spam email a couple of weeks ago:


As the Casey Anthony trial is taking place in your backyard, our media contacts (whom we have great relationships with) have let us know that they are actively seeking Criminal Defense Attorneys to comment on the case.

If the thought of appearing on National & Local Television & National & Local Radio Shows has ever crossed your mind – This moment is yours to take.

If not, simply write back REMOVE because you’ll never again be the midst of a press frenzy like this – CNN, NBC, and Fox will be covering this 24-7.

When you appear as a guest on national media, millions of eyes across America are on you and traffic drives to your website and ultimately can increase your bottom line.

The email went on to hawk the services of a legal PR company, willing to help me get “media value” by appearing on TV talking about the Casey Anthony trial. Never mind actual knowledge or experience: they think lawyers will be willing to pay actual money to appear on “National & Local Television & National & Local Radio Shows” commenting on the case.

I am sure they’re right. It’s a safe bet that some of the lawyers commenting on the case have paid to be part of the frenzy.

8 responses to “Advertising in the News”

  1. Freedom of speech is one thing, but if lawyers can’t have a little dignity like Brian suggested, can’t the Bars at least do something about the ethics violations?

  2. One little known factoid that came out in the media over the World Bank director’s rape case was that in France (and also in Canada) there is no press coverage until a judgment is rendered. No “perp” walk. That seems civilized to me. I fail to see how anyone can get a fair trial with all of the media pundits expressing an “opinion” and second guessing the events before the trial begins. Maybe that should be a Bar Association matter? You know, the old saw about if not part of the solution, one is part of the problem? That might be a good topic for this blog, Mark.

  3. Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’ You gotta have somethin’ If you wanna be with me Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’ You gotta have somethin’ If you wanna be with me I’m not tryin’ to be your hero ‘Cause that zero is too cold for me, I’m not tryin’ to be your highness ‘Cause that minus is too low to see, Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin’ And I’m no hero… (but your just too blind to see)

  4. These are the words of the “Siren Song” the media is “singing” to basically anyone – including lawyers to get some “air time”.

  5. OK, since Mark hasn’t Blogged anymore and “THE” trial is over. Now coming to you from Don Henley, another apropos song to fit the topis at hand:

    Title : Dirty Laundry
    I make my living off the evening news
    Just give me something-something I can use
    People love it when you lose,
    They love dirty laundry

    Well, I coulda been an actor, but I wound up here
    I just have to look good, I dont have to be clear
    Come and whisper in my ear
    Give us dirty laundry

    Kick em when theyre up
    Kick em when theyre down
    Kick em when theyre up
    Kick em when theyre down
    Kick em when theyre up
    Kick em when theyre down
    Kick em when theyre up
    Kick em all around

    We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who
    Comes on at five
    She can tell you bout the plane crash with a gleam
    In her eye
    Its interesting when people die-
    Give us dirty laundry

    Can we film the operation?
    Is the head dead yet?
    You know, the boys in the newsroom got a
    Running bet
    Get the widow on the set!
    We need dirty laundry

    You dont really need to find out whats going on
    You dont really want to know just how far its gone
    Just leave well enough alone
    Eat your dirty laundry

    Kick em when theyre up
    Kick em when theyre down
    Kick em when theyre up
    Kick em when theyre down

    Kick em when theyre up
    Kick em when theyre down
    Kick em when theyre stiff
    Kick em all around

    Dirty little secrets
    Dirty little lies
    We got our dirty little fingers in everybodys pie
    We love to cut you down to size
    We love dirty laundry

    We can do the innuendo
    We can dance and sing
    When its said and done we havent told you a thing
    We all know that crap is king
    Give us dirty laundry!

  6. Anyone remember Steppenwolf, “The Monster”?

    “America, where are you now,
    Don;’t you care about your sons and daughters?
    America, we need you now
    We can’t fight alone against the monster.”

    …and it’s a monster and miscarriage of Justice when we are presumed guilty before innocence is proven.

  7. I just sure miss those “starving” courtroom sketch artists you see on the Federal side. You know…back when the news was factually reported as the artwork was shown during the talk-over portions of the evening news?

    People who get glued to this or that high profile trial forget about the oath THEY DO NOT have to take that the REAL JURY DOES: ” Members of the jury Panel please stand and raise your right hand: Do You and each of You solemnly swear that you will a true verdict render in the case(s) now on trial based on the law and evidence presented to you – So Help You God? Please state “I Do”.

    People confuse “Not Guilty” with “Innocent”. To be fair we really probably should have three verdicts: 1) Guilty; 2) Not Guilty; and 3) Not Proven Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

    While the public or TV Jury is watching the trial, the REAL SWORN in jury might be retired to the jury room and NOT hearing so much of what the TV jury gets to hear that for legal reasons is just not admissible to the real jury. Also, because the TV Jury, has to work, take bathroom breaks, run errands, get the kids etc – the REAL jury is right there judging the Credibility of the witnesses and the evidence introduced all the while the TV Jury is missing out.. In short, the TV jury gets to “catch up” via recordings or evening news snippets delivered with gunpowder Court T.V. types who have their own spin.

    I am making no comment on the verdict in this case. I do respect the jury’s verdict because – as it has and will be said many times over: We truly DO still have the best legal system in the world. In any case – personally – I had to work, live in another State than Florida, and wasn’t a REAL SWORN IN juror in this specific case. Do still miss those artists though drawings though. Seems if they were good enough for Timothy McVeigh they might as well be good enough for State Courts.

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