Today this pressure is better funded and more coordinated on the Right, making their efforts to work the refs, to script our political spectacles, more powerful.
2013, Mark Tushnet, In the Balance: Law and Politics on the Roberts Court, ISBN0393241432, page 28:
In a sense, for conservatives the “changed his mind” story is a continuation of their efforts to work the refs, this time treating the American people as the referees in a contest over respect for the Supreme Court.
2016 September 26, David Goldstein and Anita Kumar, “Trump is still Trump in first debate and Clinton doesn’t take the bait”, in Miami Herald:
Both candidates worked the refs ahead of the game.
2016 October 31, Isaac Chotiner, “Donald Trump Is on the Ballot Next Week. Why Are We Talking About Emails?”, in Slate Magazine:
ThinkProgress’ Judd Legum suggests Comey was overcorrecting in response to a monthslong assault by the GOP on the FBI’s authority. “Republicans worked the refs at the FBI,” Legum tweeted, “and it worked.”