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Martha Talks
June 5, 2003 6:54 AM   Subscribe

Martha Talks and she proclaims her innocence. Martha Stewart has a new web site, independent of her company that she resigned from, that will detail her battles with the government, putting everything out in the open.
posted by benjh (31 comments total)

 
if I had any money to buy a domain, I'd have this parodied by the end of the day.

Don't fail me now, Mefi'ers. I know you can do it.
posted by angry modem at 7:13 AM on June 5, 2003


In 2000, her line was one of the top five future collectibles.

Web sites that use the word, I, too much[rt click back button]. Home screen: 5 sentences, 3 start with I. You know it's her site, unless she doesn't personally run it.
I I, I take it, she does not trust the media. But how is the public to save her? Seems like they wanted it. I do own a nice cheap set of her flatware. Bought it when the blue-light-isle store closed recently. Guess I shouldn't bite the fork that feeds me.
posted by thomcatspike at 7:34 AM on June 5, 2003


The gall of her lawyers to bring up Enron!

Oh, wait ...
posted by magullo at 7:39 AM on June 5, 2003


Oh, jesus please us Martha, cut a deal, pay the fine, make an act of contrition to the SEC and get on with your business life.
posted by UncleFes at 7:43 AM on June 5, 2003


This should be fun to check back in on from time to time. What would be really interesting is to be able to read the actual indictment. I'd be surprised, though, if her lawyers made it available.

Does anyone know if it is available to the public?
posted by footballrabi at 8:32 AM on June 5, 2003


The Smoking Gun has a copy of the indictment, footballrabi.
posted by eclectica at 8:37 AM on June 5, 2003


Thanks. I love this place.
posted by footballrabi at 8:44 AM on June 5, 2003


well, I think she kind of sealed her fate when she decided to name her company something...something OMNIMEDIA! Much to dramatic and evil sounding.
posted by delmoi at 8:56 AM on June 5, 2003


Here's hoping her indictment yesterday won't interfere with her crucial birdbath-cleaning duties...
posted by Vidiot at 9:07 AM on June 5, 2003


UncleFes, even if she's innocent?

There is a lot more at stake here than her paying a fine or doing jail time. Her entire business is built on her name, and if her name is sullied (or she sullies her name) then her business is done for. I get her magazine and you can already see a difference between her pre-scandal issues and her post-scandal issues, and she hasn't even gone to trial yet.

Even if she is guilty, it is outrageous that she is being villified more than any other inside trader. The guys responsible for Enron et al destroyed the financial security of many of their own employees. lying, cheating and stealing their way into their own financial luxury, and are any of these people in jail? Yes, it is not the same crime, but those guys should have been forced to surrender every thing they own to pay back the people they fleeced, and whatever was left they could keep, after they got out of prison of course. I'm not saying Stewart shouldn't be held accountable if guilty, but the voracity with which she is being persecuted is not in proportion to her "crime."

IMHO, she's way too smart to do something so stupid to begin with.
posted by archimago at 9:14 AM on June 5, 2003


Here here, archimago.
There are far more people doing far worse things right under our noses, and this is who our government chooses to persecute to the full extent of the law?
posted by herc at 9:20 AM on June 5, 2003


Did anyone else see that made for TV movie about Martha starring Cybil Shepard about a week or so ago? Lord, I watched an hour of it with my girlfriend and it was the most damning, overzealous piece of tripe I'd seen on television in a long time. I almost wound up feeling sorry for Martha, which was when I knew it was time to leave.
posted by Ufez Jones at 9:21 AM on June 5, 2003


Martha should star in the Cybil Shepard movie.
posted by archimago at 9:40 AM on June 5, 2003


C'mon, Ufez...are you sure you didn't watch more than an hour of it? You can tell us.

I saw it (all of it) and I have to say that I think your assessment is right, but that it was all done in a kind of knowing, tongue-in-cheek way. Maybe I don't watch enough made-for-TV movies to know (...so little time), but I got the sense that there was no way the people who made that film took it seriously. On the other hand, maybe my tripe defense mechanism kicked in.

I also got the distinct feeling that there was a slight implication that the relationship between Martha and her business partner was more than just business, if you take my meaning. Did anyone else catch that?
posted by footballrabi at 9:49 AM on June 5, 2003


I really did just watch the first hour, due to my departing to go listen to a basketball game on the radio. I'm hoping your tongue-in-cheek assessment is right, rabi. If that is the case, however, it's another step in the wrong direction for the major networks (what was it on, NBC?) I could totally see that movie playing on USA or something, but I was fairly surprised to see in on primetime network tv.
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:11 AM on June 5, 2003


Let's remember that it doesn't matter if she is or is not guilt of insider trading, because she was no indicted on insider trading. She was indicted on 'obstruction of justice' which is very strange since it seems like she has been nothing but forthcoming about the incident.

She volunteered herself to prosecutors, and there really is no public evidence that she obstructed investigators.

Meanwhile, while Martha saved $46,000 on this transaction, Ken Lay is golfing around with millions of people's retirement funds, with nothing said.

Is it because Kenny Boy is a friend of the man on Pennsylvania Avenue? Is it because she is a woman? Is it both? There has to be a reason why Martha Stewart is being so vilified for what was a chump-change transaction, and no evidence of her guilt.

Why should she cop a plea when she may not be guilty?

What really annoys me is how the press and the federal government make it seem she was indicted on insider trading charges, when she was in fact only indicted on obstruction of justice charges. And those seem to look like the federal government is trying to look tough on corporations while saving the skins of their more-evil benefactors of their party, such as Kenny Boy Lay.
posted by benjh at 10:11 AM on June 5, 2003


Does Martha's indictment make the ImClone trading card more valuable? Does an ImClone card beat a Harken card?
posted by homunculus at 11:15 AM on June 5, 2003


UncleFes, even if she's innocent?

