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Trial disclosure shows what ABC News spends money on

As network news divisions continue to make cuts in their production and reporting ranks from around the globe, one can't help but wonder what they will spend money on.

One answer to that question emerged Friday. In the trial of Casey Anthony, a Florida woman accused of murdering her daughter Caylee, defense attorneys said ABC News had paid her family $200,000, which was used for her case.

In a statement, ABC News said, "In August 2008 we licensed exclusive rights to an extensive library of photos and home video for use by our broadcasts, platforms, affiliates and international partners. No use of the material was tied to any interview."

Uh huh.

This revelation follows one last month from the Orlando Sentinel that ABC News also put up members of the Anthony family for a few days at a Ritz-Carlton in Florida.

Last month, ABC announced it was laying off up to 20% of its staff and restructuring its news division operations. One could hope that it will also start to reconsider what it allocates its dwindling resources on. The money and time spent on a murder trial that, though tragic, hardly rises to the level of national news and could surely be put to better use elsewhere.

-- Joe Flint

Comments () | Archives (7)

agreeance. Ritz Carlton?
If you're going to pay victims, then go down to Haiti and give $100 bills to 2,000 peeps

ABC wastes money left and right. Rumor has it there was an uproar when lunch could no longer be written off as a business expense.

Huh? Is the issue that they have other things to spend $200K on, or is the issue that they gave ANYTHING to Casey Anthony?

What are the ethical journalistic issues (sorry, I forgot for that journalists have no ethics) of giving Casey Anthony anything more than paying for a meal or two during an interview.)

What legitimate reason does ABC have for paying anything to Anthony?

"One could hope that it will also start to reconsider what it allocates its dwindling resources on"

Are we shocked at this revelation? What does one expect when 'news' organizations focus on sensationalism and news-tainment instead of intellectual and critical analysis of issues and events that impact our lives?

Just think, if we had the journalistic integrity and commitment of the informed, articulate and educated professionals of 40 years ago, we would not have had the scope of disaster of this Great Recession caused by the chicanery of the banks (stories about Sherman anti-Trust Act and bank monopolies); the four corporate media titans (stories about Sherman anti-Trust act, monopolies, how a foreigner (Murdoch) became so powerful in an American industry that once barred foreign ownership); how the corporate farms are an extension of how corporate giants like Monsanto possibly colluded with midwest regional banks in the early 1980s to evict farmers of their land, then later placed it's attorney (Clarence Thomas) onto the Supreme Court where Monsanto somehow was awarded patent laws on seeds...

Just think of how our society today would be much different if money was not used for news-tainment.

I am even more surprised no one has commented on the irony that Walt Disney Company owns ABC, so in effect is is Disney paying $200,000 for the rights to info on a baby killer.

I agree with Mr. Flint. I think it's ludicrous to spend money the network is struggling to put together to mollify two people initially thought suspects in either the murder or coverup re: Caylee Anthony. This may be the beginning of the end. If "checkbook journalism" is allowed to flourish, then the network will probably go back to the style of news report aired in the early to mid-1950's with no less than the legendary John Daly("What's My Line?")as anchor. IIRC, he sat before a backdrop reading the news "at the dinner hour". If ABC wants pictures, it can outsource the technical aspects to a private concern. Just whip out that checkbook...so, if there was considerable money for Cindy and George(around $205K, plus a stay in a fancy NY hotel and an elaborate dinner), why not for the accusers who allege George had dealings with a woman who paid him $5K, presumably for the search fund, and turned around and sold their story to the Enquirer?

And this coming from the financial shipwreck called the LAT.


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