FACT CHECK: Does This Photo Show Journalists Running Out Of The Manafort Courtroom?

Emily Larsen | Fact Check Reporter

Many people on Twitter Wednesday said that a photo showed journalists sprinting out of a courthouse to alert their editors of the verdict in the Paul Manafort trial.


“Everyone sharing photos of reporters sprinting from courtroom after Manafort verdict as if they’re heroic images & not totems of the dumbest aspects of ‘BREAKING NEWS’ culture,” New York Times Magazine contributing writer Jody Rosen said in a now-deleted tweet.

“Admittedly, this pic of journalists running out of #Manafort courtroom can cause a chuckle or two. But more importantly, this pic is the 1st Amendment personified,” Florida state Rep. Robert Asencio tweeted.

Several other laypeople on Twitter claimed that the photo showed journalists leaving the Manafort courtroom.

The image was also posted on Reddit with the headline “Journalists Rushing out of Manafort’s Courtroom to Call their Editors,” and received over 40,000 upvotes.

Verdict: False

The image shows interns outside the Supreme Court in 2015 after it released the Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which legalized same-sex marriage nationally.

Fact Check:

Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, was found guilty on eight out of 18 counts of tax evasion and bank fraud Tuesday. A federal jury in Virginia could not come to an agreement on the other 10 charges.

Cell phones and computers were not allowed in the Manafort courtroom and reports did say that reporters “rushed” out of the courtroom to share major news during the trial and that some were “racing” out after Judge T.S. Ellis III read the first guilty verdict.

The image, however, did not show the scene outside Manafort’s courtroom in Alexandria, Virginia. It captured interns running outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., in 2015 after the court released its decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges same-sex marriage case.

Photographer Pete Marovich took the photo and UPI/Newscom distributed it. Esquire and The Daily Signal published the photo in stories following the Obergefell decision.

Marovich told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an email that he sometimes sees his photos improperly captioned, but not often.

Cameras are not allowed in the Supreme Court, so on some Supreme Court decision days, interns at media outlets sprint across the Supreme Court plaza and down with steps to deliver a paper copy of the decision to their news organizations. The ritual, dubbed the “running of the interns,” draws amusement from onlookers and on social media.

In Obergefell, the Court ruled 5-4 that it is unconstitutional for states to ban same-sex marriage. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the landmark case.

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Emily Larsen

Fact Check Reporter