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.)
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!”