Friday, September 29, 2006

Just Write News for September 29, 2006

Cathy Scott Appearing On Oxygen Network
Vegas author Cathy Scott will appear on the Oxygen Network (Las Vegas Cox Channel 55) on Monday, October 2, in the show Snapped: Sandy Murphy. In her book Death in the Desert, Cathy wrote about the sensational Binion murder, for which Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish were initially convicted. Cathy spoke to my writing group just as Murphy’s retrial began. Based on her research, she told us, she predicted Murphy would be acquitted. In November 2004, Murphy and Tabish were acquitted of the Binion murder. Was Murphy a gold digger capable of murder, or a convenient patsy? Read Cathy’s book and see what you think.

Visit Cathy Scott’s website at

Shield Law Opposed
Should reporters have to identify their sources? Most journalists and writers say no, insisting that whistle blowers and insiders will hesitate to come forward unless they can be assured of anonymity. Judith Miller went to jail rather than identify her source for the Valerie Plame story – the story she never published. (It’s worth noting that Robert Novak broke the story and skated right through the whole mess, unscathed.) Vanessa Leggett served the longest sentence of any American writer for failing to turn over her notes on a murder case she was investigating for a book. At the time of Leggett’s arrest, part of the problem was that she was a freelance writer judged not be a “journalist,” and thus exempt from protections afforded to recognized journalists.

The senate proposal to shield writers is going forward despite objections from Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty, who worries that such a law would encourage leaks jeopardizing national security. Personally, I think that if our government can listen in on us without our permission, laws bolstering freedom of the press are a no-brainer.

Speaking of the First Amendment
Philip Meyer wrote on a disturbing statistic in USA Today on September 27, 2006. In a recent study, 55% of high school students said the First Amendment goes too far in granting rights. Meyer didn’t discuss what percentage of Justice Department employees feel the same way.

Janet Fitch Publishes Second Novel
Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander, has just released Paint It Black. So far reviews are mostly positive. I hope this incredible author overcomes the Second Novel Curse.

Mitch Albom and Starbucks
Fans of Mitch Albom (Tuesday With Morrie, The Five People You Meet in Heaven) will be happy to hear they can sip their lattes while perusing his new book, For One More Day. On October 3, 2006, Starbucks will enter the bookselling business with Albom’s latest release. Albom himself might be coming to a Starbucks near you – he’s scheduled to appear at eight stores. Starbucks has already made a splash with music, so books are the logical next step. I think I’ll pass on the Albom – the last time I stopped in Border’s coffee shop to satisfy my need for caffeine, I spilled my $3 cup of joe all over Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. Since I was raised by responsible people, I paid for the book. I managed to make it through the Native American genocide, but don’t think I could slog through another sugary Albom book.

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