The Press: Long Ears in Louisville

In The Front Page, the Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur classic about newspaper high jinks circa 1928, police reporters stop at nothing in pursuit of a new lead or an old adversary. Journalists have become more genteel since then—some say more timid—but once in a while the old ways show up. Two enterprising Louisville reporters, Howard Fineman, 25, of the morning Courier-Journal and Jerry Hicks, 27, of the afternoon Times, were arrested last May for eavesdropping on a closed meeting of the local Fraternal Order of Police.

There was not much doubt about their mission. Fineman was lying on the floor while Hicks had...

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