In the courtroom, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is all about the First Amendment, but freedom of speech flies out the window when a high school newspaper wants to write about him. On October 28th, Kennedy gave a talk at the fancy Upper East Side Dalton School, and naturally the school's paper, The Daltonian, sent a reporter to cover the event. But Kennedy's handlers insisted on approving the article before it was published, and the article didn't make it into that week's edition, forcing The Daltonian to print an embarrassing editor's note: "We are not able to cover the recent visit by a Supreme Court justice due to numerous publication constraints." (Luckily for them, they weren't scooped by their competitors at Loyola's paper, The Blazer!)
A spokesperson for the Supreme Court tells the Times she only made "a couple of minor tweaks" and "tidied up" some quotes "to better reflect the meaning the justice had intended to convey." But Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center, says, "These are people who are old enough to vote. If you’re old enough to drive a tank, you’re old enough to write a headline. It’s a request that shouldn’t have been made. That’s not the teaching of journalism. That’s an exercise in image control."
Or is it an education in how the media's sausage gets made these days? It's no secret that many media outlets agree to certain restrictions in exchange for access to high-profile subjects. That's why Tom Cruise is seldom asked about Scientology, or John Cusack about American Beauty.