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Court Cases

Cable News Covers Ariel Castro, The Cleveland Kidnapper, Pleading Guilty

The man who kidnapped Amanda Berry and other young girls in Cleveland pled guilty today, and cable news covered it live. HLN, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and even Fox Business covered some or all of the hearing live.

Ariel Castro kidnapped and held Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight for years, with Berry giving birth to his child. With his guilty plea he will get life in prison with no parole, plus 1,000 years.

He will not get the death penalty, and the women he kidnapped will not have to testify.

“I knew I was pretty much going to get the book thrown at me,” Castro said, coldly, at the hearing.

The revelation of the kidnapping dominated the news cycle in May.

Robin Roberts Interviews Juror B29 In The George Zimmerman Trial

On “Good Morning America,” Robin Roberts showed her full interview with Juror B29, also known as “Maddy,” in the George Zimmerman trial. As we noted yesterday, Maddy was the only minority juror in the trial.

Maddy’s comments were starkly different than the comments made by Juror B37 to Anderson Cooper earlier this month.

“George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can’t get away from God. And at the end of the day, he’s going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with,” Maddy said. “[But] the law couldn’t prove it.”

WATCH:

ABC News’ Robin Roberts Secures Interview With Another Zimmerman Juror

Another juror in the George Zimmerman trial is stepping forward for an interview, and this time her identity will not be hidden by shadows.

ABC News “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts interviewed juror B29 (her name is “Maddy) today, in a well-lit studio (see the photo to the left). “Maddy” was the only minority juror in the Zimmerman trial.

The new interview is in stark contrast to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper‘s interview of juror B37, whose identity was hidden in darkness earlier this month. Juror B37 also hastily announced and subsequently canceled a book about the trial.

Portions of “Maddy”‘s interview will air tonight on “ABC World news with Diane Sawyer” and on “Nightline,” with the full interview airing on “GMA” tomorrow morning.

President Obama Comments on Zimmerman Verdict in Surprise Briefing Room Appearance

President Obama made a surprise appearance in the White House Briefing Room this afternoon to expand on an earlier statement about the ruling in the George Zimmerman trial.

Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, as well as all three business networks, took the news conference live. David Muir anchored a special report on ABC that began at 1:47 p.m., just as Obama was finishing up his remarks. ABC aired an abbreviated version of the President’s remarks on tape.

“There are very few African-American men,” said the president, “who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me. At least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.”

Obama did not take questions, but said the administration would try to arrange for a press conference to take questions on other topics, including the economy and immigration reform, in the coming weeks.

>Update: NBC News covered highlights from Obama’s remarks in a special report at 3:01 p.m. anchored by Brian Williams with Chuck Todd.

Trayvon Martin’s Parents Begin To Make TV Rounds With Morning Show Appearances

The parents of Trayvon Martin, the teenager killed by George Zimmerman last year, are beginning to speak out publicly following Zimmerman’s acquittal last weekend.

This morning Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America”, NBC’s “Today” and “CBS This Morning”:

TVNewser hears that there was some behind the scenes drama with regard to the interviews. They were all to be pre-taped, but the parents stayed a bit long at ABC’s studios chatting with George Stephanopoulos. As a result, they didn’t get to the CBS Broadcast Center until 6:50, and weren’t able to leave for NBC until 6:59, which forced “Today” to scramble and shift segments to fill its A-block until they arrived.

Today, they will be appearing on a number of cable news programs, including MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” and CNN’s “AC360.”

Juror B37: ‘There will be no other interviews’

The juror in the George Zimmerman trial that spoke to CNN’s Anderson Cooper and (briefly) had a book deal has released a statement to CNN saying that “There will be no other interviews.”

The impetus for the new statement was a statement from four other jurors in the case, who co-signed a statement disputing B37′s account of deliberations to Cooper.

“We also wish to point out that the opinions of Juror B37, expressed on the Anderson Cooper show were her own, and not in any way representative of the jurors listed below.”

In her statement, Juror B37 also says the book deal announced earlier this week ended when she realized the media circus the trial had become. “The relationship with the agent ceased the moment I realized what had been occurring in the world during the weeks of my sequestration.”

Her full statement is below, courtesy of CNN.
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Ratings: HLN Strong on Saturday, As Viewers Turned to Cable News

The final numbers are in from Saturday evening, when the verdict was read in the George Zimmerman trial. The numbers from 10PM-1AM remain more or less the same, though it is interesting to see how viewers began to tune in throughout the day.

While all the channels were seeing higher than average viewership for a Saturday morning, the numbers really began to spike around 11 AM. As the day went on, the numbers slowly inched up among the channels. At 12 PM, about 3.4 million people were watching Fox News, CNN, HLN and MSNBC. By 4 PM that was up to 3.9 million people, and at 8 PM 5.8 million people. Ratings culminated at 10 PM when the verdict was read with nearly 11 million people tuning in.

