What we're hearing is that Linda Greenhouse wanted to be as free as possible to criticize the Supreme Court's recent turn to the right -- without having to worry about such pesky things as, you know, "impartiality"....ADDED: More here:
And criticize Greenhouse did, after she had the cameras killed. We understand that Linda Greenhouse had some not-so-nice things to say about the latest SCOTUS Term as a participant on the panel.
During the question-and-answer session, someone asked about the so-called "Greenhouse effect" -- LG's ability to influence the Court through her coverage (due to the desire of some justices, such as Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, to win favorable press in the New York Times). In response to this question, apparently Greenhouse said something along these lines: "I WISH I had more influence on the Court, given some of the decisions from this Term!"
Greenhouse said that she had come prepared to speak to a “room of academics.” She added, “I didn’t want to have to modulate my comments for a national audience.”...
Perhaps the longtime Times reporter has grown wary of too much public attention because of the bad press she received last summer after a speech she gave at Radcliffe College....
At the very least, the public was denied the chance to listen in on what turned out to be an interesting discussion. And at worst, a New York Times reporter used the power that comes from being associated with the Times to prove nothing more than that she could get her way.
MORE: Slate's Jack Shafer notes the controversy and asks "Does a reporter have a duty to appear on C-Span?"
CJR's Beckerman writes that Greenhouse may have "used the power that comes from being associated with the Times to prove nothing more than that she could get her way." That speculation would have bite if somebody could prove, for example, that Greenhouse demands that Washington Week's producers serve only yellow M&Ms in its green room as a condition of appearing on the show. But they can't. Greenhouse can be stubborn, but I've never known her to lord it over others. Besides, what sort of diva agrees to appear gratis on a huge panel of colleagues to talk to a roomful of out-of-town academics about her profession? Case not proved.