Are prosecutor press releases over the top? Judge sees ‘tabloid’ tone
Posted Oct 21, 2013 5:40 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A federal judge thinks the federal prosecutor for Manhattan needs to tone down his office's press releases.
During a panel discussion on public corruption earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan said the press releases had taken on a “tabloid” tone, the Wall Street Journal Law Blog (sub. req.) reports, citing coverage by Law 360 (sub. req.).
Sullivan pointed to one press release that included statements by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara about New York’s “show-me-the-money culture.”
“That sounds like the theme from Mighty Mouse,” Sullivan said. “This seems to be designed for tabloid consumption. ... There should be a question asked that is that appropriate at the preconviction stage.”
Fellow panelist Richard Zabel, the deputy U.S. attorney in Bharara’s office, defended the releases. “The purpose of a quote is to be quoted and draw attention to the case,” he said. “Laypeople can’t read a complaint.”