Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Law & Order" plotline follows Larry Mendte story and Madoff scam

The episode of "Law and Order" of 25 March 09 combined elements of Bernie Madoff with the Larry Mendte Philly KYW Channel 3 email snooping.

As an odd coincidence in timing, the Law & Order episode immediately preceded a Channel 10 story on Larry Mendte's house arrest. In the channel 10 report, a picture of the Law & Order cast flashed across the screen during the Mendte news story, which related to the end of his house arrest and future problems defending a civil suit by former KYW co-anchor Alycia Lane.

Law & Order was without mercy in portraying the jungle-like atmosphere of local tv news rooms. The "Mendte" character intercepted and deleted an email from the account of the "Lane" character, which action placed another person in a life-threatening situation (and then death). Relying on the ruthlessness of tv news people, the prosecutors "leaked" their intent to charge the "Mendte" character with "depraved indifference" to the "Lane" character, who responded predictably. There were two murders in the episode, one by the "Madoff wife" character and one really done by the Cartagena drug cartel, who were bilked by the "Madoff" character, who was about to swindle Arab oil people to pay off the drug lords, who had learned of the Madoff scam BEFORE the scam went public. The SEC did not fare well in the episode, either, having repeatedly cleared the Madoff character prior to the meltdown.

**As a footnote, Law & Order plotlines are "ripped from the headlines" and do parallel events that really happened. In 1995, there was an episode based on the deep-sixing of a grant proposal by a reviewer and subsequent theft of the idea by the reviewer. In 2009, LBE is told by certain academics that such things don't happen. When television is more authentic than "academic reality," we are in big trouble...

**Of details on the characters in the "Mendte/Madoff" episode, from pawatercooler:

“While investigating the murder of television reporter Dawn Prescott (guest star Audra Blaser), detectives Lupo (Jeremy Sisto) and Bernard (Anthony Anderson) discover that she was involved in a love triangle involving another reporter at the station. This leads them to another suspect, veteran anchor Joe Delaney (guest star David Rasche), who was threatened by the success of his younger co-workers and may have hacked into their email to gain an advantage. As they search for the killer, the detectives uncover that Dawn was working on a major story surrounding a huge hedge fund fraud and there may be a connection with the recent murder of Fred Decker, a whistle-blower who filed an SEC suit against hedge fund owner, Fredric Matson (guest star Edward Hermann) and his wife Irene (guest star Jill Eikenberry).


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4:48 AM  
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11:57 AM  

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