Stop Thief! NYT steals Examiner’s AIG scoop with no attribution

by John Berlau on April 17, 2009 · 1 comment

in Bailout Watch, Culture, Politics as Usual, Sanctimony

One week after Washington Examiner ace investigative reporter Timothy P. Carney broke the blockbuster story reporting that American International Group’s post-bailout CEO Edward Liddy owned a large stake in Goldman Sachs. a top recipient of the AIG bailout, the New York Times has decided that this is news “fit to print.” But for some reason, the so-called paper of record didn’t think it was “fit” to give any credit to the original source of this story.

Almost all of the significant details in the Times story  by Mary Williams Walsh, posted last night on its web site, were reported in Carney’s column in the Examiner a week ago (and elaborated on in my post in Open Market): The fact that Liddy — who was installed in his position by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson (and with the approval of  then-Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Tim Geithner, a detail not in the Times story!) — still owns more than 27,000 shares of Goldman Sachs that its valued at more than $3 million; and that this represented a potential conflict of interest because Goldman was a counterparty of AIG that got $13 billion from the taxpyer-funded bailout.

The Times even talks to the same AIG spokeswoman, Christina Pretto, who originally confirmed these details for Carney. But the story doesn’t once reveal to Times readers that all this information had already been broken by the Examiner.

It is highly doubtful the Times hadn’t known of the Examiner piece. Earlier, at the prominent financial blog site Ritholtz.com, prominet risk analyst Chris Whalen wrote a commentary on the issue citing both Carney’s piece and my analysis in Open Market.

The Times’ appropriation in its covering of what I had described to Carney as a “looting” of taxpayers and AIG shareholders can, in a sense, be called thievery on top of thievery.

Karyn McDermott April 17, 2009 at 4:43 am

Tim,

Is it any wonder the NYT is the verge of bankruptcy? The same paper ran a protest in Afghanstan on its front page yesterday and relegated the tea parties to age 14.

Keep up the good work.

Regards

Karyn

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