A lot of our press coverage is bankrupt. Meaning, the press who are supposed to report the news free from bias, “all the news that’s fit to print” and all that jazz, often get in with the people they cover and often zealously publish far more than what is fit to print. Instead of fair and balanced coverage, we often get inside jobs and overexposure.

As a result, what is actually happening in a given case, as opposed to what the press covers, is not always so easy to discern. The press can warp our vision of things dramatically, especially when it comes to celebrity scandals. Take the Letterman case — because no one refers to it by the name of the actual charged defendant, David Letterman‘s alleged extortionist and TV news producer, Robert Halderman — as emblematic. The wrangling in this case (legal and otherwise) has been nothing short of a three-ring circus. The lawyers involved, to say nothing of the law itself, have taken a backseat to Letterman’s own editorializing — a crowd-pleasing sport unto itself.

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