Michael Herz


The legal proceedings following the 2000 election had their moments of humor. The oral argument in Bush v. Gore may have produced the most guffaws, as Joseph Klock struggled to name the Justices of the Supreme Court, or even to limit himself to those currently living. But if one finds humor in the absurd, the comic highpoint came 34 hours later (34 hours!) when the Court released its decision. Network “runners”―presumably the employees who had distinguished themselves at company picnics, the network softball league, or summer corporate challenge races―grabbed copies, dashed outside, and handed them to on-air reporters who were waiting in the darkness on the Supreme Court plaza, breathless with anxiety and anticipation. The reporters then ludicrously attempted to understand, synthesize, and explain 65 pages of judicial exposition instantaneously. The reporters stumbled badly, and everyone remained in the dark, in every sense.