Much Ado About Kevin Mitnick

Wednesday, 26 February 2003, 1:26 PM EST

Celebrity reporting has long been a blight on the profession of journalism, and a personal pet peeve of mine. It tends to feed the public's schadenfreude, rather than providing any useful information about issues people really need to know about.

To be sure, Mitnick's case was news when he was at large, on trial and even after his release. He had the unfortunate distinction of being a test case, the first high-profile computer criminal. However, Mitnick is now off parole and ostensibly trying to pursue a legitimate career in the industry he knows the most about. He should get that chance without his every move making headlines. Even if Mitnick doesn't mind the spotlight, there are more important issues for the press to focus on.

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