Nostalgic Rumblings
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8/4/2007


When Nerds Attack: NBC Dateline Reporter flees Defcon 15

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 1:14 pm

At this year’s Defcon convention (a hacker’s-and-crackers convention dealing with computer security), NBC Dateline producer Michelle Madigan attended as a conventioneer (allegedly refusing press credentials), allegedly carrying in her purse a hidden pinhole camera. She was busted, and…er…escorted off the premises:


Now I have to tell you, while you’ll probably never find anyone who is a stronger supporter of the freedom of the press (yes, I’m in the United States), a vital element in keeping the people of this country free and never more vital than today, I am getting a little weary of the tactics some “reporters” are using; many seem to think the First Amendment gives them carte blanch to do whatever they want, regardless of the legality or morality, to get a story — the more sensational, the better. Had this sleezy news magazine (anyone remember adding explosives to gas tanks?) just had its producer acquire press credentials, they might have gotten an excellent story about the good and the bad of computer security…instead, they wanted to ambush some thirteen-year-old bragging to impress the blonde, so they could put together some salacious “story” about the evils of kids learning about computer security with children seen through bug-eyed, night-visioned lenses.

She got what she deserved, in my humble opinion, and Dateline should issue a strong apology not only to the convention, but to the American people for abusing the Constitutional rights they have been guaranteed. I thought this nonsense was going away with the Weekly World News?

Or maybe some of these hackers-and-crackers, some of the brightest and most dangerous computer experts around, should start poking around in the production staff’s life…I wonder how they’d like having their credit card statements and personal life details made public…all in the interest of “news,” of course, and little different than secreting a hidden camera inside a purse. After all…if these people are going to profess to sit on-high and decide what is and is not something we as the American people should know (and as recent events have shown, they are so terribly good at making those decisions), shouldn’t we know a little about how they spend their lives?

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