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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Social Media, Mass Media, and the Supreme Court

Mashable reports:
While the United States Supreme Court forbids tweeting from its courtroom, thousands of people elsewhere have taken to Twitter to talk about the legal battle surrounding the Affordable Care Act, including top Republicans and Democrats. The two parties are now engaged in an all-out digital war to get more support for their side of the health care argument.
During the first day of Supreme Court oral arguments on Monday, “Obamacare” was mentioned more than 43,000 times while the general topic of “healthcare” was discussed more than 72,000 times. About half those tweets were neutral in tone, simply disseminating information about the Supreme Court’s proceedings. Positive and negative tweets both represented about 25% each of the total number of tweets, according to analysis by Topsy Labs
Adam Martin writes at The Atlantic:
The decision almost certainly won't get out early, but that doesn't keep journalists from salivating. (Our own Dashiell Bennett has nominated anyone who gives the decision up in advance for "Leaker of the Decade.") Unfortunately for the press, this is the stuff of fantasy. Leaks from the Supereme Court have been extremely rare. "I think the Supreme Court is the one institution that doesn't leak in modern-day Washington, D.C.," Stephen Engel, a lawyer and former clerk to Justice Anthony Kennedy, told USA Today. A leak would never happen, ThinkProgress Justice tweeted in response to another hungry journalist, Washington Post health policy reporter Sarah Kliff: "Only person who could leak would be a justice or clerk. Clerk would destroy their career."