Innocence< -->Guilt is moot! This is business. First, if she was squeaky clean, this wouldn't be an issue. She's not. But by keeping her name in the news, fighting in the face of what at least on the surface are some fairly obvious insider trading issues, she only hurts herself. The fine will not end her business; fighting a long-term losing PR battle in an environment that sees corporate CEOs and execs as highly paid criminals will contribute to exactly the situation you describe - by fighting, she only serves to sully her reputation further. AND she's a CEO that the public loves to hate, which means one thing: she cannot win. The sooner this entire issue goes away, the better for her - yet she seems bent of making sure it stays in the public eye. Bad BAD idea.

In the end, proportional punishment and accountability doesn't matter one whit. She's not Ken Lay, and the capriciousness of the SEC, NASD and IRS is legendary. She has to think of her own business and reputation, and she's blowing it.
posted by UncleFes at 11:19 AM on June 5, 2003


Upon review: Sure, it smells like extortion. But one look at the tobacco settlement should be enough to show that our government is not even remotely above it.
posted by UncleFes at 11:38 AM on June 5, 2003


Fes, your point is well-taken. I would surmise that it is not M.S. herself that is keeping her name in the news, it's the media swags who are following her around because of her celebrity. And that makes it sad for her that she cannot deny the charges without it being made into a media storm. We are, in theory at least, innocent until proven guilty, and she would be criticized just as much had she kept closed-mouthed about the whole thing because people do equate silence with guilt.

Again, I'm not prejudging her innocence or guilt, but it's a fascinating case to analyze just in the way it is playing out.

I've never been rich and I have never been famous, but I would like to think that even if I were, my name and reputation as a law-abider would be more important to me than my businesses, especially if I already had enough money to live high on the hog for the rest of my life. Stewart's name is everything to her business, and the fact that she is vehemently denying these charges speaks to the importance of her name to her "empire."

Look at what happened to Michael Jackson. He was accused of molesting a child, and instead of fighting for his name and innocence, he paid off the kid to get it out of the news, and his career has been a train wreck ever since then. That act itself to me was an admission of guilt, and I think a lot of other people feel this way. I guess it's a matter of personal opinion, but if I knew I were innocent, there isn't anything that would stop me from fighting for the truth. But again, I concede that I have never been in the postion of being involved in something so horrendous that I would have done anything just to make it go away.

I think I am starting to argue against myself. I've been at this computer way too long today.
posted by archimago at 11:47 AM on June 5, 2003


Oh, and just a note on the FPP, she didn't resign from the company. She stepped down from CEO and Chair. She's still the Chief Creative Officer and is still on the board.
posted by archimago at 11:50 AM on June 5, 2003


I think, at worst, she merits a slap on each wrist.

Now, the Enron sleazeballs...those guys should've been lined up against a wall and machine-gunned.

alumshubby: bringing summary vigilante justice to Metafilter since September 28, 2001.
posted by alumshubby at 12:51 PM on June 5, 2003


"When creating an ass-saving website, be sure to use both script and roman fonts--It's a good thing....Try a soothing, yet cheerful color like Celadon as well. Your readers will thank you for the care and attention you put into it."
posted by amberglow at 12:54 PM on June 5, 2003


What benjh said. And alumshubby for that matter.

Now, I'm no Martha Fan...in fact, I've been a pretty vocal critic...but this prosecution is absurd. Especially with Kenny Boy still out there, able to pull enough strings with the people at the SEC so as to stay out of the courts.

I dunno, maybe Martha didn't pony up enough campaign "contributions" to be able to pull a K.Lay.
posted by dejah420 at 2:08 PM on June 5, 2003


dvorak has the scoop! in the boingboing guestbar :D
posted by kliuless at 4:13 PM on June 5, 2003


dejah, I'm with you...I don't like Martha, never did...but I find it rather fascinating that the poster child "fall guy" for corporate sleaze is a woman (one of only 10 on the Fortune 500 list in 2002) who has been a major democratic contributor - she made plenty of contributions, just the wrong flavor.

I certainly don't condone corporate crime, and certainly not hers, but the relative gravity of her offense on the scale of corporate rape and pillage is indeed "chump change" as benjh put it.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:06 PM on June 5, 2003


Here's an AP article that raises an interesting point: She's being charged with "securities fraud" (i.e., trying to pump up the value of a stock that she has significant holdings of) BY SAYING SHE'S INNOCENT! Seems kind of strange (they say "highly unusual")...as one quote in the article says, "There's kind of a natural tendency when you're confronted with something to deny it. Now they're charging it as market manipulation."
posted by Vidiot at 10:17 PM on June 5, 2003


she made plenty of contributions, just the wrong flavor.

Maybe she should have tried these guys.
posted by homunculus at 5:16 PM on June 6, 2003



...more than 20,000 visitors have taken the time to send messages of support and encouragement.

While I am unable to respond to each of these messages individually, I have read many of them already and I am doing my best to read them all.


READ THEM ALL??? 20000 emails and counting?

What an idiot.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:59 PM on June 6, 2003



What an idiot.


That seems unnecessarily harsh. If she reads a couple hundred a day she can move through them pretty quick. She stays up all night after all, it will be a good way to kill time.
posted by thirteen at 9:20 PM on June 6, 2003


At the risk of reviving this topic too much, Lilly makes some interesting observations about the Martha Talks website over on her site.
posted by crunchland at 6:14 AM on June 12, 2003


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