Earlier this week, Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote that after speaking with executives at Goldman Sachs and officials in Washington, and "poring through" the Levin Report, he'd come to the conclusion that "Lloyd Blankfein wasn't lying" when he testified last year that Goldman "didn't have a massive short against the housing market.” Matt Taibbi read the column and he did not like it. In fact, it made him so angry-stinkin mad, in fact- that he was forced to lift his ARS fast ("I've been trying not to say anything bad about Andrew Ross Sorkin," he said last night). As Taibbi scholars, please guess at this time what the defense of Goldman made MT want to do:
a) Throw scalding hot coffee in Sorkin's face
b) Bake some of the horse semen he'd been storing in his fridge into a pie and smash it into Sorkin's face
c) Run through the Times newsroom smashing sno-globes and flipping desks over
d) all of the above
e) none of the above
In this case the answer we were looking for was C.
The Sorkin piece reads like it was written by the bank's marketing department, which may not be an accident. In November of last year, the New York Times announced that "Dealbook" was entering into a sponsorship agreement with a variety of companies, including ...Goldman, Sachs...Even last year I thought it was a terrible decision by the Times to take money from Goldman in the wake of an unprecedented period of financial corruption – especially to sponsor, of all things, business reporting.
But now? This looks like a joke. In Russia in the Yeltsin years, reporters had a term for selling editorial print content to mobsters. They called it "selling jeans," a play on the old Soviet-era black-marketeer practice of trading rabbit hats to tourists for their Levi's. This Sorkin piece has the unmistakable look of a brand-new set of 501s to me. Pieces like this undermine the great work that reporters like Gretchen Morgenson have done in the paper in recent years.
At the very least, Dealbook, if it was determined to take startup money from Goldman, should have stayed agnostic about the great scandals swarming round the company for a good long while. I had heard several times over the winter that some Times reporters were upset about that Dealbook sponsorship deal with Goldman, and now I can see why. If I worked at the paper and saw this Sorkin piece, I would be running through the newsroom smashing sno-globes and turning desks over.
The horse jizz will have to wait for another column.
Andrew Ross Sorkin Gives Goldman A Rub Down [Rolling Stone]