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« Thought Police in Malaysia -- and America | Main | The Gathering Storms Over Speech »

March 04, 2005


Kim Helliwell

Let it go, Dan. She paid her "debt to society" And maybe has learned something. You seem to believe that "once a thief, always a thief," (Javert, in Les Miserables). I prefer to assume the "correction" has done some good, until she demonstrates otherwise.

Incidentally, it's ironic that Martha's stay in prison has resulted in her company's stock more than doubling in the past 5 months.

Mack Zulkifli

I beg to differ somewhat. Until she has paid her debt, she's still a crook. That includes her house arrest. Until they take that ankle bracelet off her, she is still paying he 'debt'.

bob roberts

america is in way over its head admiring these types of people. there's a strong level of love for sports, criminals, and the rich, just to name a few. many of them lie, cheat, steal...anything to make a dollar. our children admire them and then want to emulate them. did martha really get punished? not at all. she turned this into another way to get people to worship her and continue her money making machine. why do we let this happen? in the words of the late Mortimer Adler: "the difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits."

Jim Logan

It often sucks to have an opinion on's mine :-)

She is a "crook." She went to jail not because of what she did, but because she lied. A great lesson for kids.

She's not a hero.

She is now benefiting for having been a crook, thanks to her PR machine and blind fans.

Should she be forgiven? If she's contrite, yes.

Joe Buck

I never liked Martha Stewart. Her conviction was proper and her jail time was deserved. However, compared to any number of CEO-crooks her offense was minor, and she paid a far higher price.

Of course, the real reason she went to jail was her own stubbornness. She could have made the whole thing go away at a very early point by accepting the standard SEC deal in such cases: accept a civil settlement where she "disgorges" the money she received for the original stock transaction. She could have paid $50K at the beginning, and that would have been the end of it: no admission of guilt required, no record. But she didn't want to admit that she'd done anything improper.


The media frenzy is virtually insane. The San Francisco CBS affiliate actually put a crawl over prime-time programing saying that Martha had been released! I'm sure of all the disasters, crimes and international events in the last month that Martha's release was the most newsworthy! Sigh..


What about all the other exec, that stole so much more money and haven't seen a day of jail time. That's what frustrates me. What about Ken Lay and Enron. Those are the people the gov should have gone after.


Of course the tv news is over the top - you're still watching?

The woman is a nut. She went to jail to be out in time for her spring garden. She has no moral sense when it comes to people - just a right/wrong detector for things.

It was refreshing that she went to jail. I like this story. Martha is who she is.

Nick Davis

My blog entry is about this specific topic. Martha was on the board of directors of the NYSE. Her actions were another brick in the wall of corporate corruption, and did just as much to undermine our financial markets as the other crooks.


Let's renew our congratulations to John Ashcroft and the rest of the Bush team for this successful felony prosecution of a corporate criminal, in the face of a firestorm of public criticism that would have halted Janet Reno and her Clinton Administration SEC compatriots in their tracks. (Opposition to prosecution was particularly acute among the grand financiers of Democratic politics, among whom you can count Martha Stewart, by the way).

Vic Berggren

She did her time... w/o waiting on the appeal I might add.

What about the Federal Agent that got caught lying on the stand during that trial. What kind of sentence did he receive?


The truth is she lied --big time. Tried to cover the tracks big time !! . Served her time: Yes. The law prevailth !

Nevertheless, her creditability is tarnished. The value and principles that she has shown--will always resonate as a negative in my thoughts.

So there.. Shes still a crook.. Maybe a lovable crook by some ( her fans) and just a plain old Crook in other terms (my terms) !!!!

Thanks Dan, you said what was on my mind !! :)-

Joe I.

Funny thing about it is she may be a crook but I have doubled my money investing in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. I bought and held on waiting because thought I would actually see a bump in the stock when she was released (perhaps 10-15%), not the skyrocket double-my-money trip while she was in prison. Thanks Martha for my luxury vacation this summer to Nice, France.


