Aguirre defends one Pulitzer winner, but not another
Gary Aguirre, the former SEC attorney who has testified before Congress about preferential treatment he believes the agency gave certain Wall Streeters, defended one business journalist, but not another, TheDeal.com executive editor Yvette Kantrow pointed out in her latest column.
Kantrow wrote that Aguirre wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal last week where he criticized its coverage.
She wrote, “In his letter, Aguirre takes issue with the Journal’s portrayal of him, in a column and an editorial, ‘as a former SEC attorney who makes groundless charges against the Wall Street elite and SEC officials.’ Aguirre wants to make clear that he has made allegations only against the SEC for what he sees as the favorable treatment it afforded Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack in the Pequot matter; he has leveled no insider trading charges against Mack himself. It’s a point also made by the Times in an October editorial, when it acknowledged that there ‘is hardly enough information available to jump to conclusions’ about Mack, even after it ran a front-page story, fueled by Aguirre’s allegations, implying that the SEC should investigate him for possible insider trading abuses. For both the Times and Aguirre, smearing Mack’s name is apparently no big deal as long as it serves the larger end of nailing the SEC.
“Aguirre also notes that he has offered ‘ample evidence’ to support his claims against the SEC and takes the Journal to task for attacking ‘one of two Pulitzer-prize winning reporters who co-authored the first New York Times article about the SEC’s investigation of Pequot,’ referring, of course, to Gretchen Morgenson. It’s the third time in six weeks that Morgenson’s defenders have used her Pulitzer to deflect critics. That’s one potent prize.”
Later, Kantrow noted that Aguirre took exception to the reporting by San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Bruce Bigelow, who was part of a team that won a Pulitzer last year.
She wrote, “The story notes that Aguirre’s supervisors at the SEC testified before Congress that he treated colleagues who disagreed with his methods with ‘disrespect, bordering on contempt.’
“When the paper asked Aguirre to comment, the story said, he wrote a letter to the chief legal officer of The Copley Press, publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune. ‘I suggest the U-T give careful thought before it launches an attack on my reputation by using the patently false testimony of senior SEC officials under investigation,’ the letter said.
“Really, now. Is that any way to treat a winner of the Pulitzer Prize?”
Read more here.