HLN had a very strong day, as it topped both CNN and Fox News in total and demo viewers during most of the hours from 12 PM to 8 PM. Once primetime rolled around, the two more mainstream channels surpassed HLN in total viewers, although it continued to perform strong in the demo.

In primetime (8-11 PM), Fox News led the way in total viewers, followed by CNN and HLN. Among adults 25-54, CNN led the way, followed by HLN  and then Fox News. That order was also the case for total day viewership.

The Scoreboard will be up later today, with the final numbers. Below, however, are the numbers from 11 AM to 4 PM.
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Anderson Cooper Interviews Zimmerman Juror: ‘I Think He’s Guilty of Not Using Good Judgment’

Just before he went on the air tonight, CNN’s Anderson Cooper got the first interview with one of the six jurors who acquitted George Zimmerman Saturday night. The woman, in silhouette and identified by her juror number, B37, said Zimmerman was “guilty of not using good judgment… he shouldn’t have gotten out of that car.” She says all but one juror felt that screaming voice on the 911 call was George Zimmerman.

She said just as they began deliberations the six women jurors cried, then took a vote as to where they stood: “There were three not guiltys, one second-degree murder and two manslaughters,” she said. B37 was among those voting not guilty.

“It’s a tragedy this happened. But it happened,” she said through tears. “I think both were responsible for the situation they had gotten themselves into. I think they both could have walked away.” (Video after the jump)

B37 is the first of the jurors to speak out. She is the juror that GalleyCat reported on earlier today, who has signed with a literary agent and may write a book about the case. Cooper said B37 would not be doing any further interviews adding, “she kind of just wants to be left alone.”

Other notable interviews stemming from the case today: Barbara Walters spoke with Zimmerman’s parents who say they are in hiding, as is their son. HLN’s Vinnie Politano spoke with the prosecutors in the case. One of them, Angela Corey, was asked to describe Zimmerman in a word. She says “murderer.” (Airing at 10pmET on HLN). At 9pmET, Piers Morgan speaks with Rachel Jeantel, who was on the phone with Martin when the confrontation began. Also at 9pmET, FNC’s Sean Hannity will speak with Zimmerman’s attorneys, who have been making the rounds in New York.

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Ratings: More Than 10 Million People Watch Cable News As Zimmerman Verdict Read

Preliminary ratings from Nielsen for Saturday night show massive cable news viewership as the verdict came in the George Zimmerman trial.

All told, more than 10 million people watched the four cable news channels as the verdict came in, with likely millions more watching on broadcast.

From 10 PM-11 AM, when the verdict came in, Fox News led the way in total viewers, while CNN was tops in the adults 25-54 demo. HLN placed third in both categories, followed by MSNBC. That was also the case for the 10 PM-1 AM average, which is when all the cable channels dedicated their live coverage to covering the verdict and the analysis that followed.

The numbers for all the channels are many times higher than the typical cable news viewership for a Saturday night.

The preliminary numbers are below, the finals will be available tomorrow:

10-11PM ET

Fox News: 3,682,000 total viewers / 1,113,000 A25-54
CNN: 3,407,000 total viewers / 1,716,000 A25-54
HLN: 2,203,000 total viewers / 980,000 A25-54
MSNBC: 1,298,000 total viewers / 510,000 A25-54

10PM- 1AM

Fox News: 2,712,000 total viewers / 896,000 A25-54
CNN: 2,418,000 total viewers / 1,241,000 A25-54
HLN: 1,435,000 total viewers / 690,000 A25-54
MSNBC: 929,000 total viewers / 404,000 A25-54

With ‘Not Guilty’ Verdict, Zimmerman Legal Team Sets Sights On NBC And The Media

With the “not guilty” verdict last night in the George Zimmerman trial, Zimmerman’s attorneys are setting their sights on the media… most notably NBC News.

It was on NBC’s “Today,” regular readers may recall, that a severely out of context spliced clip of Zimmerman was played. A number of NBC News staffers lost their jobs over the edits, and Zimmerman’s legal team subsequently sued.

That case was put to the side, pending the outcome of the criminal trial, but now that Zimmerman has been found not guilty, they plan to move forward. The Washington Post has more:

“We’re going to start in earnest asap, we just have to get the stay lifted which is a ministerial act,” says Beasley, a Philadelphia lawyer, via e-mail.

During the post-trial press conference, Zimmerman’s lawyer Mark O’Mara criticized the media for playing “mad scientist” and portraying Zimmerman as a “monster.” USA Today has the video.

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