Camera shy…

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia speaks today to the City Club of Cleveland and collects its Citadel of Free Speech Award. He has insisted, however, that there be no TV coverage by C-SPAN. Apparently, he’s often camera shy.

Is this irony? Well, on the surface, yes it is. But is it the kind of delicious, deep-structural irony that makes academics, political wags, and culture-watchers swoon?

If he were really worried about press coverage, or a closet First Amendment hater, it seems reasonable to assume that he’d not wish to speak in front of print reporters (much less an audience). I’m left to wonder if what’s really going on here is a true case of camera shyness. Perhaps he thinks he looks funny, or doesn’t like his own voice, or finds the lens intrusive, or thinks his robes don’t fit quite right, or stutters, sweats, and spits profusely. Who knows?

It would be nice, however, when one accepts a free-speech award to be a bit more forthcoming about such ironies. (via Romenesko)

UPDATE (11:55 a.m.): Thomas Spencer also finds this situation amusing in a disturbing sort of way.