OLD Media Moves

The Audit and Goldman Sachs

July 18, 2009

Yvette Kantrow of The Deal wants to know why Columbia Journalism Review‘s The Audit, which critiques the business press, took so long to recognize a critical article about Goldman Sachs in Rolling Stone.

Kantrow writes, “The piece also seemed tailor-made for The Audit because, at least from this outsider’s point of view, the site and the story appeared to share the same politics.

“Still, nothing was forthcoming — a state of affairs that got stranger when an Audit piece on the Goldman Sachs code-theft case linked to two stories on the powers of ‘Government Sachs’ but made no mention of Taibbi’s blockbuster. Now, we understand that The Audit isn’t necessarily comprehensive. But we were also tempted to speculate that the silence may stem from the fact that Goldman is one of The Audit’s backers. In fact, reacting to the brouhaha over The Washington Post’s fundraising ‘salons,’ The Audit recently disclosed that it holds semiannual breakfasts for its funders and potential funders, including Goldman and Citigroup Inc.

“That could make it decidedly awkward for the site to deal with Taibbi’s takedown. It’s a tough situation. Praise Taibbi and piss off a funder; tear the story apart and look like its mouthpiece. Still, The Audit has not shied from criticizing Goldman in the past; it even got into a public spat with Goldman spokesman Lucas van Praag over its take on the firm’s role in the AIG bailout and how it benefited from it.

“Audit writer Ryan Chittum said his site’s silence had nothing to do with Goldman but everything to do with the fact that Rolling Stone was slow to put the entire Taibbi piece online.”

Read more here.

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