The live broadcast of Trump’s trial is already a scandal

The whole world will be able to follow the trial of the century in Georgia, in front of its television and on YouTube.

The whole world will be able to follow the trial of the century in Georgia, in front of its television and on YouTube.image: getty, canvas, editing: watson


This time it’s confirmed: the whole planet will be able to follow Donald Trump’s potential conviction, live, on YouTube. In Georgia, his trial will be filmed. Get out the popcorn (and potentially the guns).

Fred Valet

More “International”

On October 3, 1995, 150 million viewers watched the acquittal of OJ Simpson live. Outside the Los Angeles County court, a dense crowd exults in an atmosphere worthy of the Super Bowl: for the twelve most scrutinized jurors of the year, the former running back of the Buffalo Bills did not murder his wife and her lover. End of a trial that lasted nine months, the time to give birth to the most controversial legal spectacle in the history of the United States.

A TV screen showing the televised trial of OJ Simpson for murder, September 1995. (Photo by Barbara Alper/Getty Images)

Image: Photo Archive

Netflix before its time. Tea Truman Show horror. For the hundreds of millions of American homes, glued to their reality show, it was time for weaning. It’s not easy to say goodbye to the main character of a series that fed family roasts and lazy afternoons. In bars, fast-food restaurants and open-spaces, television screens were only enough for the trial of the century.

Another century, another affair, another character. On Friday, a Fulton County Superior Court judge authorized the live broadcast of Donald J. Trump’s upcoming trial in Atlanta. Not only will the court play the role of producer, but everything will be unpacked for free on YouTube. The first audience is not yet fixed, but the European nights already promise to be short, commented, disputed and thrilling. It is recalled that in Georgia, the candidate and his eighteen co-defendants will be tried for “criminal enterprise” aimed at reversing his defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

And if the cameras will be able to sneak into the Fulton County courtroom, it’s because the indictment isn’t federal. For the case of Washington or Miami, even if many Democratic parliamentarians “demand it”, there is now little chance that American citizens will eat Trump in front of their television sets.

“We are in the digital age, where people think with their eyes”

Neal Katyal, in the washington post.

For this law professor at Georgetown University, “banning cameras in federal courts is obsolete”. Alas, it is also taking the risk of raising serious accusations to the level of spectacular entertainment. In 1995 and facing OJ Simpson, the judge, but also the lawyers of the two parties played a lot. While no one can ignore the fact that it is watched by the whole world, the consequences of a cluster of cameras in a trial of such importance are numerous and potentially catastrophic.

John Lauro, Trump’s lawyer in the Capitol assault case (which will go to trial next March), is fighting for the hearing to be televised. He knows full well that his foal feels like a rooster as soon as he is watched, filmed, staged. Sure of his shot, he wants to show that a Hollywood format would be to their advantage in federal court in Washington.

“I am convinced that the Biden administration does not want the American people to see the truth live”

John Lauro, one of Trump’s lawyers

For his part, Nick Akerman, former assistant special prosecutor at the time of Watergate, is fiercely against the idea of ​​plastering the accused Trump on all the screens of the world. Not least because it is “difficult, if not impossible, to persuade anyone to testify, fearing physical reprisals”.

In this regard, when Judge Kaplan refused the presence of cameras during the civil trial for rape, brought by E. Jean Carroll, it was precisely because “of the strong probability that the jurors will be the object of unwanted media, attempts to harass and intimidate Trump supporters”.

As you can imagine, the debate is explosive. Without any live broadcast, moreover in the middle of the presidential campaign, the two camps will of course seize the trial, interpret the facts, influence public opinion and try to bury the enemy alive. They already do. Those who campaign for the live broadcast of the hearings invoke in priority the impossible “impartiality of the media” and the transparency of the judicial system.

In other words, it would be enough to throw everything on YouTube, without filter or distance, for the critical spirit to suddenly start in motion within the population.

“Without the cameras, there will be two trials: one followed by the progressive media and the other chronicled by the conservative press”

Alan Dershowitz, American constitutional law expert, to the media The Hill

However, even today, the broadcasting of a simple football match is unthinkable without the presence of a commentator. Viewers need it to confirm their analysis or insist on that of the journalist. Remember, when Federer shone in the final of Roland-Garros, many remained faithful to the RTS, when others zapped on the French channels, just to avoid the partisan sputters.

In politics, you just have to take a look at the counter of the most popular American provocateurs to realize that the majority of Internet users already have their own reflexes, well set against their convictions. And in this little game, right-wing or far-right influencers are several steps ahead of everyone: from the dangerous Alex Jones, to the more moderate Tim Pool, to the star Tucker Carlson, today deprived of FoxNewsbut crowned king of social networks.

The example Depp Heard

Social networks, let’s talk about it. Since the media circus that literally perverted the legal duel between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, the cameras are ultimately only a sneaky weapon to trigger a bloody war online. “A libel trial, broadcast live, which from April to June 2022 triggered a public and digital madness of unprecedented intensity in the United States”considered the journalist of France Interr Nicolas Demorand, after taking a look at the recent documentary aired on Netflix.

“A horror film about the era”

Nicolas Demorand

Remember, from the start, the internet seemed to have furiously chosen sides and you had to get up early to find a comment in favor of the actress. With great bursts of fake news, murderous hijackings and relentless harassment, Depp’s supporters literally let off steam on Amber Heard’s personality, making her look like a dangerous and crazy woman. As our eminent colleague Sven Papaux analyzed, in this “first trial with TikTok sauce, the social media court scolded and drooled over its incompetence”.

And no one will truly grow out of it.

Donald Trump has already won the social media war. Once bent over their keyboard, its most indoctrinated apostles deploy a know-how of sneaky and unequaled efficiency. The release of the messiah’s judicial mugshot is just the latest recent example.

If the candidate ends up handcuffed under the wards of the world, no one can swear that the country will not go up in flames.

The now historic aspect of the daily life of the former President of the United States gives his army an impunity that will be difficult to weaken, once Trump is surrounded by his lawyers, in the dock and facing a hearing that ‘Hollywood will be jealous of the tail between the legs. For the Democratic clan and anti-Maga Republicans, a trial broadcast on Youtube represents the last hope of seeing its voters free from its grip.

And then, regardless of the potentially harmful consequences of a broadcast of the Georgia trial, it will be difficult not to jump at the thought of tuning into what will no doubt be the most outrageous reality show of the century.

Judged for his role in the assault on the Capitol, the seat of Congress, on January 6, 2021 in Washington, Joseph Biggs, one of the leaders of the Proud Boys group, was sentenced Thursday to 17 years in prison.

The prosecutors had demanded 33 years in prison against this former soldier, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, for having driven some 200 members of the Proud Boys to the Capitol, the seat of Congress in the United States. This is the second heaviest sentence handed down by American justice in this case.

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