Today, thanks to that policy, we get a peek into the PR strategy of Joel Tenenbaum's defense team, in the form of a fascinating email exchange between Tenenbaum's lead counsel Charles Nesson, and Debbie Rosenbaum, an HLS (and HBS) student and the team's lead flack. It started with Rosenbaum emailing Nesson:
(For some examples of the "recording stuff," see here, here, and here.) After a little prodding, Nesson obliged:
you’re being portrayed as an extremist nut-job in the media for all your recording stuff.
one idea: maybe you can blog about *why* you like to record things.
because if you don’t record you have nothing to post that the public can listen in on, and nothing to listen to yourself if you have need. the only proof you have of what happened is your own recollection, maybe the hearsay reports of others, and the opportunity to pay money for a transcript you can’t get for ninety days.
i believe this is an important case which calls for public attention. people are being unfairly ground beneath the crushing wheels of federal process put in riaa hands. i believe the public has a right to see how its courts are being used and joel and jammie have a right to show them. to me it seems a fundamental citizen’s right to record ones interactions with the state.
to say nothing of my own interest in representing joel. my memory is not good. i rely on my recorder to allow me to review and recall. this is integral to how i work.
Rosenbaum then describes to Nesson how the press is portraying him, especially his penchant for recording conversations and then posting the .mp3s to his blog:
For the record, while I plead guilty to having "wide eyes," and to having lobbed my share of "criticism" at Team Tenenbaum's tactics, I am not remotely "pissed off" or "annoy[ed]." Au contraire; having a window into a legal team's internal deliberations, and even inner thoughts, is beyond most blawgers' wildest dreams. If they really wanted to piss off and annoy me, they would immediately clam up.
i read more than the average consumer of press that follows you and the tenenbaum/thomas cases, so my view is skewed, but your persistence in insisting on recording collectively comes across as annoying.
your/our non-traditional tactics have pissed off a lot of people, drawing wide eyes and criticism from both should-be-friends (beckerman), should-be-foes (sheffner), that letter you posted on your blog yesterday, and david’s continual harsh criticism on our clinical list-serv re: going to the SCOTUS with our webcast issue. with the ability to express views with wide distribution and low cost via the internet, the message that we’re/you’re crazy comes across; there are a lot more of “them” than there are of us.