April 18, 2006

Priest's trial has potential to be circus

Toledo Blade

Russ Lemmon

With jury selection in the murder trial of the Rev. Gerald Robinson scheduled to begin today, media attention is at the "frenzy" level – which, given the circumstances of the case, is not unexpected.

The sensationalism potential in this trial is so high, though, that things could quickly escalate to the next level – that is, the dreaded media "circus."

Court TV plans to offer gavel-to-gavel coverage of the trial beginning with the opening statements, which could come later this week. Two heavyweights of the newspaper industry, the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, are expected to have reporters in Toledo.

Coverage by those three media entities alone means millions of people across the country will be aware of the proceedings in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. Competitive pressures likely will force other national media, such as Fox News Channel and CNN, to provide coverage of the trial.

If the trial becomes a topic on CNN's Larry King Live, complete with a panel of legal and forensic experts discussing the case, look out. At that point, we would go from circus "watch" to "warning."

Posted by kshaw at April 18, 2006 07:04 AM