Letterman Case Challenges News Media

Thursday, 15 Oct 2009 05:49 PM

By James Hirsen

Share:
A    A   |
   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  Copy Shortlink

After a motion by the prosecutor in the Letterman blackmail case that asked for the contents of search warrants to be kept secret, a Connecticut Superior Court judge ruled that the warrants will be open to the public.

The only exception to the ruling is info relating to the identities of witnesses, which will were redacted.

The prosecutor Suzanne Vieux had filed a motion seeking to keep the contents of the warrants secret. She also tried to have Thursday’s court proceedings closed.

Media groups are happy because they wanted the material to be made public. Some were concerned that the relationship between Letterman and the prosecutor may have become a bit too cozy and may have influenced the decision to seek secrecy.

The newly released warrants speak about a mysterious “Client #1.”

The warrant contains a required affidavit, signed by New York Police Department detectives. The affidavit states that the police were searching for computers, disks, cassettes, tapes, etc.

But they were also seeking correspondence, screenplays and treatments dealing with “the demand for money in exchange for the non-disclosure of information pertaining to the personal and private lives of public figures.”

The warrant tells a story. Letterman's attorney received a package from CBS producer Robert J. Halderman on Sept. 9, 2009. The package contained a demand letter, a screenplay treatment, and other materials including copies of a portion of a diary.

The warrant speaks about a person referred to as “Client #1” who “feels alarm and concern about the impact of the disclosure of his personal information on his family life and career.”

The document states that Halderman wrote in a letter that “he needs to make a large chunk of money by selling Client #1 a screenplay treatment."

The warrant says that Halderman’s documents state that “Client #1's world is about to collapse as information about his private life is disclosed leading to a ruined reputation and severe damage to his career and family life." It says that the accused’s letter also states “Haldeman has a lot more documents . . . including more photos.”

The warrant states that Letterman's attorney met with CBS producer to talk about the form of payment. Halderman allegedly said he would write a book unless he got paid. The meeting was recorded. At that meeting, Halderman allegedly demanded the $2 million and was given a $2 million check.

In a strange new twist in the case, CBS News is digging up dirt on Halderman.

This can’t make Letterman feel real comfortable. If anything, the CBS late-night host wants the story to blow over quickly. Letterman’s major concern is that the story will focus on his extra-curricular activities rather than the alleged felony extortion attempt.

Staffers at "48 Hours" are also fuming that "CBS Evening News" correspondent, Armen Keteyian, and other investigative journalists at the network are scrutinizing this story. Halderman’s colleagues are concerned about being tagged with “guilt by association.”

But CBS News is in a no-win situation. If they let all the other news organizations cover the story while they take a pass, they will be viewed as not doing their job. And if they cover the story too aggressively, they will be viewed as being disloyal to their company.

Guess that’s what it meant when they said journalists must “speak truth to power.”

Even Hollywood actors are concerned about today’s news media.

George Clooney who portrayed a famed journalist Edward R. Murrow, and whose father was a journalist, spoke about the news media at the London Film Festival.

Clooney said news stories used to require "two reliable sources and that doesn't seem to exist as much anymore."

"The problem is that there's so little reporting any more,” Clooney said. “Somebody will write a story and it will be in 1,800 different outlets from one person's story.”

The subject came up because of a documentary debuting the festival titled, "Starsuckers." The makers of “Starsuckers” fed false tips to British newspapers and some ran the fake stories as legitimate news. The hoax tips even included a story about Amy Winehouse's beehive hairdo caught fire.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
   Email Us   |
   Print   |
   Forward Article  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Colbert May Be More Than CBS Bargained For

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 10:58 AM

CBS has confirmed that the individual who is going to fill David Letterman’s shoes as the new host of “Late Night” is no . . .

Ratings May Be Behind Letterman's Retirement

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 12:46 PM

David Letterman stunned his audience last week with his announcement that he would retire from late-night television som . . .

Unbiblical 'Noah' Is No Crowd Pleaser

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 09:53 AM

The much-talked about, biblically questionable big-screen release “Noah” finished its debut weekend with a better than e . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved