By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
READ THE REPORT
I believe in your First Amendment rights, however, they do not extend to the point of lying. Robert Greene’s article “D.A. Man and Me” [February 20–26] maliciously, or with a reckless disregard for the truth, lies when it states that the district attorney investigated me regarding the Xavier Becerra mayoral campaign’s fake Gloria Molina phone message.
If Mr. Greene had bothered to read District Attorney Steve Cooley’s report on the matter, he would have noticed that my name only appears once in the entire report. My name is referenced for the sole purpose of identifying one of the players, who was on leavefrom my office. I was never the target, or focus, of the investigation! At a minimum, one of your fact-checkers should have read the report before Mr. Greene committed this falsehood to paper.
I am especially disappointed that Mr. Greene, who is also an attorney, has placed L.A. Weekly and himself in such a tenuous position.
—Nick Pacheco Los Angeles
Editor’s note: The District Attorney’s Office confirmed that Nick Pacheco and his organization, CAL (Community Action and Leadership) Inc., were investigated in connection with complaints in 2001 that Pacheco pressured city lobbyists or contractors to contribute to his nonprofit organization. No charges were filed. Several months earlier, the District Attorney’s Office investigated automated campaign phone calls that were placed using equipment leased from CAL Inc. Our story should have said that Pacheco was investigated in the matter involving contributions — not the phone calls.
Greg Goldin used a quote [A Considerable Town: “Stossel’s Choirboys,” February 6–12] that has been attributed to me over the years that I don’t recall ever uttering. The alleged source of that quote was a 1996 speech I gave to the Federalist Society in which I supposedly said that I stopped consumer reporting because “I got sick of it . . . I also now make so much money, I just lost interest in saving a buck on a can of peas.” That doesn’t sound like anything I’ve said and certainly doesn’t reflect the reasons I shifted my focus from consumer reporting to government programs and lawyers (I shifted because I concluded they do more harm to consumers than business). The transcript of this speech that the Federalist Society supplied does not include the quote.
Your reporter also alleges a “Dumpster-load of falsities.” I’d love to know what these “falsities” are. He isn’t specific. Could he be making them up?
Finally, his lead paragraph says that I was “sipping a vodka tonic.” I wasn’t.
—John Stossel New York, New York
Goldin responds: John Stossel is that rare television performer who appears not to like the sound of his own words. If what theCorporate Crime Reporter quoted John Stossel telling the Federalist Society back in September 1996 doesn’t sound like anything he has said, then perhaps what Steve Wilson, one of his early NYC colleagues, recalls him saying about his transformation is more familiar. Wilson toldThe Nation magazine in January 2002, “I ran into him one day, kidded him about his metamorphosis and asked what had happened. ‘I got a little older,’ John answered. ‘Liked the idea of making real money. So started looking at things a little differently.’”As for falsities, Stossel knows better. As he does on ABC-TV, so he does here: He edits to suit his argument. Here is the full quote from my article: Stossel, replying to a young man’s remarks about the Enron debacle, said, “There are no big national scams except for Enron. Because markets figure it out. Not the government. Enron is an example of how well the market worked for people. Enron’s stock came tumbling down. When the government fails, we give them more money. So, yes, there are Enrons, but the exception proves the rule.” As Stossel surely knows, Enron collapsed not due to a stock tumble but because government investigations disclosed accounting fraud, and Ken Lay’s Ponzi scheme was exposed. Most investors lost their shirts, and thousands of Enron employees lost their jobs. That’s “how well the market works for people”? Perhaps we should ask, if John Stossel wasn’t drinking a vodka tonic, what was he drinking?
I just read Steve Erickson’s essay “I Am a Traitor: George Bush and the Treacherous Country” [February 13–19], and all I can say is: brilliant, absolutely brilliant. It put into coherent terms much of the despair and outrage I have increasingly felt over the last three years. I am outraged that the traditionalists have so gleefully dispensed with the Jeffersonian and Lincolnian ideals that Erickson so clearly elucidates in favor of an apocalyptic vision of this country’s role in the world, and I despair that, whether the current administration is ousted this year or four years from now, this country will never again be looked upon in quite the same way. And yet I join Erickson in declaring myself a traitor to one vision of America and a patriot to another, and that I, too, will not acquiesce.
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