23 May 2005

It's Based on Crime, Eh?

The unintentionally hilarious soundbites in the news and on the web this morning may seem hilarious only because I'm caffeine-deficient at the moment. Nonetheless:
  • According to the NYT,

    "The [CBS] network has a significant dependence on crime now," said John Rash, senior vice president at Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis.

    Well, duh. Unfortunately, a fair proportion of the criminals effectively have immunity because they're members of the WGA, DPG, and/or SAG. Or studio executives making more money than they can spend.

    Or maybe what's criminal is the way the pot is trying to turn PBS black—but that's for another time.

  • Also in the NYT,

    There is "a credibility problem in the media regarding the use of anonymous sources," [White House Press Secretary Scott] McClellan said on Tuesday during a regular White House press briefing.

    I'll make you a deal: Really enforce antiretaliation law concerning whistleblowers and learn what the intelligence community really means by "source" before claiming someone has WMDs, and we'll see about the media. As the same article notes later:

    But in the recent campaign against the overuse of anonymous sources, some headway is being made, and in an unlikely place: Washington. The Washington bureau chiefs for seven major news organizations met late last month with Mr. McClellan to discuss the ubiquitous background briefings held regularly by officials, on the condition that they not be identified. The news organizations say that too often, the information is not diplomatically sensitive but just spin for the administration or fill-in-the-blanks detail.

  • A story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes of lawyers:

    [Nancy Koerbel] designed the course she teaches at Pitt, Writing in the Legal Profession, as a professional development class. But the purpose has shifted, to de-mystifying and understanding legal language.

    Excuse me? You're teaching demystification of legal language to law students when most of the first year of law school is spent on creating that mystery? What are you, some kind of Commie?

  • This story's title is worth quoting all by itself:

    Lawyer by day, porn star by night

    The opening of the story reveals some not-so-hidden hostility to the profession, too:

    When his mother found out what porn star Ron Miller does for a living, she was heartbroken. She never wanted him to be a criminal defence lawyer.

    Then, of course, we worry about whether this creates an ethics problem for the individual lawyer… instead of what it says about the ethics problem(s) of the profession. In California.

  • An item concerning Google's plans to digitize library books concludes:

    In the end, this disagreement comes down to whether the interested parties can come to a peaceful solution — or fight it out in the courts.

    Gee, what do you think the answer might be? Does the fact that over half of the people quoted in the article are lawyers (although, admittedly, not all are acting as counsel) give you a hint?

  • Finally from today's news, a story in The Times (London) asserts, according to its subhead, that

    [Bookstore chain] HMV believes it can hold its own amin [sic] challenges from grocery and online retailers

    Does that mean reading tea-leaves or eating books?