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Comments

Ted

At one of my previous law firms, we once performed an investigation on behalf of a client in anticipation of accusations to come from a "60 Minutes" news story, found that there was no basis to the accusations, and sent CBS a lengthy point-by-point rebuttal to what was going to be in the news story. CBS got around libel problems by phrasing the accusation as the tautology "If BigCorp. did X and Y, then that would violate Law Z" and quoting one sentence from our letter. (No action was ever taken against the client.) So it's a bit presumptuous to say that Merck didn't respond. 60 Minutes just chose to emphasize the evidence that made for better television, demonstrating once again why Mencimer's accusation that TV news programs carry water for tort reform is laughable.

I only know what 60 Minutes chose to show in its presentation of a plaintiff's opening statement, but it sure looked like a lot of second-guessing to me, especially in the context of the Merck responses in the New York Times and 60 Minutes' failure to mention the studies that didn't show cardiological problems.

Other Merck statements here and here.

(P.S. Evan, was that your back of a head in the 60 Minutes shot of the Mealeys' conference?)

Nic

Gilmartin was on "American Morning" on CNN, today, where he withstood intense cross-examination by Heidi Collins. (I'm not sure, but he might have provided a list of questions he was prepared to answer.) It definitely wasn't Lou Dobbs, or Wolf Blitzer, or even Larry King Live. Gilmartin's PR handlers must have preferred the nice living room set and the friendly American morning "chit chat" format to walk him through his talking points.

Ted

I don't see any indication that Gilmartin's interview was a sham. The questioning didn't have much in the way of follow-up or detail, but that's par for the course on TV news.

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