Former New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse tells Radaronline.com’s Charles Kaiser that the most “gripping scene” she ever saw at the Supreme Court was when the 2003 decision of Lawrence v. Texas came down:
I think that was probably the most gripping scene I ever witnessed at the Court—when Kennedy read the majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas. Usually, when you go up to the Court, you don’t know what’s coming that day. But it was the last day of the term, and Lawrence was the last undecided case. So everybody knew, and the Court was filled with gay and lesbian members of the Supreme Court bar. When Kennedy got to where he said Bowers v. Hardwick was wrong when it was decided, it’s wrong today, and we hereby overrule it, all these lawyers in the bar section started crying. It was just a wonderful scene. It was great.
Earlier this year, Ms. Greenhouse retired from the Times after she took a $300,000 buyout from the paper. (She was one of the roughly 100 Times staffers that left the paper this year due to job cuts.)
In the interview, Ms. Greenhouse also has plenty to say about former executive editor Max Frankel. Back in the late 1980s, Ms. Greenhouse attended a N.O.W. rally in Washington; she did it without a press credential and she got in a lot of trouble for it!
She blames Mr. Frankel:
“And you know what happened was, Len Downie, over at the Washington Post—who of course believes that you shouldn’t even vote—Len learned that some of his reporters had also been at the march and he started railing against this. Some of my friends at the Post said, ‘well, what’s the big deal? Over at the Times, Linda marched, and it was completely in the open and nobody said anything about it.’ At that point Eleanor Randolph, who had the press beat at the Washington Post, called Max Frankel to say, ‘Well, what about this?’ Because here at the Post, our executive editor takes a dim view of this. Well, Max was not going to be “out-ethiced” by Len Downie. And so he said, ‘Well, this is terrible, this violates all kinds of rules.’ Which, actually, it didn’t. So he came down on me. He made Howell call me in and read me some kind of riot act. [In the Washington Post, Randolph quoted Raines as saying, “As it turns out, it is Max Frankel’s strong feeling that this should not be allowed.]