The Paper of Record

Yes, it was an April Fools Day gag.  And a pretty good one, if you ask me.  Eric Turkewitz will not be the White House Law Blogger.  Hey, don’t blame me. I was just doing my part in the conspiracy.

But we did have some fun.  The New York Times got nailed:

But the New York Times didn’t bother to fact check. Not with me. Not with the White House. And not with Google, which already had the stories from both the ABAJournal and the WSJ by the time they ran the story at 2:05. The Paper of Record blogged in it’s City Room this piece on When Lawyers Blog :


…After all, as Mr. Turkewitz, a Manhattan lawyer, writes on his New York Personal Injury Law Blog, he is about to be sounding off on all manner of legal issues as the Obama administration’s new White House law blogger.

“Excited about new blogging gig as White House law blogger,” he tweeted this morning. “But hope I don’t have to spend too much time in D.C.”

Spoken like a true New Yorker.

At 4:45, I received a phone call from an infuriated “Andy Newman” from the New York Times demanding to know if this was an April Fool’s joke. Unlike the classy Ashby Jones, Newman had zero sense of humor and demanded that I answer “as an officer of the court” or he would pull the post down.

I tried not to laugh, and told him that due to concerns in the White House about me jumping the gun on the story (as per Orin Kerr’s post @ Volokh), I really shouldn’t say anything and would clear it up tomorrow. This clearly wasn’t good enough for him as he hung up on me, and down came the NYT post. The Times, I guess, doesn’t like being punked on April Fool’s Day.

The part that gets me is where Andy Newman from the Times demands that Turk answer “as an officer of the court.”  I can’t even type those words without laughing.  (I’ve actually taken a break from writing so that I can stop laughing.  Okay, I’m back.)  What is it with non-lawyer who think that invoking the officer of the court language makes them think that we’re required to get all serious and tell them what they want to know?  Come on, Andy.  Are you in third grade?

I applaud the efforts of my co-conspirators, Patrick at Popehat, Orin Kerr at Volokh Conspiracy (obviously, Kerr is a much more experienced conspirator than the rest of us), David Lat and Kash at Above the Law , Doug Mataconis at Below the Beltway, and Walter Olson at Overlawyered, who was there in reserve.

And to the leader of the conspiracy, Eric the Turk, it was an audacious effort and you are a brilliant prankster.

If I sometimes think that comments here get a bit inane, it’s worth noting that the comments to Orin’s post ended up in a raucous birther debate, as did the comments to Patrick’s post.  How it went down that path is beyond me, other than the sheer, unmitigated hatred that some nutjobs have and their compulsion to express it at any opportunity.  Here’s a bit of inside baseball for blawg readers: Some of you are just totally nuts.  For the ones who aren’t, you’ve got no idea what blawgers put up with behind the scenes.  If it wasn’t for the vast wealth and fame this brings us, it wouldn’t be worth it.

For anyone who finds all this too frivolous for their taste, particularly in light of the multitude of serious issues confronting the world, lighten up.  There’s room for a little fun.

3 comments on “The Paper of Record

  1. Sojourner

    Why am I not at all surprised? Scott you are one in 9 billion. This is why we love and adore you, and are happy you are in the world (one of the many reasons).

  2. Stephen

    It’s a bit like how if you’re selling drugs to someone and you ask them “are you a cop?” they legally have to tell you.

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