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Full disclosure: Lawyer Bruce W. Sanford represents Washington City Paper. Further disclosure: I hate his rates. Final admission: I love his prose. It’s a frightening concept, really: a lawyer who communicates not only simply, but elegantly. Because Sanford is an eminent First Amendment attorney who makes his living covering journalistic asses, he has a level of proximity that has allowed him to notice a few flaws in the journalistic conceits of omniscience and fairness. In his just-published book, Don’t Shoot the Messenger: How Our Growing Hatred of the Media Threatens Free Speech for All of Us, he suggests that a “canyon of distrust” between content providers and content consumers has been exacerbated by journalistic mis- and malfeasance. As a result, media defendants who find themselves in front of fed-up juries frequently walk away from the experience much poorer and no wiser. No big deal—except, he argues, that the debilitated fourth estate is it less and less capable of ferreting out and credibly reporting genuine abuses of power. Never mind the lawyer part, Sanford is the rare author who can weave polling data and anecdote into a readable narrative that finds a measure of causality behind the public’s disgust with the people who bring them the news. The man can write. Find out if he can read when he shows up at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, at Borders, 18th & L Streets NW. Free. (202) 466-4999. (David Carr)