Eat The Press



The Examiner is reporting today that tomorrow's 20/20 special report on "DC Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey will fall short of living up to the hype that has preceded it, stating: "...the show is likely to disappoint viewers eager to see a roster of VIPs who patronized Palfrey's escort service." Viewers are expected to get a pair of new names in a slim seven-minute report "at the end of the hour-long broadcast." Reporter Brian Ross is said to be "none too happy with the final results."

Is it surprising, though? When Palfrey stood before the cameras this week (looking reminiscent of Battlestar Galactica's Laura Roslin, except, you know..."dirrty"), she laid out a defense strategy that seemed to rely heavily on her clients being willing to step forward and provide exculpatory evidence that hers was not, in fact, a prostitution ring. She tsk-tsked former Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias, as if it constituted an assault on her delicate sensibilities, for his failure to come forward on his own and offer evidence that her escorts simply made appointments to, like, hang out and play mahjongg.

And yet, by hanging Tobias out as an example and making weighty references to the enormous expense of her defense, one couldn't help but wonder that something specifically subtextual was happening between the lines. Is it too radical to suggest that, in putting cameras on her, the media unwittingly abetted a quiet shakedown of her client roster? As in: Pony up some scratch or get dragged through the muck? It would go a long way in explaining why the promise of salacious details will presumably be deferred.

Yeas and Nays: ABC to tread lightly with D.C. madam [Examiner]
D.C. Madam Report Won't Live Up To Hype? [TV Newser]

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