OLD Media Moves

Media absent while company crushes independent analyst

June 28, 2009

Business journalist Gary Weiss writes on his blog about Gretchen Morgenson‘s column in the New York Times on Sunday, wondering why the business media sat by and watched a company run an independent analyst out of business.

Weiss writes, “Articles like Gretchen’s are welcome, but they are the exception to the rule. Whistleblower warnings tend to be disregarded by the media — as they were in the case of Madoff whistleblower Harry Markopolos — and Antar’s detailed dissection of Overstock accounting has been similarly ignored by the press, which instead prefers to print puff pieces like this rubbish today in the Boston Globe.

“The media, unfortunately, can sometimes exceed the regulatory agencies in laziness and irresponsibility. Except for a Joe Nocera column a couple of years ago, Matrixx’s battle with Mulligan received only sporadic coverage in the press, mainly small articles on hiccups in the legal battle.

“There’s been some coverage by Nocera and others of Overstock’s vicious campaign to intimidate its critics, which recently included dispatching a hireling named Judd Bagley to contact Antar’s estranged wife. Byrne has sicced his hoods on reporters who dare to describe his activities in less than flattering terms, and Sam’s accounting analysis — such as his finding that a fourth quarter profit was a result of smoke and mirrors — has received virtually no coverage.

“Maybe it’s the intimidation campaign, or maybe simple laziness. Hell, the Boston Globe reporter who cranked out the puff piece on Byrne today might have had to actually read Sam’s blog, or give him a call if he didn’t understand the accounting terminology involved.”

Read more here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.