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5 Really Crazy Things Reporters Have Done To Get A Scoop

No one ever said getting the scoop was easy; sometimes, journalists have to go to extreme lengths in pursuit of a story. In USA Network's new Limited Series Event "Political Animals," Carla Gugino plays a tough, ambitious reporter hounding the Hammonds, one of America’s most powerful political families. Catch her in action on the premiere of "Political Animals," Sundays at 10/9C on USA.

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1. In 2008, Joe McGinniss became Sarah Palin's neighbor to write a book about her.

Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Joe McGinniss moved in next door to Sarah Palin, and then wrote the best selling book, "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin." Sarah Palin, obviously, did not like him living next door at all. She wrote on her Facebook, "Wonder what kind of material he'll gather while overlooking Piper's bedroom, my little garden, and the family's swimming hole?"

2. James O'Keefe and Lila Rose pretended to be pregnant, and secretly recorded their encounters at Planned Parenthood.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

The recordings revealed violations of policy at that particular Planned Parenthood location in LA, and the videos received national attention.

James O'Keefe, conservative activist, also gained wide media attention after he released recordings of ACORN employees giving advice on the sex trade and money-laundering.

3. Famous war photographer, Robert Capa almost died while photographing the first wave of assault on D-Day of WWII.


Robert Capa volunteered to take photos at the forefront of D-Day, and almost risked his life doing so. He took many photos of the battle, but only 11 survive to this day. His images are iconic to how we remember D-Day, and they inspired movies like "Saving Private Ryan."

4. Merriman Smith got punched while breaking the JFK asassination story.

Andrea Allen / CC BY http://2.0 / Flickr: sloth_rider

In 1964, Merriman Smith (White House correspondent for United Press International) won a Pulitzer for breaking the news of the Kennedy assassination. On the day of the assassination, reporters were following JFK's limousine in a special telephone car. The phone was supposed to rotate between the reporters, but Smith often kept the phone, just in case. After JFK was shot, Smith was the first person to call in the news. All the other reporters were furious he was taking so much time on the phone- Jack Bell (reporter for AP) actually punched Smith trying to get the phone away!

5. In 2003, Ryan Parry, a Daily Mirror reporter, got a job as a Buckingham Palace footman to get access inside.

Sheri / CC BY-SA http://2.0 / Flickr: bellatrix6 / Via

As a footman, Parry had access to every room in the Buckingham Palace. He delivered meals to the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, and he took pictures of the Belgian Suite where former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, were staying. Parry was extremely surprised at how easy it was to bypass the security checks with his false references, and suggested that if a terrorist were to do the same thing, terrible things could happen. Immediately after his article was published, the Palace security went under a thorough review.

Inspired by Susan Berg, the dedicated reporter in USA's "Political Animals."

Susan Berg (Carla Gugino) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who made her name publishing scathing columns about the Hammonds, a former First Family. Smart, stubborn and strong-willed, she’ll do just about anything to get the story--including threatening to expose painful family secrets. "There is no difference between the personal and the political,” she claims. “It’s not my job to care, it’s my job to reveal.” Catch the premiere of "Political Animals," Sundays at 10/9C only on USA.