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A journalist reports outside the Elijah Barrett Prettyman U.S. Court House on August 3, 2023 in Washington, D.C. Former President Donald Trump, indicted on charges related to the 2020 election, was arraigned Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Bonnie Jo Mount/Washington Post/Getty Images)

When I told my editor this morning that I’d be writing about broadcasting The Trial Of The Century on television, she replied in all caps without hesitating: “THAT’S A TERRIBLE IDEA.”

(Airing the trial on TV, that is. Not writing about it.)

Can you blame her? I’ve written whole columns about my antipathy to televising government proceedings. This piece from January about expanding C-SPAN’s access to Congress can be summarized in those four words: THAT’S A TERRIBLE IDEA. 

Former Sen. Ben Sasse explained why last year during then-Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearing, when he lobbied her against allowing cameras at oral arguments once she was seated on the Supreme Court. Transparency is important, he allowed, but a well functioning judiciary is more important. His position also boiled down to four pointed words: “Cameras change human behavior.

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