OLD Media Moves

Gary Weiss on the relationship between the media and Wall Street

January 19, 2006

Gary Weiss is a long-time business journalist who worked for Barron’s and then later BusinessWeek. (Disclosure: Gary was at BW during my tenure there, but we never worked together on any stories.) He has a new book out called “Wall Street versus America: The Rampant Greed and Dishonesty that Imperil your Investments.”

On his blog today, Weiss makes a comment about a column written by Bloomberg News writer Susan Antilla regarding a lawsuit against a major Wall Street investment house. Antilla is describing what will happen next in the lawsuit. Weiss writes: “Note that the media plays an essential role in the process — a phenomenon that I describe in Wall Street Versus America.

“Keep in mind that Wall Street isn’t Iraq or the White House or Congress. As a rule (Susan Antilla being one conspicuous exception), the media is not an adversary to Street institutions and regulators but on board — very much part of the team. That’s why examples of atrocious media coverage can be found throughout my book.”

The implication is that business journalists don’t cover the big Wall Street firms as aggressively as they should. I can’t wait to get a copy of the book to see the specific allegations of misdoings by the media. In an e-mail, Weiss says that one of the examples is how BusinessWeek “flubbed Enron.”

I also discovered that Weiss, who tells me he left BusinessWeek last year to write books, is a founding member of Project Klebnikov, a consortium of investigative journalists, organized in July 2005, which is probing the murder in Moscow of Paul Klebnikov, editor of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine. The people accused of murdering Klebnikov are currently on trial.

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