Media Circus Awaits A Jackson Verdict…

By Brian 

“You know what would be a great way to kick off the weekend? With a verdict,” FNC’s Shep Smith said this afternoon. (That’s what I love about Shep: He’s not afraid to say what we’re all thinking.) On Studio B, Shep defended all the Michael Jackson trial coverage: “This is the biggest star ever in the history of the country to ever face allegations like this…This is going to be an enormous story.” It already is! MSNBC has placed a “jury deliberations” clock on-screen. Other trial notes:

> Greta Van Susteren prints another e-mail from Laura Ingle: Today “over 300 people showed up this morning for public lottery, many of them ‘bookers’ for the various networks. They tell me they want to get in there not only to hear the closing, but most importantly to see the faces of the jurors, so they know who they need to ‘stalk’ after the verdict to get the best interviews for their shows.”

> On MSNBC just now, Monica Crowley asked Harvey Levin if the public really cares about the Jackson trial: “I think in large part it’s reporters feeding the story, at least up until this point, when it’s legitimately riveting” as a verdict nears, Levin said. Guest host Craig Crawford disagreed: “I think the market’s driving the coverage here.”

> “The media circus is much less of a circus than I anticipated,” MSNBC’s Lisa Daniels blogs. “Many of the journalists here are tired.” Daniels says here is an “interesting mix of camaraderie and competition. We are united by this strange story, but driven by our zeal to cover the story better than the competition.”

> “We have lots of television shows that need to fill lots of time and there are lots of pundits that need to jibber jabber endlessly and fill that time,” Jackson biographer and CBS News analyst J Randy Taraborrelli tells the BBC…