Another way to look at Rattner’s “renaissance” is how elite deviancy has been defined down. Check Obama political guru David Axelrod’s quote on Rattner (emphasis mine):

Whatever happened in New York didn’t obviate the great service he rendered.”

Sorkin does give us a giant conflicts-disclosure paragraph:

Before we go any further, some disclosures are in order: It is well documented that Mr. Rattner is a longtime friend and confidant of the publisher of this newspaper, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. (Mr. Sulzberger was in attendance at Mr. Rattner’s birthday party, too.) Mr. Rattner was a reporter for The Times in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He also now writes a monthly Op-Ed column in The Times, arguably providing him with a powerful platform that increases his influence. I purposely haven’t discussed anything about Mr. Rattner with Mr. Sulzberger before writing this column. Now that that’s done, let’s continue.

But he might have mentioned his other boss’s major role in Rattner’s rehab.

Comcast owns CNBC, where Sorkin hosts Squawk Box on weekday mornings, and which has been kind to Rattner over the years, as well as MSNBC, where Rattner has been Morning Joe’s regular economics analyst.

Rattner happens to be close friends with Brian Roberts, the scion CEO of Comcast.

In other words, Rattner has the New York-area media world wrapped up. That’s how you go from settling bribery charges for $16 million right back onto the power-lunch circuit. It’s not hard to figure out.

 

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.