Why shouldn CBS pay Michael Jackson for an interview?
Does it change your assessment of Jackson’s veracity one bit if he was paid $X million for his music special plus the interview or only $X-1 million? If Ed Bradley personally paid him a million cash upfront on the barrelhead right before asking the first question, it was worth every penny! …. In general, as long as any payments are disclosed, why not pay for interviews and let readers and viewers and listeners take that into account along with all the other biases–like the overwhelmingly more powerful need in Jackson’s case to exculpate himself–that might affect a story’s credibility? Why is it absolutely forbidden to pay a source for a scoop or juicy gossip in a newspaper or TV interview but perfectly OK to pay the same person millions for a book that sells solely on the basis of the very same scoop or juicy gossip? … I’ve always suspected the hard “ethical” rule against checkbook journalism is actually an elaborate restraint of trade by news organizations that don’t want to pay