OLD Media Moves

Wasting Charlie's time

March 3, 2010

Fox Business Network‘s Charles Gasparino attended the “The Great Recession: How Should Journalists Respond” seminar hosted by the Committee of Concerned Journalists, but he came away frustrated by the lack of interest by business journalists in questioning former Treasury secretary Henry Paulsen about what happened.

Gasparino writes, “But rather, my esteemed colleagues from the journalism elite wasted my time, and just about everyone’s in the room, often waxing poetic about why we as journalists failed to notify the public well in advance that the banking system was in deep trouble and destined for collapse. They did this when they had one of the perpetrators of that collapse, Paulson, sitting right there, and yet no one dared to ask him the most important question: How did he in 2007 fail to see the coming financial tsunami and even at times tell the investing public the markets were healing before they imploded?

“Before the event, which was held aptly enough at the Harvard Club, I tried to ask Paulson this question myself. The accompanying video shows you his response. I was later told by Paulson’s press secretary that the entire event was ‘off the record,’ meaning that I couldn’t report on his comments. When I checked that with the Committee for Concerned Journalists — which is affiliated with my alma mater, the University of Missouri School of Journalism — the people there assured me the entire event, including Paulson’s remarks, were for public consumption and could be reported.

“It might as well have been off-the-record event. Paulson’s speech was pretty bland – a critique of some of the miscues the press made covering the meltdown. Paulson as media critic should have struck everyone in the room as bizarre because as CEO of Goldman, Paulson may have been the least media friendly of any Wall Street CEO, working, of course, at the least media friendly firm of them all.”

Read more here.

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