http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/letters/article/0,2777,DRMN_23966_4987919,00.html Tracey finesses media You have to hand it to him - this latest move is his masterstroke. University of Colorado professor, erstwhile newspaper columnist and documentary filmmaker Michael Tracey writes, teaches and preaches about media manipulation. Then, to demonstrate his command of the subject, engineers a Beethoven symphony of international media frenzy. And on the eve of a book deal yet. People should keep in mind that John Mark Karr is not the first bogus "intruder" Tracey has trumpeted as "the killer." They should, however, question why the Boulder authorities continue to take him seriously. Don Wrege Boulder http://www2.dailycamera.com/bdc/editorials/article/0,1713,BDC_2489_4987727,00.html Banishing protest 'Demonstration area' was ill-justified September 13, 2006 The orgiastic news coverage of John Mark Karr is over, and in the introspection made possible by a dearth of satellite trucks, we can consider better ways of conducting public affairs next time. If, God forbid, Boulder sees another marauding media mob, the judiciary should bear this in mind: The demands of the Fourth Estate do not trump those of the First Amendment. Guided by such a sensibility, Boulder District Judge Roxanne Bailin surely would not have designated a citizen "demonstration area" well away from the encampment of journalists. In an Aug. 21 "decorum order," Bailin decreed that "any demonstrations and any distributions to individuals of literature, pamphlets, books or other written material shall be restricted to the Demonstration Area." The area was more than 300 feet away from the media area and even farther away from the Justice Center. Bailin said her restriction was necessitated by "intense public and media interest in the proceedings in this case." At least one demonstrator ignored the judge's order. According to the ACLU, he was standing on the sidewalk on Sixth Street holding a sign and speaking to journalists. Though he says he was not impeding traffic (foot or car), the man says police threatened to arrest him if he did not slink off to the designated "demonstration area." As the ACLU notes, restricting people's free-speech rights is serious business. If speech is to be restricted, courts have routinely held, the restrictions should be based on legitimate and demonstrable public-security concerns. Further, the restrictions should be as narrowly tailored as possible. You can't just prattle nebulously about "decorum" to banish peaceful demonstrations from the most visible public spaces. "This orange-fenced area was a slap in the face of peaceful public speech," wrote the ACLU's Judd Golden. "All that saw it got the message that free speech and dissent in Boulder is so dangerous to the judicial process that it must be isolated." He is quite right. Still, he neglects to mention an underlying irony: The Boulder County Justice Center went out of its way to accommodate the mass media, allowing these First Amendment practitioners to camp for days in a parking lot normally subject to a four-hour limit. Such tolerance was not granted to anyone who happened to carry a protest sign.