Exhibit One: Count out 70,000 of your crispest $50 bills for me – I need you to have $3.5 million in cash ready by the time you finish reading this so you will know first hand how big a briefcase you’d need and how heavy that briefcase would be… so you’ll know whether you could sneak it through customs for one of your best buddies. You would do that for a buddy, wouldn’t you? Exhibit Two: a very famous deceased man, may he rest in peace – helps if he was the best male singer in the 20th century – yup, Frank Sinatra, Chairman of the Board, Old Blue Eyes himself Exhibit Three: an unauthorized biography by two individuals, namely Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan – now given how much bigger Summer’s name is on the cover, below, I checked him out – he likes writing about dead people who can’t fight back – check his previous titles:
The File on the Tsar, on the fate of the Romanovs;
Conspiracy, on the assassination of President Kennedy;
Official and Confidential, on J. Edgar Hoover;
The Arrogance of Power, on Richard Nixon;
Goddess : and The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe.
By the way, it helps that the Sinatra unauthorized biography isn’t available yet – otherwise we could actually examine it (it will be available May 16th), Exhibit Four: a generous helping of hearsay evidence from one of the funniest men of the 20th century (namely Jerry Lewis). Reuters: reports that: “According to Vanity Fair, the authors do not claim that Lewis witnessed the customs incident but rather related the account “as a fact of which he had knowledge.” But alas, we understand Jerry’s motivation – he finished his own biography at his own web site with these words:
“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again!”
Well, Jerry, you have a strange way of manifesting this philosophy of yours. So gather up your exhibits and judge for yourself. Here’s my take on this. I have no idea what the veracity of the about-to-be-published unauthorized biography is. Here’s my point – neither does the press. Yet the press is arrogant enough and greedy enough to smear one of the greatest legends of all time with a preposterous and implausible story based on hearsay evidence that no court would accept. Why? Because someone sent them a press release? How is that responsible. OK, now I will confess where I got the idea of how improbable having 70,000 bills in a briefcase is – In the CNN.com publication of Reuter’s story, The CNN Editor credits CNN.com readers with the basis for pointing out how ridiculous this story is. The CNN Editor does not pull the story, but slips these words in parentheses at the end:
(Editor’s note: Several CNN.com readers have pointed out that Sinatra’s briefcase would not only have to have been very large — $3.5 million is 70,000 bills — but would weigh about 150 pounds. CNN.com spoke to the publisher, who confirmed the Lewis quotation is accurate.)
(Yeah – the Lewis hearsay quotation is accurate.) So the CNN.com Editor is suspicious enough to include the paranthetical remarks but still floats the story… why? I wonder where Mr. Lewis’ knowledge came from. From the same place as his knowledge that skinny Mr. Sinatra (as he then was) could carry the world’s largest and heaviest briefcase through customs, risking his fame, wealth and liberty for his questionable buddies. Oh and the authorities were so inept, that having opened this briefcase, and with $3.5 Million in front of them, Sinatra’s adoring fans were just too distracting to allow them to notice the 70,000 bills. Great story, Jerry. Great knowledge. Would someone out there please join me in telling Reuters, CNN and others who repeat this story that not everyone who looks at the news is inert enough to simply accept whatever tripe is loaded onto our screens… SHAME on Reuters and everyone who picked up the story for victimizing the defenseless deceased on such a shallow foundation – ask yourself one simple question – if Sinatra were alive, how big would his punitive damage award ultimately be. What has this to do with this blog, “Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices,”? Not much but I am a Sinatra fan and choose not to sit idly by while the lazy press participates in the postumous execution of his reputation. If there were the fragrance of proof, I would like to see it. I am afraid the knowledge of Jerry Lewis who heard about this second hand is way too little… and the press should be embarrassed to base a story on it.