“…this was a selfish, narcissistic, self-involved slut who wanted to kill her child to have “la bella vita.” Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera wasn’t reluctant to use sexual slurs as he condemned Casey Anthony, a woman on trial for the death of her daughter.
Fortunately, Ben Stein at American Spectator was outraged, “Presumed Innocent, Anyone?,” screamed his headline. Oh, wait, he wasn’t talking about Anthony. He was defending Dominque Strauss-Kahn, the former IMF chief charged with sexually assaulting a hotel maid.
And now the New York Post has joined Rivera in defending (not vilifying) Strauss-Kahn and smeared the maid with their own sexual slur: “Maid cleaning up as ‘hooker’ — Big tips for extra ‘turndown service’ — Prosecutors list litany of lies, scams.”
The problem with that headline is there is no attributable source for their claims, no proof has been offered and nothing has been presented in court. But the most egregious of all is the assumption a prostitute can not be raped.
Two high-profile cases, two women whose morals are questioned as a supposed means to prove guilt or innocence. The only difference between them: one is a victim and the other is charged with a crime — but both are deemed guilty by dint of being women.
Unfortunately, as the cases progress, the media continues to display their prejudices against these particular women and all women. Both cases are in trouble from the prosecutor’s point of view. Both defendants might walk free. His innocence is assumed in all the headlines even though not a single piece of evidence has been presented in court, while her alleged guilt is not relieved by the fact the case presented against her at trial may not be strong enough for a conviction.
The New York Times headline read: Strauss-Kahn Prosecution Said to Be Near Collapse.
People Magazine’s cover read: “Casey Anthony Getting Away With Murder?”
Strauss-Kahn suffered “a crushing blow.”
Anthony is the one to deal the crushing blow to “another man whose has been turned upside down by Casey Anthony, that guy right there.” That “guy right there” was her father who she’s accused of incest and who another woman has testified lied on the stand about his affair with her. Like Strauss-Kahn, the benefit of the doubt goes to him, not the woman making the accusation of sexual assault.
Real News pointed out the media’s sexual attacks on the maid were present right from the beginning:
The size of her breasts, the shape of her backside, and of course, her name. These are some of the details Le Monde, the French “journal de référence,” and its subsidiary Le Post published about the woman who says IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn groped her genitals and forced her to perform oral sex on him in a room at the Sofitel near Times Square.
Others cite how “normal” Strauss-Kahn behaved after he left the hotel maid. This, they argue, goes a long way to prove his innocence:
“…they had fish and shared a chilled bottle of white wine….if one of several security cameras visible in the large restaurant captured the pair, the images of father and daughter,…less than an hour after the encounter with the housekeeper, could serve as powerful circumstantial evidence. It could bolster the defense case if they laugh or appear to share a leisurely meal; it could support the prosecution if it shows the 62-year-old white-haired Frenchman looking distracted or upset.”
But the very same normal socializing by Anthony is cited as proof of Anthony’s guilt by psychiatrist Michael Welner, M.D., hired by ABC News to “analyze“ a woman he‘s never met.
Compounding the evidence of her detachment are her activities during that time. She was lounging aimlessly with her boyfriend, entering a hot body contest, carousing, and engaged in other remarkably unremarkable activities. That Casey was so unaffected, and relegated Caylee’s absence to such a low priority, speaks to how detached she was from her missing child.
Weiner goes on to say,
“The brazenness and frequency of Casey Anthony’s lying brings psychopathy to mind as a diagnostic possibility. But narcissistic and borderline personalities lie, as do as some histrionics. So, too, do politicians, who only sometimes are personality disordered.”
Politicians who “brazenly and frequently” lie like Anthony are “only sometimes personality disordered,” but she has several major personality disorders because she does the same as politicians.
The popular Dr. Drew Pinsky opined:
Then what followed today was what seemed to be a poignant brother/sister moment. He breaks down; Casey follows….Now, perhaps this was a moment of honest emotion from her, and yet we’re questioning that. And it seemed like there was emotion….What was all that? What did we just see?
