Sunday, March 06, 2005

Douglas Ireland on Jehl and Johnson's article and Gretchen Morgenson

I'm helping Rebecca with some research (on music) but In Dallas calls our attention to a really strong article at DIRELAND. Doug Ireland's entry is entitled "N.Y. TIMES HAS REALLY BAD DAY ON TORTURE, THE CONSTITUTION, & PENTAGON MENDACITY."

Please check it out. From that article:

Sunday's New York Times lead front-page story out of Washington is headlined "Rule Change Lets CIA Freely Send Suspects Abroad." It's nice to see the Times finally catching up to the story that the Bush administration has been routinely sending people of being accused of terrorism to despotic allies of Washington, where physical torture is commonplace and will be visited on those suspected terrorists (although the word "torture" only made it into the subhead in the Times story, not the main headline.) A significant number of other major news outlets -- from the WashPost to the Guardian, not to mention the major European dailies and the BBC -- have been reporting this story for months. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote about it a year ago. So did my friend Tom Engelhardt, in a particularly tough and prescient piece. However, better late than never, I suppose, where the arteriosclerotic Times is concerned.
But the Times and its reporters, Doug Jehl and David Johnston, missed a hugely significant aspect of this story that strikes at the very heart of our democracy--a story which luckily can be found on the front page of the
Sunday Baltimore Sun. Says the Sun, "The Bush administration is aggressively wielding a rarely used executive power known as the state-secrets privilege in an attempt to squash hard-hitting court challenges to its anti-terrorism campaign....

In Dallas notes that the Baltimore Sun and The Chicago Tribune ran this article. (As you read on, Ireland tells you it's the same article.) (And you should read on, there are some strong points being made, so click that link.) In Dallas also notes that Ireland and I both use "Wash Post" (as opposed to WaPo -- an abbreviation that never caught on with me) and wonders if I know anything about this site or visit it. No, I don't. Didn't know it was out there until you brought it up in your e-mail. Doug Ireland's name seems familiar but I'm pulling a blank.

That's the whole point of sharing as a community, so that we can all be aware of what's out there. He's got a very strong take (and takes up the issue I reduced to an aside -- the administration's pre-emption of the judiciary) and let's try to highlight him this week some more, okay? By that I mean, please jog my memory via e-mails ( because I completely forgot on Gretchen Morgenson. And in fact, as we now to move to highlight her, it's only because typing that made me realize that I hadn't looked at the business section today.

She's on the front page of the business section with "Companies Behaving Badly" (and even though I really didn't wish to visit the Times site today, we'll go ahead and link because she's been i.d.ed as a voice that speaks to a member). From her article:

Corporate governance problems, business-speak for companies that shirk their responsibilities to shareholders, have been front and center for more than three years. While many companies have toned down anti-shareholder practices and boards that are still in the Stone Age.
That is the conclusion drawn by researchers at GovernanceMetrics International, a two-year-old independent research firm in New York that scrutinizes corporate governance practices for institutional shareholders. "For too long governance screening hasn't been part of the investment process," said Gavin Anderson, chief executive of GovernanceMetrics. "But investors are realizing that this is another area they need to monitor."
. . .
But GovernanceMetrics found questionable practices at many companies. Executive pay was the No. 1 culprit, at least in the United States. Pay issues accounted for 31 percent of the red flags it issued on domestic companies, versus 6 percent of those issued on European companies. Only 5 percent of Asian companies exhibited pay problems.

Again, I'd forgotten about Morgeson until I typed her name in the first sentence above. I could forget about Ireland as well (not intentionally) so if you don't see him highlighted, please e-mail the site and remind me. And please note, he's also addressing how the Times screwed up the coverage of Giuliana Sgrena. This is some critical thinking and well worth reading.