Excerpt: 'The Newsbreaker,' by Larry Garrison

Most people go through their lives oblivious to the workings of the civil law process, until misfortune rams into their lives and they really need help from someone who knows the system. Lawyers, I guess, will always take the brunt of jokes -- until they're needed. Then they become a victim's best friend. Attorneys have to be familiar with the laws to represent their clients well, to ensure the highest possible settlement, or to successfully argue in front of a jury why their clients are entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. Lawyers take an oath to do just that -- represent their clients to the best of their ability.

My clients are of a different nature. I don't practice in a court of law; I operate in the court of public opinion. But the people I represent need me in the same way a victim needs a lawyer. My clients have often been thrust into territory so far

from what they're accustomed to that the process could chew them up and spit them out without someone like me to watch out for their best interests. In much the same way lawyers help their clients through the legal system, I help my clients navigate the media machine, specifically the news media. And even though I don't always chase them, I am always on the lookout for them.

I have more than eighty other people in the field on the lookout. I call them stringers, field people, and sometimes producers, as they often work with me on producing a story for the news. They could be doctors or lawyers or anything at all. One of my most significant researcher/producers is my sister, R. Stephanie Good, Esq. As a lawyer, author, and sponsor of humanitarian causes in New York, she has brought me countless stories that have ended up in your living room via TV news. My sister does it to get the spiritual side of stories heard, but other bookers often have a different agenda. Most are moneyhungry or just get a rush out of finding newsworthy stories. They scour local papers, keeping their ears to the ground, knowing that whoever is the first to find that story that makes you say "Oh, my God" out loud may be in for a cut on a film or book deal.

It has been said there are two sides to every story, then there is the truth. I am on the lookout for the people who can give you the truth of a story that has captured public attention. Although I have dealt with stories regarding some of what goes on behind the scenes at the White House and with many celebrities, most of what I cover is mainstream. It is not often that I am involved in matters pertaining to national foreign policy, and I offer less attention to people who claim to have been abducted by aliens. My work lies somewhere between the tabloid headlines and the stories covered in Time magazine, but everything is fair game. And yes, I must admit I love those major sweep stories that I put on the covers of magazines and bring to the attention of the world.

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