Is it still a good thing?
March 11, 2004 1:02 PM   Subscribe

Here's a dainty can of pastel worms: The Democracy Now! show on Pacifica Radio is asking this question: "Was Martha Stewart Targeted Because She is a Major Democratic Contributor and a Woman? Where is Ken Lay?"
Article here, or watch the stream for low or high bandwidth.

Is it still a good thing?
posted by moonbird (17 comments total)

Martha was convicted because:

* Slam dunk instance of insider trading

* Did not invoke right to remain silent (the 5th is a Good Thing)

* Lied to Feds (to avoid a fine and probably disgorging $50k profit)

* Made public statements about doing nothing wrong (possible attempt to bolster MSO stock price)

* Being a licensed stock broker, she should have known better than to do any of the above

* Came across as arrogant in trial, even showing up the last day in a fur.

By contrast, Kenny Boy's case is complicated, and he has kept his mouth shut. My hope is that his case is taking so long because the Feds just want to make sure they have enough evidence to put him away. Do not mistake stupidity with conspiracy.
posted by ilsa at 1:23 PM on March 11, 2004

and I just wanted to throw in my favorite Martha t-shirt:
"No Justice, No Quiche"
posted by wendell at 1:23 PM on March 11, 2004

Slam dunk instance of insider trading. Actually, no.
But what many people don't know is that the government did not charge Stewart with insider trading. In addition, the judge threw out the most serious charge in the case - securities fraud. So what was Martha Stewart guilty of? - Basically, of lying to a federal investigator.
Interesting weighing insider training versus lying (not under oath) during a federal investigation.
posted by ao4047 at 1:29 PM on March 11, 2004 [1 favorite]

Who was it who said "never attribute to evil anything that could be explained by stupidity"?

Or maybe the Fed Attys are just waiting until after the '04 elections to see whether or not jailing Lay would kill their careers...
posted by wendell at 1:30 PM on March 11, 2004

ilsa -

Im positive the Bush administration will get to the bottom of it and see that Ken Lay is delt justice!

Also, not really.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 1:33 PM on March 11, 2004

Also Martha-related: Forbes' "Best Places to Go to Prison"
posted by wendell at 1:37 PM on March 11, 2004

A lot of people over at the National Review have sided with Martha, including John O'Sullivan, who makes the same point about insider trading as ao4047. NRO also published a balancing opinion by Andrew McCarthy (not the one in Mannequin) which takes on the "no insider trading" argument.

"No Justice, No Quiche." I love that.
posted by coelecanth at 1:46 PM on March 11, 2004

From what I knew, she got busted for answering their questions but being a bitch about it.

Ken Lay's smart enough to keep his trap shut but I bet he still thinks every knock on the door or phone call is the Feds finally coming for him. He knows its coming, just not when.
posted by fenriq at 1:52 PM on March 11, 2004

Democracy Now is an insanely radical left wing radio show. I'd take anything from that program with a huge grain of salt, just as I would anything from the Rush Limbaugh show.
posted by milnak at 2:00 PM on March 11, 2004

Hey, ain't saying it's true. Just sayin'...
posted by moonbird at 2:29 PM on March 11, 2004

insanely radical

I heard a snowboarder describe the hill he was on in precisely the same terms yesterday.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:46 PM on March 11, 2004

Gee, DemNow MUST be right - none of these folks was indicted, right: Ebbers, Fastow, Koslowszki, Skilling, Wachsal... need I go on?
posted by twsf at 2:59 PM on March 11, 2004

Pacifica openly ADMITS their liberal -- er, "progressive" -- bias. How liberal, er -- "progressive" does that make them?

Fox News of the Left, anyone?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:45 PM on March 11, 2004

"Indicted" is not "convicted." Yep, the Enron fallout means complex cases with far-reaching consequences. There really isn't a comparison.

Martha Stewart broke the law, along with her buddy Peter. With a couple of outstanding issues, the charges and evidence were clear-cut. The financial implications were quite minimal, and affected no one else but Martha and her buddy. An easy case.

Enron, on the other hand, has broken so many laws and destroyed the lives and financial well-being of thousands. The political ramifications go all the way up to the White House, while the financial ramifications include other businesses, other countries, and the very way we handle business in the United States. Not so easy a case, and involves the very people decrying Enron as an example of bad corporate culture.

As for "taking the Fifth", Skilling has in fact declared he was too ignorant to be guilty. That's the same defense the other three have taken - that they were duped.

Let's face it - Martha was low-hanging fruit, easily plucked as a win.
posted by FormlessOne at 4:14 PM on March 11, 2004

Formlessone is right on.
But you know the Enron Gang is praying for re-election next November.
posted by Fupped Duck at 6:00 AM on March 12, 2004

posted by Eamon at 6:04 PM on March 14, 2004

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