the audit

Audit Notes: Greg Smith, Mike Daisey, David Carr

March 16, 2012

Quote of the day goes either to Bloomberg or The Epicurean Dealmaker. It’s a tough one.

Bloomberg finds Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman saying this about Greg Smith’s famous Goldman Sachs kissoff in The New York Times:

Morgan Stanley’s Gorman said he told staff not to circulate the op-ed.

“I was surprised that anyone would run an op-ed piece based upon the view of a single employee,” Gorman said today at an event in New York hosted by Fortune magazine.

Right. Gorman would never question giving a senior executive a platform to pop off about anything. But a worker’s viewpoint doesn’t count, even when it’s been fact-checked.

The Epicurean Dealmaker says this on Twitter:

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All this circling of wagons around Goldman and Blankfein by fellow plutocrats reveals the real threat is from within: the 0.99% vs the 0.01%

It’s close, but I’ll go with TED.

— With the stunning news that This American Life is retracting its episode on Apple and Foxconn after finding that Mike Daisey misled them about fabrications in his story, it’s worth noting that Ira Glass and TAL are showing how a news organization should act when hit with a scandal like this.

Jack Shafer writes that “It’s almost impossible for an editor to fact-check a contributor who lies.”

Particularly when those lies are about things that have actually taken place—just not in Daisey’s presence, as he had claimed.

Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz, the reporter who uncovered the problems in Daisey’s story (and deserves much praise for it), tells the NYT‘s Brian Stelter that:

“What makes this a little complicated is that the things Daisey lied about are things that have actually happened in China: Workers making Apple products have been poisoned by hexane. Apple’s own audits show the company has caught underage workers at a handful of its suppliers. These things are rare, but together, they form an easy-to-understand narrative about Apple.”

— David Carr writes that Apple is now worth more than the entire U.S. retail sector, although the sourcing is enough to strike fear into the heart of a business editor (emphasis mine):

According to a post on Wednesday in Zero Hedge, Apple’s market capitalization, about $550 billion, now tops the entire combined market cap of retail in America as measured by Standard and Poor’s.

Carr points to Alan Mutter in noting that the advertising revenue of the entire newspaper industry is just two-thirds that of Google alone:

Sort of a moment, when you think about it. It wasn’t that long ago when Web-based enterprises were considered an ancillary extension of brick-and-mortar franchises. Now they seem to be taking apart legacy businesses, brick by brick.

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 Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.