Saturday, December 06, 2008

Don't do the Big Dog like that

The New York Times ran a story headlined "Bill Clinton Speech in Malaysia Irks Investors"

Now, I don't think I was the only person to read that and think that the investors were irked by something Bill Clinton said in his speech. But that's not really the thrust of the story at all. Clinton just said nice things about the guy who organized the event and paid him his $200k to be there. I don't think "investors" should have been too surprised by that.

What the story actually tries to demonstrate is that the organizer in question, a guy named Vinod Sekhar, is a sketchy character. If it manages to accomplish even this, it does so barely. The most damning accusation by anyone quoted in the piece is that the only reason he hired Clinton to appear is because "[h]e just wants to get new investors." Well golly. That's almost as bad as the charge of living in a rented house, which I'm pretty sure is legal. And yeah he settled some lawsuits (one from Bruce Willis) but the guy doesn't have a criminal rap sheet or anything.

So the story is actually about some disgruntled investors of Sekhar's who don't like him and disapprove of Clinton's shilling for him. And the Times runs with the headline "Bill Clinton Speech in Malaysia Irks Investors"?

I'm sure Bill Clinton will do something embarrassing or controversial soon enough, but there's no need to just make shit up.

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