Saturday, August 08, 2009

Behind the Scenes at 'Reed Elsevier v. Muchnick'

Last night your humble blogger met both the sister and the mother of Jonathan Tasini, erstwhile National Writers Union president, lead plaintiff in Tasini v. New York Times, and now, I'm told, embarked on his second quixotic run for the U.S. Senate seat in New York. (Jonathan challenged Hillary Clinton in the 2006 primary.)

The place was Berkeley's Julia Morgan Young People's Performing Arts Center, and the occasion was opening night of Stagedoor Conservatory's production of Grease. Both Dina Tasini's daughter Emma and my daughter Mara are in the cast. (Come on out this weekend! Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:00 p.m. Sunday.)

I mentioned to the Tasinis that I was assistant director of the NWU when Mara was born, at a time when we were all waiting for Tasini v. Times to play out in the courts. And I added that, as life would have it, I was now leading a slate of objectors to a settlement that is, itself, before the Supreme Court.

Why do you oppose the settlement? Jonathan's mother asked. "They got millions."

At which point I gently suggested that we keep the focus on the young thespians' big night, avoid politics and religion, and discuss only the weather.


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