The news media pretends it holds moral authority in a world gone mad. But that's just until they find a story so seductive that they can't help but discard said authority, as seen in the storm surrounding psycho Phillip Garrido.

Every single news outlet in America — and some abroad — have been absolutely salivating over the details of how Garrido snatched Jaycee Dugard 18 years ago and then turned her into a concubine. The house of horrors has found itself by satellite vans and journalists from respected papers, tabloids and even the lowly blogs. Of course we're all intrigued. We humans are astonishingly weak when it comes to combating our thirst for sickos. And Rich Lieberman of the San Francisco Chronicle now claims that news organizations have been handing out bills for their scoops.

He doesn't offer any names, sadly, but does mention that Garrido's father accepted $2,000 for his words of wisdom and now, like any red-blooded American, he has upped his asking price.

From now on, it's going to be more than $2,000. You're making big stories, and you are getting paid for it. Here I am suffering, so I should get some money out of it.

Oh, Mr. Garrido: no, most people aren't getting paid for it. Well, not very well, at least, so you're probably better than a lot of those poor, unfortunate souls who have to dive deep into your son's sick, depraved world.

But, honestly, we can't say we're surprised. Again, news folk have an insatiable appetite for this sort of thing. And, more importantly, so does the public. It's a vicious circle of pay for play and, yes, the American way.