Alex Blaze

Will Prop 8 Tapes Be Available for Everyone?

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 19, 2011 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Media
Tags: Associated Press, freedom of the press, marriage, media, Prop. 8, vaughn walker

After Vaughn Walker made a presentation on cameras in the courtroom at the University of Arizona involving a two-minute clip from the Prop 8 vaughn_walker_arizona_talk.jpgtrial, which C-SPAN broadcasted, Prop 8 supporters filed to recuperate those tapes. Now the AP and other media organizations are asking for those tapes.

I'm more sympathetic, of course, to the AP's desire here. These tapes hold important information on a matter that directly affects a minority (and everyone, if gay marriage really does destroy straight marriage). This was a government process that didn't involve anyone's private information and, since the transcripts were already made public long ago, there's really nothing new in the tapes. Sections will get YouTubed and people on each side will make fun of the witnesses from the other side for a few days and then most people will find it just as boring as they did the transcripts.

What is interesting to me is that the trial wasn't supposed to be broadcast and there was a large fracas made about not letting video get out back when the trial was happening last year. The Supreme Court's ruling against broadcasting the trial has expired, so what Walker did is legal.

But with the AP is asking for the tapes just now, just after the right filed to have them taken away from Walker, I have to wonder: did the AP, et al., just find out that video existed as a result of the Walker being asked to hand over the tapes?

If so, perhaps they should have remained content to see two minutes of those tapes used college presentations about courts. img via

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There is absolutely no reason why those tapes shouldn't be shown. It was a court case, not a secret military mission!