OLD Media Moves

Fortune writers view the Enron trial

February 1, 2006

Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, the two Fortune magazine writers who wrote, “The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron,” are in Houston at the Enron trial, and they posted some of their observations this morning.

Jeff SkillingIncluded is some points about the media coverage, and how they were received by defendants Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. They wrote: “Despite a close cooperation in trial strategy, Lay and Skilling have shown flashes of their contrasting personalities. Neither former CEO is a fan of our Enron book, ‘The Smartest Guys in the Room.’ And Skilling, never much good at hiding his feelings, made a point of offering a sly jibe, sidling up to each of us during a break in the courtroom proceedings, to offer the same remark: ‘You certainly look prosperous. Your book must have sold quite well.’ Lay, as always, was genial, greeting us as he did other journalists, with a broad smile and a handshake.

“The media jam for Monday’s jury selection eased a bit on Tuesday, though reporters who really wanted seats in the courtroom (as opposed to a separate courthouse room offering a closed-circuit video feed) sent paid line-holders (in one case, at $50 an hour) as early as 3 a.m.

“The hometown Houston Chronicle has provided saturation coverage, including three separate online blogs. Among the pre-dawn arrivals Tuesday was the paper’s sleepy-eyed fashion writer, who is preparing an analysis of the courtroom stars’ sartorial splendor — such as it is. (Grey suits are the uniform of choice.)”

Can’t wait to read that story about the attire.

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