LA Times pressman Ed Padgett spotted this billboard a couple days ago, and it left us scratching our heads.

When we think of wiretapping, it’s usually in the context of nefarious governments and James Bond-type antics. Is it possible our own hometown newspaper was illicitly eavesdropping on the conversations of unsuspecting citizens?

Um, no.

What the lawsuit alleges is that business columnist Michael Hiltzik recorded phone interviews with an on-the-record source, attorney Robert Silverman. It should be noted that it’s standard practice for journalists to record interviews, since most of us can’t type that fast.

But according to state wiretap law, both parties have to give consent for a phone conversation to be legally taped. Silverman alleges that he was taped without his consent.

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