Wednesday, July 10, 2002
Fact-checking Krugman: It would be nice to do this as a full-time job, but I don't have that luxury. NRO's Byron York does a thorough and honest analysis of Bush's Harken Energy "scandal" -- pointing out a variety of misleading and false charges by The New York Times' Paul Krugman.
Regarding the late filing of SEC Form 4 that Krugman and his ilk made such a big deal about:
Whatever the reason, the fact that the report was filed late, while a violation of SEC rules, does not seem particularly damning in the absence of any underlying wrongdoing that a late filing might have been intended to conceal — and especially in light of the fact that the Form 144 was filed on time. In addition, it appears that at the time Bush sent his form to the SEC, late filing was not seen as a very serious offense. "If it had come to the SEC's attention back then, somebody would have said, 'Get the bloody form filed,' and that would have been it," says (former SEC commissioner Edward) Fleischman. "There was precious little attention paid to a timely or tardy filing of Form 4."
Regarding the same issue, yesterday's "Political Grapevine" piece on Fox News had the following information:
The New York Times and Washington Post carried front-page stories on the cat energy stock President Bush sold 10 years ago. Both papers said that Mr. Bush, as the Post put it, "disclosed the transaction to the SEC 34 weeks late." What neither paper mentioned is that the president did notify the SEC of his intention to sell the stock on the very day he sold it. Both papers also took note of an SEC investigation of whether the president was improperly acting on inside information. The Post reported that the SEC had "concluded that he did not have access to inside information." The Times, though, never mentioned that either.
Incompetent journalism or catering to some political agenda? If it was some small-town newspaper I'd lean towards the former. But since it's two of America's most prestigious newspapers, I think it's the latter.