John Oliver Has The Solution To The Supreme Court's Refusal To Videotape Supreme Court Hearings: Dogs

from the not-cats? dept

For many years, we've discussed the pure ridiculousness of the Supreme court's adamant refusal to allow cameras in the courtroom, along with the Justices' questionable justifications of the ban. Now it appears that John Oliver has taken up the issue as well, but unlike those just whining about it, Oliver (thanks to the resources of HBO) has a possible "solution." Dogs.
Oliver starts out mocking Justice Antonin Scalia's reason for barring cameras: that people would just see 15- or 30-second clips from the arguments, taking things out of context. Of course, as Oliver points out, that makes absolutely no sense, since the Supreme Court already releases audio of the hearings, and thus we already do hear the same clips -- it's just that they're generally paired with artistic renderings of the Justices instead of the actual video.

His solution -- using "an almost immoral amount of resources" -- is to present video representations of the entire Supreme Court... using dogs (and a couple of birds in supporting roles). And, Oliver claims, they're making those videos freely available to any other news provider who would like to create complete reenactments of any court case in a way that is cute and guaranteed to draw more attention than the court renderings, or, hell, actual videos if they were ever allowed. You can see the full ten minutes of footage (and, yes, I watched it all) right here:
That video also, helpfully, links to the Supreme Court's oral arguments audio page for people to download. And the video description notes:
Please feel free to use it, post your videos, and tag them #RealAnimalsFakePaws so we can find them.
The only disappointment is that whoever put it up, still officially left it under a "standard" license, rather than the Creative Commons license that YouTube makes available. Still, nice move by Oliver and his team.
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Filed Under: cameras, cameras in court, dogs, john oliver, supreme court, video, video of supreme court


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  1. icon
    randomjoe (profile), 21 Oct 2014 @ 4:09pm

    Should have just used Muppets

    Muppets don't need to fed or walked.

    And I'd like to hear Statler and Waldorf heckle the justices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2014 @ 4:25pm

    Why isn't EVERYTHING recorded? Anything I do in court is. Double standard anyone?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2014 @ 4:26pm

    Re:

    Because for hundreds of years, it wasn't. Traditionalism and all that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Alien Rebel (profile), 21 Oct 2014 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Should have just used Muppets

    I'd prefer to have a dog represent Scalia; I doubt any Muppet could drool as comically or reproduce Scalia's patented expression of self-satisfied approval after having just sniffed his own balls.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2014 @ 4:44pm

    overbearing laughtrack

    I wish John Oliver would use a different laughtrack, or at least a different laughtrack operator, as the current guy the show uses has a very heavy hand. Maybe it's supposed to be reminiscent of the 1970s era British TV comedies, with their overbearing laughtracks, but it would be most appreciated if there was some way to turn the volume down, or off.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    CharlieBrown, 21 Oct 2014 @ 6:01pm

    As soon as I saw this I thought "Techdirt will post something about this!" and I was right! Sometimes it is good to be right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Robert, 21 Oct 2014 @ 7:23pm

    Re: overbearing laughtrack

    Just like the Chicken, Picky.

    Use the link above to YouTube. No sound.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    John Fenderson (profile), 21 Oct 2014 @ 9:16pm

    Genius

    Just pure genius.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Ninja (profile), 22 Oct 2014 @ 2:14am

    Re: Genius

    Paw five!

    Ahem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), 22 Oct 2014 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Should have just used Muppets

    An unused muppet would capture Thomas' utter detachment from the proceedings, though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2014 @ 7:33am

    ...you know what would be nice?

    Being able to watch the show without using VPNs and proxies until 72 hours later.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2014 @ 8:22am

    Re:

    it is recorded. Audio only.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2014 @ 8:22am

    Re: overbearing laughtrack

    nice try. but we can see what you're doing here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 3:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Should have just used Muppets

    No way! Imagine the copyright fiasco that would ensue were Muppets used! It'd be a copyright tsunami!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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