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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Casey Anthony's parents seem to disagree on daughter's guilt in Dr. Phil interview

13

September

cindy-anthony_320.jpgIs this the shape of daytime TV in the post-Oprah age?

Casey Anthony’s mother telling Dr. Phil McGraw her daughter may have had seizures which led her to cover up her 2-year-old daughter Caylee’s death for weeks, while husband George looks on in disbelief?

As a new flood of daytime talkers debut on television following the Queen of All Media’s departure, what seems most obvious is the tabloid-fueled depths they’re willing to sink to while trolling for Winfrey’s old fans.

On Monday, Anderson Cooper interviewed relatives of troubled pop star Amy Winehouse about her July death, while Wendy Williams will give Charlie Sheen more airtime Monday to explain how his appetites lost him TV’s best-paying gig.

But Exhibit A came Tuesday in the first installment of McGraw’s two-part interview with the Anthonys; parents already excoriated by critics saying they moved too slowly to challenge their daughter’s thin lies about Caylee’s disappearance.

Cindy Anthony did little to change that analysis, suggesting a host of excuses  for her daughter’s actions. For example: a smiling Casey Anthony participated in a “hot body” contest while her daughter was presumably dead to help out a friend who couldn’t do it.

The one possibility Cindy Anthony wouldn’t entertain: McGraw’s suggestion that her daughter might be a “unconscionable psychopath.”

george_cindy_anthony.jpgTurns out, Cindy Anthony had practice making excuses for family members. George Anthony admitted he and Cindy nearly divorced in 2006, after the family learned he had secretly racked up $30,000 in gambling debts – bills he once suggested paying off by selling the family home.

By the time Casey admitted her daughter had been missing for 31 days -- claiming a mysterious “Zanny the Nanny had kidnapped her – the Anthonys hadn’t seen their grandchild in a month, had never met her nanny, didn’t know who the child’s father was, hadn’t met Casey Anthony’s current boyfriend, suspected Casey was stealing money from them and hadn’t verified her claims that she worked for Universal Studios, which turned out to be false.

George Anthony left little doubt he doesn’t share his wife’s uncertainty about Casey’s guilt (perhaps because her attorney accused him of helping cover up the crime during the trial).

“There’s some things Cindy and I don’t agree (on),” said George Anthony. “I could not be out celebrating and having a good time (while Caylee was missing).”

McGraw bottom-lined Cindy Anthony as a woman “desperate” to find any excuse for her daughter.

Then, he offered an odd spasm of self-righteousness, saying he would never interview Casey Anthony because her actions said enough (more likely, he couldn’t afford the hefty price tag Anthony’s lawyers want for interviews.) Moments earlier, the show aired commercials touting future interviews with homeless announcer Ted Williams and Bristol Palin’s baby daddy Levi Johnston, so we know where his bread’s really buttered.

Despite McGraw’s efforts to look noble – saying he donated money to a charity the Anthony’s have founded instead of paying them directly – the host is obviously wading in the muck to nab headlines and win viewers.

The interview’s second part is scheduled at 4 p.m. today on WTSP-Ch. 10.

Wonder what his old mentor Oprah would think?

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 8:03pm]

    

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