Attorney Debra Opri responded: Bad acting job?
Attorney Lisa Bloom opined: Because she`s a sociopath —
Pinsky: There we go.
Not a single psychiatrist has opined about Strauss-Kahn. This “analyzing” of Anthony while ignoring possible disorders in Strauss-Kahn — who has been accused of sexual assault by several women — is in line with the characterization of all women as mentally and emotionally disordered and all men as sane and logical. The stereotyping is further carried out in how they are portrayed intellectually. Compare how she’s described to how he’s described: brilliant…a strong and effective leader…credible….and this “brilliant, strong, credible leader” is absolved from the many allegations of sexual assault with the label “the seducer.”
Meanwhile, HLN’s Jane Velez Mitchell lures her viewers with “Casey Anthony craziness” and criticized Anthony for being calm and writing, as if she isn’t capable of an intelligent thought:
“The only time we saw Casey actually cry….look at Casey Anthony`s expression. Oh, my gosh. Mark Eiglarsh, what the heck is note-taking about? Every time you see her, she`s taking notes. Is she just doodling or doing smiley faces?”
Attorney Eiglarsh brought some sanity to the discussion: “No, she`s doing exactly what I tell my clients to do in every trial. Take a pen, write stuff down.”
Another guest, legal expert Susan Filan, chimed in with a bit of truth: “…when you look at a mother accused of killing her baby, they are going to be even harder on her than they might be on a man.”
HLN host Nancy Grace railed against her lack of emotion, calling her a “brat” reflecting the “women aren’t adults” rationale.
“I thought I had seen it all when I saw Cindy the first time she testified just bent over doubled on the witness stand… The sharp contrast of her with her head down crying hardly able to speak and tot mom sitting there frankly… looking p***ed just looking bored out of her skull, irritated, shooting daggers at her mother and then after all this…,” said Grace.
Attorney Darryl Cohen, a guest on Grace’s show Monday night said “Nancy it’s one of the most continuing unbelievable things I have ever seen at a trial. First of all, if there was any emotion at all… at all in Casey, it should have come out.
HLN News host Vinnie Politan remarked on George Anthony’s weeping on the stand as convincing proof of his innocence, so both parents are faultless because they cry, yet Casey Anthony is criticized as “manipulating the jury” when tears are on her face.
Grace doesn’t even call her by name. She’s merely “tot mom.”
Even though Anthony did not testify, The Earsucker led with: “All of the lies that Casey Anthony is spewing during her murder trial has made the cover of People magazine’s latest issue.” They’ve also labeled her the “Murder Mom.”
No one refers to Strauss-Kahn as “rapist,” “scum” or “woman’s husband.” Removing her name is the ultimate act of rendering her humanity invisible.
Brian Stelter, in his New York Times article Casey Anthony Coverage Gives HLN an Identity points out the profit motive in the salacious, degrading way the media is labeling these two women while sanitizing the men involved in both stories:
As Court TV and CNN did during the O. J. Simpson trial in 1995, HLN has attached itself to the Casey Anthony murder trial, making it the new trial network of record. Its audience has more than doubled since the trial started May 24…. At the end of her broadcast each night, Ms. Grace says she is there to seek “justice for Caylee.” That sentiment has become a logo on HLN’s screen.
For HLN, the trial is a multidimensional soap opera, almost tailor-made for the channel’s news-and-talk strategy….HLN long ago abandoned its format of headlines every 15 minutes in favor of talk shows at night. It has extended that format into daytime by focusing on water-cooler stories like the trial and incorporating viewer phone calls and e-mails, much like a talk radio station.
Neither Anthony nor the maid who filed sexual assault charges against Strauss-Kahn deserve to be demeaned in order for media outlets and their talking heads to profit. They certainly don’t deserve to be sacrificed on the altar of phallic worship and patriarchal misogyny.