Skip to comments.Anatomy of a Rumor: The Story Behind Chief Justice John Roberts’s ‘Retirement’ (GT prof. prank)
Posted on 03/04/2010 2:45:18 PM PST by OldDeckHand
Everyone is wondering: Where did that erroneous rumor of an imminent retirement by Chief Justice John Roberts come from? The gossip spread like wildfire, triggering thousands of texts, blog posts, and emails a few hundred of them to the ATL tips line before Radar, which first published the rumor, retracted its report.
We were skeptical, which is one reason why we didnt write about the gossip as quickly as some other outlets. We reached out to the Supreme Courts Public Information Office after we heard the rumor, and we didnt want to write about it until we heard back from the PIO (or at least gave them a little time to respond).
Of course, we have many Supreme Court sources other than the official ones and they reacted with extreme skepticism when we ran the Radar report by them. One of our SCOTUS experts actually laughed out loud after we (sheepishly) asked, Have you heard anything about a possible Roberts retirement? This source noted that JGR would sooner die literally than give Obama the chance to appoint his successor.
Like many a promising legal career, the Roberts resignation rumor traces its origins to a 1L class at Georgetown University Law Center .
Heres an account of what went down in Professor Peter Tagues criminal law class this morning, from a 1L at Georgetown Law:
(Excerpt) Read more at abovethelaw.com ...
Ping to an addendum to the Robert’s story. I thought you might be interested.
I’m just surprised Obama didn’t try to accept his resignation on the rumor.
That professor needs to turn around and notice how many of his students spend the class with a text messaging device in their hands.
Yet another reason why 1Ls shouldn’t have laptops in class.
At least a couple of posters here on FR thought it was worth the risk of looking like completely gullible dolts in order to be the first to post BREAKING NEWS!!!!!
Aside from the heart attacks caused across the country, this is actually amusing. It would have been more amusing if he picked one with a more liberal bent, however.
What a stupid, reckless thing for the professor to do. Of course, it’s possible that it wasn’t an accident...
There are more than a few Freepers who should be ashamed of themselves - mortified, really - over their behavior on the rumor thread this morning. Some of it was absolutely disgusting. This is not the DUmpster, and those Freepers need to remind themselves of that.
Just a Progressive’s wet dream....
The idiot who apparently started it:
I disagree. I think the professor made his point about informants very well.
If I were him and found out which students alerted RadarOnline, I’d consider flunking that student or at least docking him some points on his grade. They obviously completely missed the point of the reading, and they aren’t supposed to be sending texts and emails in class anyway.
Why is he an idiot? He isn’t the one who disseminated this rumor to the internet media.
Drudge was too darn eager to publish this to his discredit.
Everyone is wondering: Where did that erroneous rumor of an imminent retirement by Chief Justice John Roberts come from?
Many FReepers believe Rahm was bored today. Decided to stir the pot.
I believe it.
Thank God it’s not true.
I almost wound up in the local Emergency Room!
Rumors like this are a puny price to pay for this wonderous blessing. Rapid communication, the din of small voices [as Drudge put it], is REAL HOPE for REAL CHANGE.
Doesn't that corrected RADAR headline read EXACTLY like a parody. It's hysterical, except for the fact that is the actual corrected headline.
To which Dan Rather was seen running about, wearing only his bathrobe, and screaming, “Fake, but accurate! Fake, but accurate!”
So what? Big deal. It’s not like Drudge covered it up like the drive-bys. I know he doesn’t deserve the FR’s loyalty, but he’s a Godsend overall.
Give us a break after all, Drudge took it seriously.
The professor was attempting to teach a lesson on rumors and reliable sources to his first year law class, i.e., just because you heard it from what you consider to be a reliable source doesn’t mean it is accurate, so check it out before you run with it.
Looks like he succeeded in spades! If they didn’t learn from this, they will never learn. Perhaps the professor learned his own lesson as well!
I think he’s a good professor who’d like his students to think. He is, however, guilty of (1) underestimating the technology used by his students, and (2) overestimating his students’ ability to sort out facts.
God, I would have loved to be in that classroom at 9:30.
— FRegards ....
He’s an idiot because he capitalized on his position of authority over the L1 idiots to get the rumor going.
It’s not a close call.
I was sure he was going to elope with Justice Ginsburg and run off to a remote South Pacific island.
He taught his 1Ls a lesson - evidently a desperately-needed one. That’s what teachers are supposed to do.
“Im just surprised Obama didnt try to accept his resignation on the rumor.”
No I don’t care who you are,...that’s funny!
Thank you for the summary.
I’m putting this in the “Loony Left” thread:
Close Encounters with the Loony Left [link-list]
Is that smoke coming from out of his nose? Sideways?
Perhaps he could learn how to stop smoking from nobama.
Since this is not true and can not be rationally explained as a mistake, then one must wonder if this was not some kind of trial balloon.
1. A threat to the Chief Justice
2. Groundwork for the media to discuss the NATURE of this court and the need for Obama to pack it. Which would lead to >
3. An attempt to refire the leftist base regarding Obamas great value to them
4. If challenged in court, there are a number of constitutional weaknesses in the HealthCare Bill that would eventually work their way to SCOTUS. This could be the beginning of that battle.
I loved the comment [not sourced - ; ) ] that Chief Justice Roberts would rather die, literally, than give Obama the opportunity of replacing him. LOL.
That’s my impression of the Chief Justice too, and I don’t know him personally, so I’m hoping that unsourced comment is accurate!
I particularly enjoyed this from the piece:
This source noted that JGR would sooner die literally than give Obama the chance to appoint his successor.
There is no single retirement, bar Obama himself, that would have the national repercussions of this story had it been true.
The soul of any great rumor is the magnitude of it's import, in that respect this was a gem. Blame only those that perpetuated it and not those that were initially concerned.
Amazing how rumors can spread.
Amazing how rumors can spread.
Thanks for the link. I’ll enjoy reading that.
The RadarOnline report was just the Chicago way of giving a warning.Obama will nominate a Chief Supreme Court Justice its just a matter of time and a death or two. Its the Chicago way!
Oddly enough, instead he's created a case study for journalism classes all across the country. He's also put himself on the "academic map", although probably not in the way he had envisioned.
Is this another reason to dislike Gtown? As if we needed one.
Even if it wasn’t planned as a trial balloon, it could certainly put that idea into the heads of those who think they might benefit from it.
It would be a mistake to not expect anything at all from the Left when it comes to control of power.
I posted it first after seeing it on Drudge and I have no problem with having posted it. People are then free to contact whatever sources they have or look online to see the story and how it developed.
It’s a wakeup call for the right..and shows just how precarious the situation is for America right now....and I am glad to hear Roberts would rather die in his seat than let Obambi nominate someone.
I am sure Scotus is not too amused at the antics of that professor.
This was Orson Wellian for a while there
I call BS. Next time any of those L1s hear a juicy rumor, they’ll pass it on.
And he asked his students not to tell anyone. I think his lesson today is one the students will not soon forget. Check your sources.