Ratings figures for the broadcast and cable networks that carried the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial are still not in, but CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News were able to measure the number of online users who watched the verdict on computers, smartphones, and tablets Tuesday. CNN reported early today (Wednesday) that its 2 00-3 00 p.m. coverage on CNN.cm/live attracted over 1 million viewers -- 30 times higher than average. Those checking out the site for regular news coverage accessed 12 million page views on CNN.com, which was 4 times higher than the website's average. MSNBC.com said that 1.25 million streams were fed of the live verdict. And FoxNews.com said it delivered 600,000 live streams of the verdict -- which, it said, was 10 percent higher than its previous record (the announcement of the death of Osama bind Laden). Most cable news commentators pounced on the verdict. On CNN's sister station HLN, Nancy Grace, who has been covering the trial in Orlando, remarked, "The devil is dancing tonight." But one of Anthony's attorneys, Cheney Mason, told reporters during a news conference, "I hope that this is a lesson to those of you having indulged in media assassination for three years." Fox News's Geraldo Rivera set off a storm within his own network after he congratulated Anthony's attorneys on the outcome and insisted that the reasonable-doubt standard had not been met. He later got into a shouting match with fellow Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly over that remark. O'Reilly's guest Bernard Goldberg also slammed Rivera, remarking that he wouldn't have been "so open-minded if, let's say, a militia man in Arizona was accused of killing a Hispanic immigrant."

06/07/2011