We are still accepting your colorful anecdotes about Nina Totenberg, NPR’s legendary Supreme Court correspondent, and a celebrity within legal and media circles. Past installments appear here and here.
Today we have two more stories to offer, both variations on a theme. Here’s the first:
I really have to mention here a little semi-encounter I had with Totenberg during the day I covered the Scooter Libby trial. When I arrived, I sat down in a random spot — and quickly discovered that Ms. Nina had apparently managed to convince all the journos covering the trial that a certain portion of the court bench was her personal property.
Sadly, the trial did not go on further. I really wanted to sit in her chair!
We’re not surprised. It’s completely consistent with our second story — which you can check out, if you’re interested, after the jump.
On her home turf of One First Street, the lioness has exhibited similarly territorial behavior. From a tipster who covers the Court:
I’m seated in the press section at the Supreme Court. The session is about to begin. Everyone is seated, and the room is silent. The time is 9:59 — one minute before the start of the 10 AM session.
Suddenly Nina Totenberg shows up. Now, if I showed up that late, I would quietly slip into the back row. But not Nina.
Instead, Nina sweeps grandly up the aisle, to the first row of the press section. She approaches the reporter sitting on the aisle, taps him on the shoulder, and says, matter-of-factly: “I need to sit there.”
Of course the reporter scurries out of “her” seat. Because nobody says no to Nina.
So why is Nina Totenberg like Judith Miller? If you haven’t already read it, click here, for a great anecdote from Maureen Dowd. Anyone who can put MoDo in her place is a diva among divas.
Update: Read about Nina Totenberg’s “open house” by clicking here.
Woman of Mass Destruction [New York Times]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Nina Totenberg (scroll down)