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Interview With Lisa Bloom

Aired August 6, 2003 - 19:24   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. If you watched the Kobe Bryant court appearance today, all the seven minutes or so of it, you might not have realized all that was going on actually behind the cameras. The media circus that has been swarming around this case coalesced in Eagle, Colorado, today. Here's a peek of what you might not have seen.

COOPER (voice-over): Rarely do so many wait so long for so little. For today's brief appearance alone, the court says 500 reporters wanted credentials, and that was for the proceedings inside the court. Outside, makeshift stages for TV reporters cover a stretch nearly as long as a football field. TV satellite vans, dishes aimed south, take up an acre and half of a nearby lot.

There are the networks, wire services, local news, cable news, newspapers, magazines, radio, international media, on-line media, sports reporters, celebrity journalists, and swarms of commentators. Some people in Eagle, Colorado, wonder whether maybe it's a bit much for a town of 3,700 people with two traffic lights. Others are simply happy for the business.

The owner of that lot reportedly got offers of a thousand bucks a day rent for its exclusive use. And one deli reported business is up more than 15 percent.


COOPER: And there's one thing past celebrity trials have taught us is that you ain't seen nothing yet. The question is, with all this media attention, will it distort the search for justice? Someone who knows all about the ways in which media and justice intersect is "Court TV" anchor, Lisa Bloom. Lisa, good to see you again.

LISA BLOOM, "COURT TV": Hi, Anderson.

COOPER: First of all, let's talk about possible leaks to the media. The judge in the appearance today in kind of an overlooked fact actually appointed someone about it.

BLOOM: Yes. A significant move today by the judge, really on his own, appointing a special investigator to find out where the leaks are coming from. The defense says prosecution is leaking information in violation of the judge's decorum order. They want to know where it is coming from. They want it stopped and the judge is pointing an investigator from the sheriff's county office to look into it.

COOPER: How is that going to work though? How do -- I guess they start investigating the police?

BLOOM: You know, it reminds me of Kenneth Starr and the leaks in the investigation that was done there. The sheriff's officers will go to the prosecution offices and start there. Do an investigation, find out where the leaks are coming from. They may go to media representatives as well to try to get information.

COOPER: Actually like getting phone records and stuff like that?

BLOOM: Absolutely. Whatever they can get in the course of their investigation. That is going to lead to probably more skirmishes, more litigation. Media outlets aren't going to won't want to talk to sheriff's county investigators about where they're gets their sources.

COOPER: Let's talk about this coverage. Does all this coverage make it more difficult to find an unbiased jury?

BLOOM: I don't think so. There has been so many studies done about jurors. They're very skeptical of the media, they are skeptical of attorneys, they base their decisions on the evidence and the facts. But look, this is a case of enormous public interest. It's like a reality show, even a love triangle. Kobe Bryant and his wife, this mysterious 19-year-old accuser. How is it going to turn out. Everyone is glued to this case. That's why those media cameras out there. We want to see every aspect of it. Not just trials. The public has gone beyond that in their interest in the case now. They want to see every aspect; the arraignment, pretrial hearings, everything.

COOPER: So easy to forget in all of this that lives are at stake here, freedom is at stake, and justice as well. Who's more likely to benefit from the media coverage? I mean, is it Kobe Bryant, who seems very adept at, you know, using the media. I don't know if he has advisers on this kind of things, but he seems ...


BLOOM: Cold. You don't know if he has an adviser. You don't know if ....

COOPER: Well, I am not saying ...

BLOOM: ... P.R. advisers. Kobe Bryant, superstar, multimillionaire ...

COOPER: I am saying -- is should have said, I don't know who they are.

BLOOM: ... he has got many P.R. advisers.

COOPER: All right. All right.

BLOOM: You know, we saw him at the Teen Choice Awards wearing a large cross, quoting from Martin Luther King. That was not an act there. I am sure that was gone over carefully by his attorneys and his P.R. advisers. Today, no big jewelry in court, not even wearing a tie. His wife was not there today. I thought that was pretty interesting. But, you can be sure every aspect of what he does is scripted.

COOPER: And very significantly in court, did not -- they waived their right to hear the charges read against ...

BLOOM: Right. He's no fool. He doesn't want national cameras broadcasting the charges against him including the words physical violence and physical force, that's why that was waived.

COOPER: Is it -- do you think, I mean, in dealing with this media, do you think it's more of a challenge for the D.A. in Eagle, Colorado -- you know, it is a pretty small office -- not used to this kind of thing, you know, to ...

BLOOM: Absolutely. You know, it's a David and Goliath fight. That little prosecutor's office in Eagle, Colorado, population 3,500, versus Kobe Bryant who is well versed in dealing with the press. And keep in mind, let's not forget the alleged victim, a 19-year-old, with no experience in dealing with the press. All she's done is ducked and hid from the press. She's on vacation now for two weeks, hiding. She wants to stay as far away from this as possible.

COOPER: Before appearing -- I mean, I have heard she's going to be going to college. You know, that's going to be obviously unbelievable.


BLOOM: She is going to be going to college. That's going to be difficult. I'm sure there will be reporters camped out at her dorm room.

COOPER: All right. Lisa Bloom. Good to talk to you. Thanks.

BLOOM: Thank you.


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