Her business is her business, got it?
Here's a good example of the difference in standards between the British and American media, and in particular the greater attention to reporting conflicts of interest and the checking of facts in the latter. A day after the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy had used the Sunday Telegraph to peddle a dubious John Kerry story, today's Telegraph features an impassioned tirade by columnist Barbara Amiel.
Barbara is upset about the way that corporate titans are now the targets of government investigators and "little guy" jurors who find them guilty at the first available opportunity. She specifically cites the Martha Stewart case, which is indeed an excellent example of where the jurors seem to have convicted Martha of something she wasn't charged with. But, knowing who Barbara Amiel is, one keeps waiting for the acknowledgement of who she is, as the complaints tumble out:
Stewart fell victim to the tall poppy syndrome sweeping the business world of the United States. America is a splendid country determined to better itself - sometimes by overkill. Corporate scandals have created an atmosphere where all public companies are potential wearers of the scarlet letter...But Revolution has been sweeping the boardrooms of corporate America and the Terror is well under way....The revolution that [Disney CEO] Eisner and American business face comes from the once-silent partner of American public companies - the minority and institutional shareholder...Companies found their boards being second-guessed by activists...
In checking greed in the managerial class, America seems to be instituting a system that legitimises the greed of minority shareholders. This New Revolution validates short-term profit and penalises vision.
But not a mention of another tall poppy cut down by activist shareholders, a case with which Mrs Amiel is very familiar via her other persona, Lady Black of Crossharbour. Perhaps the Telegraph takes the view that everyone knows Mrs Amiel is also Lady Black, so that we should treat the article as if, say, Imelda Marcos was to pen a defense of East Asian dictators without making any specific mention of hubbie Ferdinand.
Indeed, the more we think about it, Barbara's multiple references to a "Revolution" and a "Terror" reveal quite a bit about her own self-image at this point, the type of situation and person of which a great Irishman once said:
But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom!