Friday, January 18, 2008

ABA Journal mentions Trials & Tribulations

Sometime last summer, late August actually, I was contacted through the blog by Stephanie Ward from the American Bar Association Journal (ABA), asking me for an interview. I was intrigued because I wondered why the ABA Journal would want to interview me.

In her email Ms. Ward said she recently found my blog and was really enjoying my in court reporting. She also said she was interested in why I was "pulled from the press section," and she thought that might be an interesting article for the ABA Journal. I was dumbfounded that the ABA Journal had any interest in a mere blogger. This was after I was told I would have to sit in the back row of the courtroom (Remember that, lol?) and after I had made my decision to walk away from the trial.

At the time I spoke to Ms. Ward, she did not know if her editors would pick up the story or not, but she would let me know. Less than a month went by before I heard from her again when she told me the ABA did want to go with the story about "crime trial blogging." I had no idea when the story would be published and after awhile I totally forgot about it. In checking my STATS page a few days ago, I found someone had reached my blog through a link from the ABA Journal. That's when I knew that the story had finally been published. It appeared in the January 2008 issue which took me totally by surprise. Two other bloggers are also featured in the article. Here is the online copy of the January article.

Overall, I think Ms. Ward was quite kind to me and the other bloggers mentioned. She acknowledges that bloggers are here to stay. This reminds me of something a reporter said during the Spector jury site visit, while I was hanging out with all the "real" reporters in the staging area. I had congratulated Carolyn Kellogg that two of her fellow bloggers at LAist had been picked up by respected papers. One of the reporters in that group, I can't remember who it was specifically, said, "Bloggers are the new trout pond," indicating that the mainstream media (MSM) pays attention to certain parts of the blogger sphere and looks to bloggers for the next emerging talent. So, what does this mean? There are individuals that blog that are respected by both the public and the MSM. Steve Huff is an excellent example.

I do have to point out some nuances in the article. Ms. Ward led off her piece with a statement
she attributed to me, but was actually made by a guest commentator to the blog, my good friend Sedonia Sunset. Sedonia Sunset did a fabulous piece that was originally posted on the now defunct CTV message board, detailing her observations of all the major participants in the trial, several of the witnesses and their testimony. She also made some visual comparisons to many of Spector's witnesses to other real life characters. It was well done and had a sense of truth to it as well as comic relief and spot on reality.

Another nuance was the part about Juror #9, Ricardo Enriquez. First off, I did not write the entry that Enriquez responded to; a guest commentator did. And second, the blog entry by the guest commentator did not state that Juror #9 was one of the not guilty voters, but originally stated that Juror #3 was one of the holdout votes. That's what Enriquez read and responded to. The entry was later changed to reflect the correct juror numbers after Enriquez contacted me to tell me who the actual two holdout jurors were. And I have to add here, I had the best time talking to him on the phone. He is a delightfully funny person.

Roger Rosen. Just those two words could be a whole blog entry, but I really don't have the time to waste. What I will say is, that it is my belief that Rosen is being disingenuous when he is quoted by Ms. Ward that he "never read" Trials and Tribulations. I know for a fact that one of the defense team's staff was reading my blog. When I was in the courtroom, I paid attention when new faces ended up sitting on the defense side of the room. I noticed when this slender woman who usually wore a black or navy suit, her dark brown almost black hair pinned up on her head, showed up in the courtroom. It was obvious from the way she dressed, carried herself and the fact that she spoke with the defense attorneys assigned to the case, that she worked for Spector's defense team. Back on August 25th, I wrote the following:

I know for a fact that the defense team reads my blog. Their clerk had a HUGE stack of paper she was carrying, almost an inch thick, and the top page, was my blog header, very distinct with the deep maroon Trial & Tribulations text.
On August 16th, Judge Fidler started out the morning admonishing me for supposedly talking so loud the jurors overheard me. Fidler was given inaccurate information and he made a point to apologize to me the next day that court was in session on August 21st. Here is the YouTube video of that apology. However, at the morning break outside the presence of the jury on the day I was admonished, Rosen stood up and made this statement in open court, a request from "the family." Although Rosen did not mention my name or my blog, it was clear he was talking about me and it's clear that Fidler understood who he was referencing.

Now, do any of you logically thinking individuals out there honestly believe that Roger Rosen, defending a client in a murder trial, would stand up before Judge Fidler and make a complaint about my blog writings for "the family" that he now says he never read? Give me a forkin' break. If you believe that, I've got a spare Golden Gate Bridge in my back pocket that I'll be happy to sell you.

Thank you ABA Journal for shedding light on the fact that bloggers can be a significant source of information regarding criminal trial reporting.

Special thanks to Sedonia Sunset for putting up the YouTube videos. I can never thank you enough for all you help and support.