This afternoon is the big, climactic showdown in the Matt Cooper and Judy Miller anonymous-source saga. (Unless it isn't: There could always be another postponment or something.)
So it seems a good time to take a moment and recap all the previous big, climactic showdowns.
First there were the district-court contempt holdings against Time's Cooper and the Times's Miller. Then there was the big, climactic appeal before a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Next came the full D.C. circuit's big, climactic refusal to hear an appeal. And last week, of course, was the U.S. Supreme Court's really big, really climactic refusal to hear an appeal.
Since then there's only been more big and climactic fun. Time Inc. editor-in-chief Norm Pearlstine sold out his reporter by releasing his notes. Cooper was pissed, but at least realized the move would probably keep him out of jail. Ha, replied the prosecutor. Then the two reporters asked to be imprisoned, if they are to be imprisoned, at federal prison camps near their homes rather than in D.C. jails — or, even better, to be sentenced to home confinement. Haha, replied the prosecutor. Who now says he's considering criminal charges against Miller, too. You know, to show he's not a crazy guy on a personal crusade.
It all goes down in the federal court house in Washington this afternoon, which — and maybe this is just our personal mishegas speaking — we have to imagine is right now surrounded by the prosecutors, the judge, the reporters, and their lawyers, all dancing to Jerome Robbins choreography, snapping their fingers, and sharpening their switchblades. Tonight!