A noted Hollywood filmmaker faces prison after a conditional guilty plea July 12 in a wiretapping case so interesting that it deserves two alternative news accounts.
Here’s how I described it: Yet again, federal authorities abused their vast powers to promote their greater glory by manufacturing a crime and ruining a career ─ at needless expense to federal taxpayers.
But here's the version provided to the vast majority of Americans by the superficial court coverage that's become all-too-typical, in this instance by Reuters:
“Die Hard” film director John McTiernan pleaded guilty to lying to law enforcement officials in connection with the racketeering case of a private detective who represented many Hollywood stars.
A trial for McTiernan had been expected to begin on Tuesday in Los Angeles on two counts of making false statements to federal agents and one count of perjury. McTiernan, 59, originally pleaded guilty in 2006 to a charge of knowingly lying to agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the criminal case against private detective Anthony Pellicano, who has since been jailed.
You be the judge. But first, kindly note that the plea of McTiernan was “conditional” on his appeal, a fact totally omitted by the Reuters story and thus by such headlines around the nation as that by the Washington Post, which blared: “John McTiernan is headed to jail.”