Down By Law

Handed a puzzling ruling, the networks showed us what they learned on election night: nothing

For television and the nation, Tuesday was literally Judgment Day, and the Supreme Court steps in Washington were the hill of Megiddo. And Revelation-style, the 65-page verdict in Bush v. Gore came like a thief in the night. It was hustled by network runners, around 10 p.m., into the waiting hands of TV's star reporting talent. Bundled in overcoats and parkas, the stand-ups were trembling, probably not just because of the cold. Here was the money shot, the final score they'd waited through five weeks of overtime to call.

If only they knew what the hell it said.

In the confused...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!