I Was A Court TV Wannabe
February 26, 2005
It took a long time to detox. For months, I missed the limousine rides, the breathless chatter in the glare of the television studio lights. I even harbored fantasies of chucking the law and devoting myself to chatter. Truth?
I was a Court TV junky. My drug of choice? Catherine Crier.
It started easily enough. I once represented a woman notorious enough to be the talk of the airwaves.Sneaking into Yale One day the phone rang. Would I appear on television? You bethca I would. I am a media whore, eager to spread my lips.
The limo arrived and I was whisked to New York City. A quick stop in a make-up room, and wham, bam, thank you, Ma'am, I was sitting pretty on Court TV. And there was Catherine Crier, acting as though we were long-lost friends. She has the easy familiarity that comes of prime-time TV; she can read a teleprompter over your shoulder, look you in the eye, and actually make you feel welcome.
I was invited back thereafter to talk about cases not my own. Here's how it works. You get the call. Can you appear on such and such a day? Sure, you say, cancelling court appearances. A facsimile arrives describing the case de jour. You read the fax on the limo ride. A pit stop in the make-up room, and then you're whisked into the studio. There sits Ms. Crier caked beneath enough makeup to cover the San Andreas fault.
You opine about a case you know little about, trying to be witty and urbane. Catherine breaks sound barriers with cheery upward inflecting sentences. You skim the surface of the day's events and then, just as quickly, you are whisked from the studio. Done opining for the day.
I confess. I was hooked on the adrenaline of it all. But then they dumped me like a cold fish. No invitations back; not even a return call from the young woman who arranged appearances.
For months I moped. Did I talk too much? Probably. Did a secret enemy repay an old debt by poisoning the well? Probably -- after all, I did once ridicule a certain high-flying Connecticut lawyer for losing a case, and he is a darling of the New York media. Maybe I am just not photogenic enough.
But I've detoxed now. I think the Scott Peterson case helped me do that. Eight hundred reporters at the trial? Why? The case raised no issue not common to just about any domestic homicide claim.
But the case did have hype. Catherine and company needed chatter, and they descended en masse, yack, yack, yacking their way through endless hours. And the people watched, transfixed, all addicted to the quick illusion of familiarity with those in the midst of great events.
I have detoxed now, I think. It's been more than one year and the bright lights are a distant memory, as is my fleeting fame. Good bye, cruel Catherine, I barely knew ye. I'll stick to actual courtrooms and far less demanding requirements of the printed word.