The key thing that Ms. [Tarita] Virtue explained today in only an hour on the stand (she's set to return on Tuesday) was that Mr. Pellicano had the ability to have five computers running at the same time, recording calls in the office, as well as computers running at off-site locations. The office computers could only listen in on calls in the 310 area code--a code that covers most of West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. If you wanted to wiretap someone in the valley, it was going to cost you more because according to Tarita, Mr. Pellicano would have to rent out an apartment and set up computers near his target phone. So, finally a good reason to actually live in the valley.She doesn't say which "valley" she's referring to, and I don't wish to speak for the residents of the San Gabriel, Antelope or Simi Valleys, but up here in the 818, being relatively safe from the machinations of the "Detective to the Stars" is something that every homeowner took into account at the time he purchased his home. No doubt the incarceration of the wiretapping detectice has reduced the "Pellicano Edge" that San Fernando Valley residents had come to rely on, leading to the current wave of foreclosures and bankruptcies. Damn you, Anita Busch !!!
Yet another reason why the Pellicano Trial should matter, contrary to this vapid piece in the local paper of record on Saturday. The "insider" voice that comes forth in that article is reminiscent of the Beltway mentality that excused the crimes of Scooter Libby during his trial, and is probably Exhibit 1 as to why the new media, especially the blogosphere, may be the best journalistic method for covering trials of this sort. Having a knowledgeable and opinionated writer, like Ms. Weiner, Jeralyn Merritt or Marcy Wheeler at Firedoglake, take on the task of sifting through the testimony and evidence each day and putting it all into perspective, removes the story-killing mentality of a newspaper editor or TV producer who is only interested in whether a celebrity is named who can sell newspapers or garner ratings. Freeing good writers from that constraint leads to better journalism.