That’s a distortion of what I told Kantrow, who makes it sound as if I only wrote about Taibbi’s piece because she emailed me, which is false. It’s also false that I told her it would run “tomorrow,” as you can see in the full text of my email to her:
Indeed Goldman is one of our funders, but that doesn’t have anything to do with why I haven’t written about the Taibbi piece. That’s just my fault.
I didn’t get around to reading it until a couple of days ago because I didn’t have a copy of the mag (I work from DC and not in our publication-infested HQ in Morningside Heights), and RS didn’t put it online. I’m opposed to stealing people’s content, like some sites have done in posting PDFs of the story, so I didn’t read it there.
Right now, I’m finishing up a post on Goldman Sachs coverage for today in which I try to loop in Taibbi’s piece to make a bigger point. That should be up in an hour or two. My boss Dean Starkman handles all The Audit’s fundraising stuff and I haven’t participated in any of it. So it’d be best to talk to him about this.
Have a good one,
I’ll also point out that I’m hardly the only business journalist who didn’t read Taibbi’s piece for a while. Justin Fox of Time for instance, didn’t either, for many of the same reasons.
We’ve never claimed at The Audit to be a comprehensive review of everything out there. In fact, if you’ll notice, I blog and focus most of my attention on newspapers. I hadn’t got around to writing about Taibbi’s piece, but I also hadn’t got around to writing about Michael Lewis’ big piece on AIG in Vanity Fair or Connie Bruck’s Angelo Mozilo profile in New Yorker. Neither has made the splash Taibbi’s piece has made, but they’re important works.
I’d also point out that I didn’t get around to writing about Taibbi’s piece on AIG in March—which if not as talked about as his Goldman one, was a close second. AIG is not an Audit funder, by the way.
The Audit has never made any claims to be completist. We’d love to critique everything, but our resources are limited. And, you know, we try to do things that go beyond merely reacting to the article of the day, such as this deconstruction of business failures pre-crisis.
I went back to the archives to see if I could find one time we’ve mentioned Goldman Sachs in a positive light but couldn’t find one. We have been hard on Wall Street, including and perhaps especially Goldman.
Here’s a post from July 7 in which I asked if a prosecutor’s statement means that Goldman has the power to manipulate markets in unfair ways and called for the press to dig into that area (with a follow-up highlighting it again three days later). Weirdly, Kantrow cites this as evidence that we were covering up the Taibbi piece.
Still, nothing was forthcoming — a state of affairs that got stranger when an Audit piece on the Goldman Sachs code-theft case linked to two stories on the powers of “Government Sachs” but made no mention of Taibbi’s blockbuster. Now, we understand that The Audit isn’t necessarily comprehensive. But we were also tempted to speculate that the silence may stem from the fact that Goldman is one of The Audit’s backers. In fact, reacting to the brouhaha over The Washington Post’s fundraising “salons,” The Audit recently disclosed that it holds semiannual breakfasts for its funders and potential funders, including Goldman and Citigroup Inc.
But that’s made even stranger by the fact that Kantrow admits that The Audit has hammered Goldman.
That could make it decidedly awkward for the site to deal with Taibbi’s takedown. It’s a tough situation. Praise Taibbi and piss off a funder; tear the story apart and look like its mouthpiece. Still, The Audit has not shied from criticizing Goldman in the past; it even got into a public spat with Goldman spokesman Lucas van Praag over its take on the firm’s role in the AIG bailout and how it benefited from it.
Which we have. Here’s Audit CEO Dean Starkman zeroing in on Goldman last fall, calling the events “Goldman’s Backdoor Bailout. And more here and here. Here’s that “spat” Dean got into with Goldman last year.
Here’s one from April in which I took the press to task for not nailing Goldman on its first-quarter earnings chicanery. And for not giving more play to a massive mortgage settlement the firm paid to Massachusetts (with a follow-up).
There’s a lot more like that in the archives. Go have a look.