Just Above Sunset
April 11, 2004 - You don't mess with Fat Tony.
You don’t mess with Fat Tony. This is, after all, America… Well, it this case it was Mississippi, actually.
When Supreme Court Justice
Antonin Scalia spoke to high school students this week about the importance of protecting constitutional rights, he seems
to have been being ironic. He does have an odd sense of humor, and you don’t
mess with him.
While U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to high school students on Wednesday about
the importance of protecting the rights provided by the Constitution, the recording devices of two reporters were confiscated
by a federal marshal.
Ah well, he may have had
his reasons. He’d been stung before.
After Associated Press reporter Denise Grones balked, the marshal took her digital recorder and
erased its contents -- after Grones explained how the machine worked. The marshal
also asked Hattiesburg American reporter Antoinette Konz to hand over a cassette tape and returned it, erased, after the event.
Is this a big deal? Is this 1980 law really that important?
I think that was a no. He will not recuse himself.
Rick in Atlanta, who worked his way up through the Associated Press and was one of the founders of CNN added this:
Except for the fact that I'm glad I wasn't the reporter assigned to cover such a boring event, I actually wish I were that reporter. I would have demanded the marshal get a warrant, which means they would never have gotten their hands on the device. The "authorities" don't have that authority, and the reporters should not have surrendered the materials.
The proper (and, I think, legal) way to deal with a situation in which a "performer," whether they be SCOTUS justice or hip-hop singer, demands that no recordings be made during the performance, is to catch attendees coming in to the hall, and deny entry to anyone who refuses to play by the rules of the house.
The fact that this happened during a Scalia performance is precious. AP should make a federal case out of it; then we'd get to see if the entire Supreme Court recuses itself, assuming it ever gets that high! Now, that would be interesting!
Yep, that would be interesting. Don’t hold your breath. Scalia is now claiming everyone knows he doesn’t like being photographed or recorded. That’s long been his policy too – no recordings, no photos. Everyone should have known that. The rules were implicit.
Why? It’s just the way he is. No deep, dark reason here. He’s shy?
But you don’t mess with this guy.
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