NORRISTOWN, Pa.—The linoleum floor is cold against my legs, and I don’t really care. A company hoodie replaced my suit jacket hours ago, the jacket shoved into my work bag just in case. I’ve found a power outlet, the equivalent of gold during the frenzied rush of the Bill Cosby trial testimony, reporters hungry for more juice, editors hungrier for copy. That outlet doesn’t mean much now; I sit by it out of habit. There hasn’t been news to report since Monday.
But news or not the press keeps rolling. Broadcasts need to be aired, newspapers need to be filled, blogs need to be updated. Reporters litter the hallways and the courthouse steps hold more, a perpetual captive audience. It’s this vacuum where the Cosby team has thrived, a man who once refused to answer the questions he didn’t like now deploying a public relations team that takes the case, nearly daily, to the court of public opinion.
There have been regular updates from Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt on the courthouse steps, giving away useless trifles like how does the Cosby family feel (as if that weren’t obvious). There was the press conference on Tuesday to read a statement from a Temple employee saying that Andrea Constand once told her that she could make up a false accusation of sexual assault against someone rich and powerful for money—Constand has said she doesn’t know the woman, the woman said in her statement that she doesn’t remember the year she allegedly heard this, and Temple itself has never come clean about its role in, at the very least, ignoring what it knew about Cosby’s actions.
On Wednesday, a swarm of cameras and reporters enveloped Wyatt right in front me, and all I can say is I’m not sure why. He seemed to be saying the usual stuff about Cosby’s spirits and feeling good about the jury taking it all seriously. I stopped to take a picture, then looked up and realized there were more cameras behind me, a boom mic dangling overhead. I slowly backed away and watched the swarm of cameras follow Wyatt up the steps.
Wyatt isn’t the only person talking. Gloria Allred has called her own impromptu press conferences on the steps. Specialists in the field of counseling sexual assault victims have been in the courthouse and available for interviews. There’s always someone around to interview.
Does any of this matter? Who knows. The beast demands feeding. You could argue the same thing about this blog, an entire piece about filling the void of days spent sitting, waiting, wondering, cracking bad jokes, fluctuating between air-conditioner cold and east-coast-muggy hot, eating a little too much too fast in fear of missing a verdict that still hasn’t come, perpetually hitting refresh on email to the point it feels as normal as breathing, always ending in exhaustion because just siting on alert for 13 hours is draining. How many words can I take to say there is nothing to say except we’re all still waiting.
And “we,” the dreaded royal media we, is growing. The Associated Press reported that all the nearby hotels are sold out.