The XX Factor

Fighting For Admission to the Casey Anthony Circus

On this week’s DoubleX Gabfest we talked about why the public is so fascinated with the Casey Anthony trial. I came up with a few main reasons. One, was that mothers who (allegedly) kill-like Casey, who is accused of murdering her toddler, Caylee-are always fascinating to people, because it’s such a primal, monstrous crime. Another was th e point that the New York Times ‘s Brian Stelter made over the weekend : That the HLN network and Nancy Grace in particular are fanning the flames of the public’s interest. Finally, the details of the crime are particularly lurid (today’s testimony from a forensic expert is about the maggots that were found in Casey’s trunk ), and Casey and Caylee so photogenic, that they provide endless tabloid fodder.

This potent combination has Orange County, Florida locals so worked up, that people are brawling outside the courtroom just to get a seat inside . I saw clips of people shoving each other and beginning to line up outside the courtroom at 1 a.m. on Monday, and the atmosphere outside has become even more of a powder keg over the past week. According to ABC News:

On Thursday night, people began lining up as early as 8:30 p.m. for a chance to attend today’s hearing. When the crowd was moving to a location closer to the courthouse entrance around 5 a.m., fists began to fly….The two men trying to cut to the front of the line began throwing punches and one lady is seen on camera punching another man to free her friend from a headlock. The fight was caught on video .

In our Gabfest discussion, I did not agree with Hanna that Nancy Grace should be drawn and quartered for her role in the frenzy surrounding the Anthony trial. Still,  people punching each other just to get an in-the-flesh glimpse at this sad story is pretty appalling.