Panel on the Law and Media Worth a Look

If you missed the panel discussion that was part of last weekend’s law and media conference, you can watch it on Washington and Lee’s YouTube channel — and it’s a must-view video. The other presentations are on YouTube, too. Saturday morning’s panelists were Jeanne Cummings of Politico; Bob Strong, professor of politics at W&L; and Rod Smolla, Dean of the Law School. They made some fascinating observations and told some wonderful stories. Cummings, who broke the story about Sarah Palin’s wardrobe during the presidential campaign, described the way she discovered the story; Strong argued forcefully that today’s media culture, including the Internet, has led to a climate in which political candidates say nothing for fear of being caught in a “gotcha” moment; and Smolla told the intriguing story about a case against the National Inquirer some years ago in which he successfully represented a plaintiff in a libel suit. Brian Richardson, chair of the journalism and communications department had an excellent introduction, and the stories that the panelists told and the conversations they had were riveting. Be sure to have a look.

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