Reporters crowding a downtown Manhattan courtroom to cover the second bail hearing for former IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn find themselves in a hurry-up-and-wait situation as the hearing gets pushed back further and further in the day. "Security guard in front of Manhattan Criminal Court: never seen so much media since John Lennon was shot," tweeted Radio France International's Karim Lebhour.
Inside the courtroom, however, things seemed tranquil. "Breaking: mouse seen running across #DSK courtroom. Court artist squeals. More to follow," tweeted the Telegraph's Jon Swaine. When court opened at about 9 a.m., Swaine wrote, "He's due in just 5 hrs, 15 mins."
We reached New York Daily News reporter Matt Lysiac by telephone as he staked out the courthouse waiting for Strauss-Kahn's departure. His assignment: To follow Strauss-Kahn if the bail plea is successful. The job is based as much on luck as on "He might not leave. He might have an escort that blocks everybody. Plus there’s multiple exits he can come or go out of.... But most likely he’ll be picked up by a taxi service." So what happens if he gets in a taxi on the other side of the courthouse? "Then I stand there with my notepad looking sad. It’s kind of a luck of the draw thing, so I have to play the percentages."
At the press office of District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a representative today said they were "all hands on deck." Spokeswoman Erin Duggan said on Wednesday night that reporters had to be turned away from the arraignment on Monday, and that those who wanted to get a seat in the courtroom would have to get there hours before court opened today. That means Swaine and his in-court colleagues will have been waiting a long, long time once Strauss-Kahn finally appears this afternoon. They'll earn that scoop.