As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Theatrics and Loyalty

Ted Wells, Scooter Libby's lawyer, wins the award this Oscar season for worst supporting actor. Not only did he start crying at the end of his closing argument, he did so after cutting in to his fellow defense lawyer's time, pissing him off. Marcy Wheeler has a great recap.

Wells really does have a schtick, one that the journalists who have seen him before all recognize. He finishes the rational part of his case. Then he spends the last 20 minutes or so summoning rage for his client. He brings all the emotion summoned for his client to a crescendo. And then he weeps, demonstrating clearly to the jury how deeply he believes that his client has been wronged.

But remember that 20 minutes that Zeidenberg goaded Wells into wasting? Well, it meant that Wells had no time to get into character, and he went immediately from a rushed but rational argument about memory into his emotional appeal.

Don't sacrifice Scooter LIbby for how you may feel [about] war in Iraq or Bush Administration. Treat him the way he deserves to be treated. He worked every day to be NSA for this country. Analyze it fairly. Fight any temptation for your views if you're Democrat whatever party. This is a man who has a wife [and] kid[s]. He's been under my protection for the last month. Just give him back. Give him back to me, give him back.

Followed by an abbreviated choke, a catch of his brreath. Without the crescendo, it sounded more like a death rattle than any truly felt emotion. And compared to the real rage Wells had shown earlier in the day, it looked fake. Utterly, completely fake.

Because Wells reacted to Zeidenberg's barbs, he showed the jury true emotion that made all his elaborate schtick--the thing that Wells does best, normally--look like an act.

And Patrick Fitzgerald played off this perfectly. As they say, read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, is anyone else amused by the fact that while the Vice President's former chief of staff awaits his fate from the jury, his ex-boss is LITERALLY halfway around the world?

Don't tell me that wasn't by design.

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