Utah papers fail in covering Overstock.com
Weiss writes, “Now, we can’t expect reporters to be accountants. But we do expect reporters to call accountants when confronted with companies that have a history of making false or misleading statements–particularly to their own newspapers.
“The lesson for Utah’s newspapers, and other newspapers in similar situations, is Journalism 101: Call an expert. Read the 10-Ks. Sure, you had to go to page F-53 of the 10-K to read about just how significant the 4Q 2008 restatement was — and how much the company had lied in the past. Given the company’s history of lies, evasions and misstatements, what else could they expect? Relying on the press release of a company like Overstock is simply inept.
“Years ago you had to pay document retrieval services big bucks to get SEC filings. Now they’re on the web, instantaneously. Sure these are big documents. So? If you can’t figure them out, there are people who can do so.
“The bottom line is that there is no excuse for incompetence nowadays in covering corporate slimeballs like Overstock.com. All it takes is Internet access, a telephone, and something lacking in Salt Lake City’s media–a little backbone.”
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