OLD Media Moves

Law professor: Backdating is business journalism scandal

January 10, 2007

University of Illinois law professor Larry Ribstein, who is a frequent critic of business journalists when it comes to their writing about compensation, posted on his Ideoblog that the recent controversy about companies backdating stock options to the lowest price of the stock is not that big of a deal.

Ribstein wrote that the coverage has been “vastly overblown.”

He wrote, “Backdating is not a business scandal.  It is a scandal of credulous (or worse) business journalism.  It is a story about how journalists have been willing to whip the public into seething resentment against corporate malefactors, while paying little attention to the actual real world consequences and implications of the practice it was reporting.  Backdating may not have been totally innocuous (I never said it was), but that doesn’t exonerate the journalists from telling both sides.  Apple has brought us at least a little closer to the light at the end of this depressing tunnel.”

Thems fighting words where I come from. Read more here.

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