August 7, 2011

Murdoch / Pellicano: Somebody else finally notices

Because I'm old, have a decent memory, and did okay on those analogy questions that used to be on the SAT, my frequent response to current news story X is: "X, which everybody thinks is the biggest news story since Noah's Flood, is a lot like Y, which everybody has forgotten about by now, and which nobody paid all that much attention to even when it was happening." Or, X is like Y in some other intriguing fashion.

For example, in my July 12th column in Taki's Magazine, I compared and contrasted the Murdoch voicemail hacking whoop-tee-doo in London to the forgotten Pellicano wiretapping scandal involving countless A-listers in Hollywood (and even some in Washington). 

Generally speaking, my dialogue with the world goes like this:
Me: "Hey, X is kinda like Y."
The World: [Blank stare]
Me: "No, really, if you stop and think about it, X has a lot of similarities to Y. And the differences between X and Y are interesting and informative, too."
Lone Representative of the World: "Oh, come on ... If X really were like Y, wouldn't somebody else have noticed?"

Now, Christine Pelisek of Newsweek / The Daily Beast has fleshed out this idea by going to the prison in Big Springs, TX and interviewing private eye Anthony Pellicano about what he thinks of the Murdoch scandal. (Pelisek is a self-made dynamo on the L.A. crime reporting scene, who did impressive work on the seemingly cold Grim Sleeper serial killer case.)
Hollywood Hacker Breaks His Silence 
by Christine Pelisek 
Long before the Murdoch empire’s phone-hacking scandal, Anthony Pellicano was the private eye that stars feared (and used) most. In his first interview since going to prison, he reveals new details on spying for Schwarzenegger, clearing Cruise's name—and why he dumped Michael Jackson. 
... On this 106-degree summer day, Pellicano has agreed to his first sit-down interview since going to prison in 2008. His case has long since disappeared from the front pages, replaced lately by the News of the World quagmire that has tarred Rupert Murdoch, David Cameron, and Scotland Yard. The way Pellicano sees it, the British phone-hacking scandal is kid stuff. “I was way ahead of my time,” he says. What’s the big deal about some tabloid hijacking Hugh Grant’s voicemails? “If Murdoch’s name wasn’t involved, would there be a story? If someone wiretapped Britney Spears, no one would care. The story is, did Murdoch know people were doing this? Did he condone it? I strongly believe he had no idea.” 
Pellicano claims never to have lent his services to any of Murdoch’s newspapers, and says he met the mogul only once, “but it had to do with Judith Regan,” his former longtime friend, who was fired from News Corp.’s HarperCollins in 2006. (Regan says she never introduced the two men.) “If News of the World called,” he says hypothetically, “I would ask the editor, ‘Why would you want me to do that? Are you stupid?!’ The guy at News of the World was just getting leads for stories.” Pellicano boasts that “I was the top of the ladder. Just to talk to me it cost $25,000. These guys were stringers who worked with reporters to try to get information on a celebrity!”


Anonymous said...

Actually, even the Newscorp hacking scandal wouldn't have been so bad if Newscorp stuck to celebrities and other such people. It is because Newscorp hacked into email of victims of real crime that it became sick and disgusting.

It's like we don't care when someone says stuff about rich celebrities. Even if laws were broken, we tolerate it and look the other way.
But there is a no-step zone, and Newscorp stepped into it, violating the privacy of people who suffered genuine tragedies.

catperson said...

Can't wait to hear why Pellicano dumped Michael Jackson. I wonder what Michael Jackson's IQ was. On the one hand he was very smart (made hundreds of millions of dollars, musical genius); on the other hand he was an idiot (admitted to sleeping with boys on national TV, carved up his face and nose until it looked caucasian, and in my opinion bleached his skin until he got chemically induced vitiligo (though his PR people claim the vitiligo came first assuming he ever really had it), expected the public to be dumb enough to believe 3 non-black kids were genetically his, and died at age 50 by using propofol as a sleep aid.)

Anonymous said...

"Newscorp stuck to celebrities and other such people"

Huh? I thought News of the World was involved.

