"It's a question we were hoping never to ask," GMA producer Brad Lanes told reporters. "It seems like we've been following this trial since before Sam Champion was gay. Every morning at exactly 7:30, our viewers could count on us to pound it into the ground like a railroad spike. And as the number one morning purveyor of lurid news, we've been honored keep them up to date on a story that doesn't affect their day-to-day life except as a sick spectacle."
Asked if it was ever difficult to make a choice between the Arias trial or another story, Lanes replied, "Well, you know, not everything is appropriate for the 'sweet spot,'" as he referred to the 7:30-7:45 section of GMA. "But the Newtown massacre, the Boston bombings -- we kind of felt obliged to cover those, you know? Now, initially, we thought, 'Well, the competition's going wall to wall with that stuff, why don't we just go on like business as usual?' But ultimately, we found that if we covered those stories with the classic GMA touch -- sad music, cheap emotion and, most important of all, relying on baseless speculation rather than solid information -- it would create the same morbid curiosity as the Arias case, and thus keep our fans happy until we were able to return to what they really wanted to see. And that sure ain't Benghazi!" Lanes chuckled.
Almost lost in the shuffle is the fate of GMA legal analysts Nancy Grace and Dan Abrams. The two lawyers, affectionately nicknamed The Yenta and The Yo-Yo by staffers, have been GMA fixtures since one of the program's secretaries discovered the Arias case while surfing the National Enquirer website on a coffee break. ("We find some of our best stories that way," admitted Lanes.) Grace's harpy-like personality vs Abrams' GQ model-wannabe demeanor have become part of the viewers' "sweet spot" routine as much as coffee and ignoring their children.
"For the time being, they can guess what Jodi's punishment will be," said Lanes. " And our fans know what they're going to get. Nancy foaming at the mouth, practically forcing her way into the death house to flip the switch herself. And Dan, just sitting there, eyes glazed, trying to look like he knows what he's talking about. It's why Good Morning America is number one."
But once the sentence is passed -- then what? "You mean if her lawyers don't win an appeal and we can't go through this appalling circus again?" a wistful-looking Lanes asked. "GMA fans have gotten used to the 'sweet spot' covering stories that, in another time, wouldn't have been discussed in polite society, and we just can't leave them hanging. Fortunately, the Cleveland house-of-horrors story broke at the perfect time. Between interviews with the survivors, recreations of the crimes and the way our legal system moves once the trial begins, that should float us for another three years, easy. It's almost like God was looking out for us."