Sunday, November 06, 2005

Porco Pics

Chris Porco being paraded before the media on Friday.Judge Jeffrey Berry allowed a TV news camera in the courtroom to provide pool coverage of Christopher Porco's arraignment on Friday, but he stipulated that it was only there to provide still images of the proceedings. If it's OK to allow cameras in to show images of the arraignment, how much different is it to allow the use of full video and sound? Not much, by my judgment. If anything, Berry made matters worse.

What the Judge did Friday was limit the usable images of Christopher Porco to the ones shot outside the courtroom, essentially those that show him being lead around in shackles by sheriff's deputies. Is this supposed to help preserve the presumption of Mr. Porco's innocence? Opponents of cameras in the courts say they want to prevent trials from becoming a media circus; What they've actually done is turned the front steps and corridors of our courts into freak shows. Where would you rather have your client seen? In the calm, controlled setting of the courtroom ---or in chains, being chased down the hall by a pack of photographers?

The beast will be fed, one way or another. Why not do it where you can exercise some control over things?