It was a hot and messy morning for news media at the Supreme Court. The temperature was in the sweaty upper 80s and in addition to all the reporters, crammed onto the court’s sidewalk were TV camera crews (with their all their chunky equipment), tourists looking for real celebrities and hundreds of riled up activists blowing hot air on everyone’s neck.
Good times. FBDC took a look around the scene.
At around 8 a.m there were about 200 people on site, half were activists holding up signs for or against the Affordable Care Act. The other half were broadcast news crews who appeared to have been in place for several hours to secure a good space.
Later, another two hundred or so people showed up. We ran into The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas (a.k.a. Politico‘s Alexander Burns) and the Washington Examiner‘s Tim Carney mid conversation. Pappas said he had been outside the Supreme Court since 9 a.m. Carney, who told us he has noticed a recent surge in people confusing him with White House Press Sec. Jay Carney, had just arrived. Pappas and Carney had a brief chat about HBO’s new series The Newsroom. Carney is not an HBO subscriber, so he hasn’t seen it. Pappas, however, is an avid Aaron Sorkin fan and said he watched. “I hope it gets better,” he said.
Shortly thereafter we see Current TV correspondent David Shuster conducting an on-camera interview with an inattentive guest who kept checking his cell phone. Apparently there were hiccups in production. Shuster’s producer Daniel Marans told us, in the faintest of baby whispers, that the audio equipment was on the fritz (likely from all the noisy protesters around), so he couldn’t talk to us for long.
We moved on and stumbled across Yahoo! News‘ Chris Moody who, despite the heat and godawful humidity, looked perfectly cool. This was around the time that CNN botched its breaking news report which incorrectly stated that the Supreme Court had ruled against the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act. Pictured to the right is Moody fulfilling his civic duty and explaining to an inquisitive passerby that the Court had actually ruled the mandate Constitutional.
Side note: While CNN did inaccurately “break” the news on the Supreme Court’s decision, others also got it wrong but somehow have escaped the media glare. They include: FNC and NYP. SCOTUSblog, meanwhile, had its own writeup on the decision before AP did. SCOTUSblog and its small team of reporters were featured in WaPo Wednesday. The blog, sponsored by Bloomberg, on average has about 1,500 visitors each day. In light of the high-profile ruling on the Affordable Care Act, it saw a surge in traffic and was preparing for possibly 250,000 on decision day.
As the news broke, reporters scattered to get reaction from activists standing nearby. We overheard one chubby brunette talking on her cell phone as she walked away from an on-camera interview: “It was a f***ing setup. They put me up against some cute little blond girl,” she said.
Notables: Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) seen driving away from the Supreme Court in a Lexus RX 400, co-anchor of ABC’s Nightline Terry Moran, FNC’s Greta Van Susteren, Griff Jenkins and Shannon Bream and former Democratic Rep. David Wu chatting up three young women. No, he wasn’t wearing a tiger costume.
More photos after the jump.