News 13: Viewers alerted station about ‘finger’ guy

Our Sponsors

Court TV cameras capture a local restaurant worker flipping a bird in court during the Casey Anthony trial.
Court TV cameras capture a local restaurant worker flipping a bird in court during the Casey Anthony trial.

Central Florida News 13 says it was its viewers who first noticed Matthew Bartlett’s “middle finger of affection” — as Judge Belvin Perry called it — during the Casey Anthony trial.

Bartlett, the 28-year-old restaurant server, admitted in court that he flipped a bird at prosecutor Jeff Ashton. But Ashton didn’t see the incident — and just about everyone else missed it to. Except News 13, which notified the court.

“Our viewers first brought it to our attention,” News 13 general manager Robin Smythe told Orlando Sentinel TV Guy Hal Boedeker. “It was offensive to them. We took a look at it. If we were going to provide live coverage, it’s obscene behavior. Our viewers did not like this. We got a lot of calls.”

As to why News 13 alerted the court: “We have a responsibility,” Smythe said. “It was not an effort to be a tattletale. We have an obligation to keep it clean, and we’re going to do that for our viewers.”

Perry found Bartlett in contempt of court and sentenced him to six days in jail.

About Roger Simmons 549 Articles

Roger Simmons has been blogging about Orlando television since 2001. You can email him at roger@rogersimmons.com

1 Comment

  1. She got away with murder. It’s that simple.

    Who on that jury bullied the others into closing their minds to what is as obvious as the Scott Peterson case.

    Accidental perhaps, but murder never the less. She got off, just like O.J. Simpson got off.

    Did no one on the jury think her failure to report a missing child for a month might be a clue?

    Who decided to brand the family dysfunctional? Show me a functional family.

    She got away with murder. I’m stunned.

Comments are closed.