Dimora Judge Blocks Media from Live Tweeting

Were gonna miss that scruff.
  • We're gonna miss that scruff.

It's day one in the Trial of the Century — at least the local one not featuring a serial killer. All kidding aside, today former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora steps into a federal courthouse in Akron to face charges that he was the dark star anchoring a system of kickback and corruption orbited by county employees, wannabe tough guys, local contractors, and the occasional hooker — most of whom have now turned state's witness against the former political Big Sword. Day one will mostly be filled up with jury selection, pretty mundane stuff; the only real news coming up from Akron is that Dimora has freed his face from his trademark beard and mustache!

Probably the group of people most eagerly awaiting today are us local media types. This is the Super Bowl for reporters, and everyone involved — from the Plain Dealer to the TV stations — was gearing up to lean hard on new media for the coverage. If the playbook from the Anthony Sowell trial was any clue, this meant the outlets were going to sideline experienced, full-salaries-and-benefits, grown-ass newsroom employees with the sole task of sending out 140-character updates throughout the proceedings over Twitter. The results are a play-by-play jammed up by meaningless trivia, like reading through a season of Law & Order scripts delivered line by line on fortune cookie papers. But no cookie.

Well, the Twitter updates won't happen. This week, Judge Sara Lioi, who's already shown good judgment in weighing the value of Cleveland's media outlets, set in stone rules for covering the Dimora trial that forbade live blogging or tweets. As with most federal cases, no video cameras or recorders will be allowed in the room as well.

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