Casey Anthony Airs Video Diary: Anyone Else See Red Flags?

COMMENTARY | In July 2011, Casey Anthony was acquitted of murder charges in her daughter Caylee Anthony’s 2008 death. Amid much public animosity, Anthony, the “most hated person in America,” went into hiding upon release from prison. Today, a video diary made by Anthony, and verified to be the Orlando, Fla., mother, hit the web, ABC News says. It’s the first look that the people have had of Anthony since she was dropped off somewhere Orange County, Fla., on July 17. I don’t know about anyone else, but seeing Anthony’s vlog sent up some major red flags for me.

Red flag: Anthony has always been something of a chameleon. She purposely styles herself to get a desired reaction. She’s sporting a new stacked, bleach-blonde bob, glasses and heavy makeup, but the self-involved, manipulator is still there. She’s clearly glad to be back in front of a camera. Gone is the biddable, waif-like Casey of the trial. She’s not overtly flirtatious, but she’s definitely fishing. Gone are the conservative, jury-appeasing tailored shirts and sweaters and back are the low-cut, sexy-Casey tops, too. It doesn’t seem possible, but Anthony seems to have escaped the entire ordeal having learned nothing except a firmer conviction of her own self-importance.

ABC says it’s not clear who put the videos on the internet, but it’s got to be Casey herself. She talks of having Skype, a computer, web cam and internet. Red flag: she wouldn’t be assembling those things if she wasn’t planning to broadcast from her hiding place. She expresses no mention of daughter Caylee, only that she’s looking forward to getting out of seclusion, meeting people and starting a new life. After all, she did mention wanting more children, ABC. Can’t do that alone. Anthony also talks of finally “having something she can call her own.” Red flag: ploy for sympathy and yet another Casey twist on reality: tell yourself you’re the suffering martyr and hopefully someone will believe you.

I think this video blogging is a bad idea. At the time of her acquittal, I was traveling between Louisiana and Michigan. Several flights were downed for weather. In every airport television across the country, the trial was televised. Travelers were debating the trial. Every time I flipped open my laptop, Anthony’s face was on every news source home page. Fellow passengers and I watched incredulously when Anthony’s “not guilty” verdict was handed down.

I wondered if maybe public furor had abated, but judging by the reaction to the video, I’d say not. In fact, it may be gaining momentum. In the few short hours it has been online, the vlog has exploded with hits and comments, almost unilaterally negative. Commenters have demanded why Anthony is still newsworthy, but that’s evident in the amount of attention her video is receiving. I think she’ll get attention alright, but not the kind she’s seeking. Old sins, acquitted or not, cast long shadows and public memory lasts longer than five months.

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