Judges,  Media and the Law

Judge Kozinski’s “Dirty” Pictures May Not Be So Dirty

Remember the big “to do” about Judge Kozinski having posted material from an obscenity trial on his website?  My prior coverage concentrated mainly on how this could affect his qualification to preside over the trial, and noted the interesting fact that Kozinski, an appellate judge, was presiding over a trial at all.

There is another aspect to the media coverage that I did not give much thought to, and that is the way that the media painted the materials as sexually graphic and/or obscene.  Considering the mischievousness that is usually attributed to Judge Kozinski, I figured that would be water off a duck’s back.  And while it might have been just that for Judge Kozinski, a long-time critic of the Los Angeles Times isn’t taking it so lightly.

Blogger Patterico blasts the Times’s coverage of the Kozinski incident in his round-up of 2008 L.A. Times reporting at Patterico’s Pontifications.  Among his findings is that the source for the article is a man with a long-running feud with Judge Kozisinski.  And to give you an idea of his post, here’s what Patterico describes as one distortion:

The paper also referred to “themes of defecation and urination” — but vastly understated the humorous context of any such themes. Rather than graphic depictions of bodily functions, material with themes of urination turned out to be stuff like this:


Patterico appears to come at the issue as much from the Right as the Times does from the Left, and I didn’t follow all of his links, so I don’t know if his own critique is fair. But anyone who wants to give Judge K a fair shake should probably look at Patterico’s post, which includes many links to prior coverage.  (That link leads to a very long post — you can find the part about Judge Kozinski by searching for his name or scrolling down until you see his picture.)


  • Joe

    The media flap over issues such as this completely interferes with the process and halts justice. Plus, it gives the attorneys a chance to put blame on the judge unnecessarily.

  • reads

    You might want to actually see the photos and videos he had on his website before rendering judgment. The ones I saw were pretty unambiguously racist porn.