A lot of makeup can make you prettier, but it won’t make you smarter. Michelle Madigan, Associate Producer for Dateline NBC found this out the hard way at Defcon.
According to sources at the show, she was there to do a piece called Hackers for Hire, with the goal of showing the criminal hacker underground and possibly outing an undercover fed. As Michelle was said to have said, “People in Kansas would be very interested in what is going on at Defcon”. She was busted hours before she walked in the door, the first slide before the keynote was this, and the speaker asked to notify a goon (security) if she was spotted.
The people from Defcon talked to her four times, two before the show, two on the scene, and offered her press credentials and the opportunity to officially talk to the people she wanted to talk to. Four times she declined.
Too bad. They knew when her plane took off. They knew when her plane landed. They knew when she picked up her non-press attendee pass (human in the vernacular). They followed her around. They knew when she walked into the ladies room to wire up, camera and sound. She knew that the camera was not allowed but did it anyway, and told a goon that she was doing so.
The moral of the story? Don’t screw around with people who are smarter than you.
Turning up a fink is a truly satisfying experience. I remember when…but, the sleazy bastards who spy on citizens probably know all my favorite stories…and this ain’t the time or place.