Clinton-Pellicano Watch (cont.)


Two LA Times reporters today used almost 2800 words to examine the highly questionable background of Hollywood celebrity sleuth/audio expert/guest of the federal penal system Anthony Pellicano. Although the major focus was on his career as a 'forensic audio' expert, not once did they manage to mention his most prominent gig: 'analyzing' the Gennifer Flowers tapes of her conversations with Bill Clinton, and declaring them 'doctored' during the 1992 Presidential campaign.

Readers with long memories will recall that Pellicano's 'discrediting' of the tapes, on which then—candidate Clinton was heard disparaging Mario's Cuomo's ethnicity and possible ties to the underworld, as well as making colorful comments of a sexual nature, led the press to immediately drop the matter, and treat the tapes as a gigantic fraud.

Credit where it is due: reporters Scott Glover and Matt Lait do raise many questions about the validity of Pellicano's 'expert' testimony as an audio analyst. They point out that he has a record of hearing things no one else can, that he doesn't understand the science supposedly underlying his analytical techniques, and that occasional judges have thrown out his opinions as value—less.

But the primary burden of the article is to raise questions about prosecutors, who have used Pellicano as a witness. Implicitly, the article suggests that miscarriages of justice may have occurred.

All well and good. Kudos to the LA Times for fearlessly raising these important questions.

But isn't the potential corruption of a Presidential election also of importance? How is it possible for reporters to ignore the biggest single story in Pellicano's career? How can an editor, presumably well—informed about Presidential politics, and operating during a Presidential election season, allow such an omission to happen?

The LA Times lost a lot of credibility (and a so—far untold number of subscribers) during the gubernatorial recall election, by selectively reporting some personal issues about Arnold Scwartzenegger, while ignoring major public issues about Gray Davis. In the wake of widespread public anger at its apparent bias, one would think that greater care would be exercised to avoid the appearance of bias.

Apparently, not.

Posted by Thomas   02 01 04