Tuesday, March 29, 2005

BBC's Greg Palast gives me a message for LA Times editor on Arnold/Enron news blackout

On Mar 19, 2005, at 10:57 PM Professor Smartass wrote:


I recently wrote a letter to the LA Times asking why they haven't been more aggressive in covering Arnold's relationship to Enron and the other energy scammers, and attached the project censored coverage of your story. The editor disputed some of the basic facts about Cruz Bustamante even filing a lawsuit, and Arnold having the ability to make it go away.

You can see the LA Times letter and my original letter at http://professorsmartass.blogspot.com/

-- Professor Smartass


From: contact@gregpalast.com

Subject: Re: LA Times disputes Arnold/Enron story
Date: March 29, 2005 12:54:51 PM PST

Hi Professor Smartass,
Greg has written a response which he would you to post or sent to this LA Times guy.
Thanks for making us aware of it.
Kindest regards,

Here's Greg's comment:

The LA Times editor misreads my exposé on your governor's undermining of the legal action against Enron and other power pirates (or, typical of editors, he commented without reading it).

I'm not surprised. This is a highly complex matter involving regulatory financial accounting and the nexus of regulatory and tort law. It is not the expertise one normally finds in a typical newsroom where almost all matter printed comes from simplified press releases and official statements.

While best known for my TV and popular writings, I am, in another life, an expert on electricity finances and law, author of a seminal work in the area, Democracy and Regulation, introduced by California Public Utilities Commissioner Carl Wood, based on my lectures at the Department of Applied Economics at Cambridge University, England, and the University of Sao Paolo.

The Times editor says his reporters have reviewed much energy-related "stuff" -- and could not find these stories. Indeed, the Times missed the entire Enron story until they could re-print the discoveries of the Wall Street Journal.

I sympathize with the Times limitations in this area; which is why it may be unfair that my team won a journalism award for this story from California State University and not the Times.

As one newspaper wrote in an embarrassingly glowing profile of my reporting, "Palast's ability to make sense of stacks of dense financial data earned him a reputation for doggedness (he holds an MBA from the University of Chicago)."

It was in the LA Times.

Greg Palast
Author, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy." View Palast's reports for BBC TV at www.GregPalast.com

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