MSM, Blogs, and George Mason's "Other" Big News

Cite this Article
Joshua D. Wright, MSM, Blogs, and George Mason's "Other" Big News, Truth on the Market (March 31, 2006),

It has been a fine month for George Mason University. The Final Four appearance has attracted a good deal of media attention and general buzz. This week, I received a record number of phone calls from friends about Mason (“No, I dont have any extra Final Four tickets.”). As great as this news is for the university community as a whole, GMU Law had an eventful March in its own right. For what it is worth, we moved up a few (4) spots in the US News Rankings to 37 (Brian Leiter thinks we are still underrated). But I want to write about what I found to be a very interesting series of events following reports that a GMU Law faculty member would be nominated to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

A week ago, the San Francisco Daily Journal reported that my friend, colleague, and prolific patent scholar Kimberly Moore would receive the nomination to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. The headline of the article, available here (HT: How Appealing), “Judge Whyte Passed Over for Circuit,” did not convey much enthusiasm for Moore’s rumored nomination (the article does contain favorable reactions from IP scholar Mark Lemley and practitioner James Pooley). The WSJ Law Blog also picked up the DJ story, which was essentially that while “Moore seems well-credentialed,” “the news comes as a disappointment to intellectual property lawyers.”

The blogosphere reaction to the initially lukewarm reports has been enthusiastic, approving, and very interesting to watch. Since the initial rumor broke, here is a survey of reactions from law bloggers:

Christine Hurt, of The Glom:

I only met Prof. Moore for the first time this Fall, so I’m glad I’ll be able to say “I knew her when.” Lattman, who does not seem to have had the pleasure, seems conservative in extolling her virtues, so we will do so here at the Glom. Congratulations on your well-deserved nomination!

Dennis Crouch, of Patently-O:

I commented yesterday to a reporter my belief that Professor Moore is an obvious choice and would make an excellent judge.

Crouch also notes that John Duffy, whose name had also been mentioned for the Federal Circuit position described Moore as “outstanding nominee,â€? who “has spent a large portion of her career carefully studying the judicial process of patent litigation, and she has become a leading authority in the field. She would bring extraordinary knowledge and insight to the bench. Her nomination would, I think, command broad support from the academy and the practicing bar.â€? I do not know where the Duffy comment appears.

Finally, Mike Madison of notes in response to the Law Blog story:

It doesn’t report that a lot of IP faculty are (or should be) pleased. Nothing against Judge Whyte, who is an experienced federal and state court judge. But Professor Moore is an especially accomplished, thoughtful, and constructive critic of the patent system. Congrats!

Perhaps this is another example of what Larry Ribstein has described as the “decentralized knowledge” function of blogging, where specialized expert knowledge can quickly be disseminated to the public at low cost in order to fill gaps in the information disseminated by mainstream media sources?

I might as well finish off with a Final Four note. As expected, the MSM’s reaction to Mason’s other big news has also been lukewarm. I have only been able to find one expert predicting a Mason victory over Florida in tomorrow night’s action (though I am sure there are others): Andy Glockner, an editor for, is picking the Patriots over the Gators. I wonder what Billy Packer thinks? Of course, Vegas has also spoken, and Florida is favored by 6 at the moment. Lucky for these Patriots, the “W’s” only get handed out after the game is played.