Kylie said...

" I wonder what Michael Jackson's IQ was. On the one hand he was very smart (made hundreds of millions of dollars, musical genius)..."

Michael Jackson a musical genius??

Undeniably clever and talented musically, but a genius?

Makes me wonder what your IQ is.

Anonymous said...

newscorp scandal was an attempt to level conservative media by the establishment. us tried to jump on the bandwagon by extending to get fox news in the US. nothing else.

Simeon said...

It's really amazing what goes down the memory hole and what becomes part of the narrative. Myl conspiratorial guess would be that the Pellicano scandal had some well heeled survivors who'd like to see it stay down.

OT are you going to bother commenting on the wall street journal article on black women should interracially marry? He makes some implicit big assumptions without stating them, the chief one being that ther aren't any racial differences in physical attraction...

Anonymous said...

"Pellicano boasts that “I was the top of the ladder. Just to talk to me it cost $25,000. These guys were stringers who worked with reporters to try to get inormation on a celebrity!”"

Guess being a big man (of some sort) makes you feel better when your languishing in jail. Great work Pellicano. Enjoy your stay! BTW, the weather is lovely this time of year up here in Breckenridge. So very nice.

Anonymous said...

Long before the Murdoch empire’s phone-hacking scandal ..

You know, all the newspapers in Britain engaged in this hacking, not just the "Murdoch empire".

Anonymous said...

My analogy is more apt: Murdoch is butt ugly like Kim Jong Ill therefore has a strong preference for fascism so he can "make" people love him.

Murdoch shouldn't have been allowed to breed nor to be in control of at least half the news of the western world. He's a warmonger as well as a promoter of vigilantism.

The Pellicano thing isn't really central to the NotW scandal. Those guys were just pushing people around to win/avoid legal cases. Murdoch's pushing for influence over politicians and legal systems.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

Later in the interview, Pellicano reveals that when he agreed to work for Jackson during the star’s 1993 child-molestation case, he warned Jackson that he’d better not be guilty. “I said, ‘You don’t have to worry about cops or lawyers. If I find out anything, I will f--k you over.’ ” The detective took the assignment, but says, “I quit because I found out some truths…He did something far worse to young boys than molest them.” But he refuses to say anything more about it. It’s as if Pellicano wants to send Hollywood a reminder: I know which closets hold the skeletons.

Hmm, what could be worse?

Adopting them?

Getting them hooked on drugs?

I suspect somewhere in Central Californian there's a storage unit with a bunch of 'dirt' in it.

I am Lugash.

Anonymous said...

Big Spring, TX.

Londoner said...

Jackson was a prodigious dancer, a good singer (not great, and on many of his songs from Thriller onwards his vocals were shrill and ugly), and came up with many solid pop melodies. But I don't see any evidence of creative genius at all. Furthermore, I don't think he could play any instrument to any kind of standard, was presumably unable to read or write music; and his lyrics were almost embarrassingly simple - even childish.

W Baker said...

Hey, Steveo, here's an X Y comparison you don't bandied about the press: Murdoch and Co. hacked the subjects of their tabloid articles like the Patriot Act now allows broad sweeps (non FISA court approved) of telephony - and like British MI5 has been doing for years.

Assume an Australian accent....'Crikey, if a Princeton football cheerleader/coke head/ turned cowboy and his black-faced community organiser political cousin from Chicago can go snooping, so can I.

Anonymous said...

It is because Newscorp hacked into email of victims of real crime that it became sick and disgusting.

That perfectly sums up the problem with modern Britain - it's ruled by sentiment rather than by reason, by mob anger rather than rule of law.

"Oh, it's all right to break the law against those damn rich people, but not against poor little Jimmy!"

In some ways the US is in worse shape than Britain. It has many more nonwhites, for instance. But in other ways Britain is worse off - its whites are more morally, culturally, and intellectually degraded than are US whites.

Geoff Matthews said...

It was my understanding that this wasn't just New of the World, and that they'd been doing this for years (probably before cell phones were widespread).