I see that Louise, that Danish pastry of a journalist for the Los Angeles Times, is reporting key facts from Iraq in the trial of Saddam Hussein for war crimes.
I know her, of course, you’ve already seen how she handled my trial:
Sunday, April 4, 2001
Section: Southern California Living
Actress Lynn Redgrave was on the witness stand in Los Angeles, hating every minute of it. She was being questioned by her ex-husband in one of the nastiest Hollywood divorce trials in years. John Clark, acting as his own attorney, drew close to show her a document. Redgrave flinched. "Please, I would rather he didn’t," she implored the judge.
"I understand that sparks fly between you and Mr. Clark," Superior Court Judge Arnold Gold told her. "Just grit your teeth and answer his questions." …In court, Redgrave was demure and wore black. Clark was rumpled, often removing his jacket and complaining of the heat. . .
Today she reports from the scene in Iraq, the trial judge being Abdullah al-Amiri, a Shiite Muslim.
Well, here was a difference. At my trial, Saddam Hussein (as he came to be known around Los Angeles Family Court) sat on the bench, his other name being Arnold Gold.
That being said, she tells us that prosecuting attorney Munqith Faroon demanded on Wednesday that the judge step down after an outburst by the defendant the day before. He charged that the judge had shown bias in favor of the defendant by allowing him to use the courtroom as a bully pulpit.
Judge Amiri then made a statement that made sense, and rang loud and clear. He said "WE ARE ALL EQUAL IN FRONT OF THE LAW."
I wish. I wish he’d been my judge, our family court could use him.
However, at the end of the day, Louise had importantly failed. She failed to note whether or not the defendant’s attorney removed his jacket. Was he rumpled? Did he complain of the heat? It must be very hot in Iraq, do they have air conditioning? Did Saddam flinch when asked questions? Did he grit his teeth? Did he wear black? Was he demure?
Perhaps Louise’s problem was that she didn’t have the Times’s supervisor of gossip Gina Piccalo, or her ghost writer Ann O’Neill or the Calendar Editor (none of whom ever talked to me), standing behind her to give her a nudge. But I would bet that Louise’s blonde hair was impeccable.
A word in her ear from me. DON’T lose your head and try taking any of the witnesses out for lunch to gain their confidences, and later write against them in a biased manner. Because if you try it out there, well, they have their methods. Hint. They don’t go to court.