A crook? Requiring Jail time? What a joke to concur with the whole ordeal.

Her small lie should have been punished with a stiff fine in the millions of dollars, written directly to payroll fund of National Park Rangers, which would have served society better. Instead we lock her up at our expense, gave her time to lose a few pounds while she wrote a book. Big friggin punishment.


A crook? Requiring Jail time? What a joke to concur with the whole ordeal.

Her small lie should have been punished with a stiff fine in the millions of dollars, written directly to payroll fund of National Park Rangers, which would have served society better. Instead we lock her up at our expense, gave her time to lose a few pounds while she wrote a book. Big friggin punishment.


Martha going to jail, while the other corporate crooks (who REALLY did some damage) run free, has nothing to do with justice. It has to do with a male dominated society and corporate culture. People, especially men, don't like to see a successful woman. Martha's a tough cookie, and a smart one. She was railroaded, backed into a corner, and utilized a solution that resulted in the least amount of damage to her company. She'll be back with a vengence, and I will be cheering her on.


I am not going to contest whether or not Martha is a crook -- we had a jury trial and that ought to be the definitive word on it -- but looking at what she did, most likely the impulse of a moment, compared to the execs at ChoicePoint who netted US$16.5 million between selling customer information and reporting it as a "hack" or theft, I'm not so sure she deserves that much attention.

I'll be curious to see if those guys get the same scrutiny as Martha, either in the court system or the court of public opinion, (ie, weblogs and the like).

Bernie Ebbers and his crew, the ChoicePoint rascals -- there are a lot of crooks out there. Martha Stewart seems to have become a lightning rod, and I'm hopeful the non-traditional media can bring some clarity and balance to these cases.


Best headline (NYT):

"Martha goes for a walk"

Meanwhile, we have torture, corruption, trumped-up wars, etc., etc., etc.

Decadent Rome had nothing on America, 2005.


1500 dead american soldiers in Iraq, 10,000 seriously maimed, 100,000 + iraqi killed.

The freedom crusade is on the march.

What can we do to help America?

Fly to Disneyland, buy Martha Inc., watch Wacko Jacko's lynching, LIVE!!!

If you don't it means you are with the terrorists. It's all there, in BLACK and WHITE. If you can't see that you are not a patriot, depending on the size of your donation.

Anspar Jonte

What media frenzy?

Dan, it's time for you to erase the news networks from your TV's memory. Giving up TV news will bring peace of mind, and relegate any media frenzy to a link on a web page. In my information gathering, Martha competes on equal footing with other 'major' stories.


Big Deal...Which one of you wise men is without sin.


She did the crime, and she's done her time - clean sheet.

At least she saved everyone a bunch of time by stopping her appeal against the sentence and said "bang me up, Guv". Does that mean something else in 'Merican?


I disagree, and here's a good reason why:

John C

Once again, wealth and power absolves one from full and assigned punishment. No, she imho, did not commit a completely heinous crime. Did she know what she was doing? Yes. Did she know it was illegal? Yes. Did she expect to get caught? No! Did she think if she was caught she would have to serve time? No! And if she did serve time did she think she would have to serve all of it? No!

I guess she was right on one count (sort of). Officially I guess she is still serving her time but maybe we ought to offer all of the other's serving for a similar crime the opportunity to serve the rest of their sentences at Martha's house.

As a society we need to accept and request that the treatment of all criminals is fair and just! Martha is a criminal and will be for the rest of her life, serving time does not absolve you from the act committed! It just pays your debt to society; it doesn't change who you are, your character or what you have done.

Terry  C

Joe Buck's comment misses, I think, an important point. He compares her to "other CEO-crooks."

If Martha was only a CEO of a big company, I'd consider this an unjust prosecution. All she did was lie in the course of an investigation of alleged insider trading of a different company -- not her own -- traded on the NYSE.

But Martha did this while she was a member of the Board of Directors of the NYSE. For a member of the NYSE Board to lie to investigators about insider trading on the Exchange is a very big deal indeed, and should be prosecuted.

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