The First Annual Symposium of the Masterman Institute
on the First Amendment and the Fourth Estate
It is a privilege for me to give the first Masterman Institute lecture. Edward Masterman has been an inspiring leader of the bar. He and his wife, Sydell, funded the institute to explore the freedom of the press and its limits. I think that is a wise combination of subjects. The press often sounds as though there are no limits on what it can do—as though all its problems can be solved by crying, “First Amendment.” But that is not true and never has been. In my judgment, the press will be strengthened in its great functions if it understands that limits—responsibilities—go along with its freedom. My subject today is privacy and how that value intersects with and limits the vital interest of press freedom. I shall begin by describing an actual series of events, asking you to consider where lines should be drawn. On June 24, 1990, Mrs. Ruth Shulman was driving on a California freeway when her car was hit by another and rolled down an embankment. Mrs. Shulman was gravely injured and was trapped in the car. A rescue helicopter was called to the scene. . . .