Libby II: FDL Goes to the Prop 8 Trial in San Francisco
Judge Vaughn Walker has announced that the Prop 8 trial will begin in San Francisco on Monday, January 11. Bush/Gore 2000 adversaries David Boies and Ted Olson will team up for what is sure to be both a dramatic and historic challenge to California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, Perry v. Schwarzenegger.
But it won’t be televised live. So, just as we were with the Scooter Libby trial, FDL will be there.
We’re going to be sending Marcy Wheeler and David Dayen to San Francisco to cover the trial along with Teddy “San Fran” Partridge (and perhaps a few surprise guests).
In 2006, FDL’s coverage of the Libby trial set the pace and landed on the front page of the New York Times:
With no audio or video feed permitted, the Firedoglake ”live blog” has offered the fullest, fastest public report available. Many mainstream journalists use it to check on the trial.
We don’t know for certain what the setup will be for covering the Prop 8 trial, but this is sure to be one of the most important civil rights cases in a generation, and we don’t want to miss it. But we need your help to make it happen.
FDL has grown a lot since we covered the Scooter Libby trial in 2006, and we now have an incredible group of full-time writers and reporters, like Jon Walker and David Dayen, in addition to our superb editing and tech crew. But that means the cost of publishing the blog on a daily basis has also increased dramatically.
If 3,000 people donate just $1 a day, it allows us to pay our staff and our regular expenses and continue to produce independent journalism that is free from the limitations imposed by corporate, foundation, or big donor funding. The inescapable truth is that journalistic independence is intrinsically tied to financial independence. Without a regular, reliable source of financing that comes free of big-money strings, any media outlet quickly becomes subservient to the interests of those who fund it.
We work hard to keep our expenses low so that we never have to make journalistic compromises in order to pay our overhead. People work incredibly hard here, FDL has never made a profit, and I’m personally not even in the top 10% highest paid staffers (as DeVeria pointed out to me the other day). We put all the money we get into making the blog better and paying the people who work for us the kind of wage that their skills should command.
We’re really looking forward to bringing our experience at covering trials to the Prop 8 court battle. It will be an incredibly important moment for our community and for the country, and we look forward to helping to shape the story that emerges from it.