SAC's Heavy Hand Prompts Thomson Reuters to Join the Journalistic Capture Hall of Shame

Marla Singer's picture

Regular readers of Zero Hedge will be keenly aware of our animosity for, if not the mainstream media, the malaise that has gripped the mainstream media's ethos (and a massive swelling of its increasingly corrupt pathos, as it happens).  Our expressions of disgust go back months, even as far back as the birth of Zero Hedge itself.  So, today, when we recognize new manifestations of these illnesses, we are far past the point of outrage.  Our reaction might be better described as a slow, mournful shake of the head indicative of an almost bored (and certainly unsurprised) resignation.  The decline of journalism (and the resultant and pending takeover of yet another broken business model by the Federal Government) is a common theme here at Zero Hedge because it is so common a theme.  This morning it is Reuters that prompts our sad response.



Almost torn from the "through blue-tinted glasses" frames of "The Insider," Michael Mann's 1999 retelling of the 60 Minutes "Big Tobacco" story scandal (for the uninitiated, a pending sale of CBS to Westinghouse apparently prompted Don Hewitt and CBS lawyers to initially kill a 60 Minutes story highlighting a Brown & Williamson whistle-blower for fear of a deal-killing lawsuit by Brown & Williamson) the Carolina Business News Initiative's "Talking Biz News" blog (hereinafter "TBN") describes how Thomson "The World's Leading Source of Intelligent Information for Businesses and Professionals" Reuters killed Matthew Goldstein's piece on SAC's Steven Cohen.  Says TBN:

Reuters editors last week killed a story by investigative reporter Matthew Goldstein about hedge fund trader Steven Cohen after Cohen complained to top Thomson Reuters executives that he was being persecuted by the news agency’s reporting, sources at Reuters said.


Goldstein’s story was an “incremental” advance in the reports swirling around Cohen that he engaged in insider trader [sic] during the 1980s, Reuters sources said. There have been reports that Cohen is next in the sights of the SEC following the Galleon case, which featured SEC wiretapping the conversations of hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam.

Zero Hedge has, of course, been sniffing around this story for months.  But then, the CEO of our parent company's marketing division doesn't get calls from senior SAC executives.  (Probably because we don't have a parent company).  We are also quite sure that 60,000+ shares of Thomson Reuters held by SAC according to that firm's September 2009 SC13F-HR filing (up from ~42,000 shares in June of 2009 and up from 0 shares in March of 2009) is too small an amount to influence the likes of Devin Wenig.  Just for the record, Zero Hedge has never owned even a single share of Thomson Reuters.

In 1995 When CBS killed the 60 Minutes story, and though 60 Minutes was later permitted to air modified and then finally a full version of the piece, the Editorial page of the New York Times issued the anonymous and scathing journalistic rebuke that:  "The traditions of Edward R. Murrow and '60 Minutes' itself were diluted in the process."  One wonders what the New York Times would make of Reuters' antics today  Probably nothing.  When Mann directed "The Insider" it was a shocking tale.  Today journalistic perversion is a common bit of boring trivia.  One ought instead to wonder what the New York Times of 1995 would make of Reuters' antics today, but that institution has been dead a long time.  We defy you to try to imagine today's New York Times printing anything even remotely resembling this:

This act of self-censorship by the country's most powerful and aggressive television news program sends a chilling message to journalists investigating industry practices everywhere.

The 60 Minutes producer that championed the Brown & Williamson piece eventually left CBS over the incident.  (Lowell Bergman joined what may be the last real haven for investigative journalism on television, PBS' Frontline).  Perhaps more alarming for this particular story, Reuters does not even have lawyers fretting over a pending sale and a large lawsuit to fall back on:

Goldstein’s story was based on documents, and was approved by Reuters lawyers. After Goldstein contacted Cohen for the pro forma no comment before the story ran, Cohen repeatedly called Devin Wenig, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Markets Division and the No. 2 executive at Thomson Reuters, to complain about the story.

Wenig passed on the complaints to Reuters Editor in Chief David Schlesinger, who asked editors to look into them. Reuters editors debated the story for three days before finally killing it.

The decisions would appear to be totally editorial.  This is, of course, beyond disgusting- but, in keeping with the theme we introduced at the beginning of this article, also totally unsurprising.

If the closing years of this decade are ever given a one-word theme it might well be "capture."  The capture of regulators by financial institutions, the capture of financial institutions by the Treasury, the capture of the FDIC by the Fed, the capture of the Fed by the White House and the capture of the fourth estate (which this publication hereinafter refuses to capitalize) by the entity with the most "access" to sell this month.  Apparently, for Reuters, that's SAC.

We seriously doubt that you will ever read the killed Reuter's piece anywhere.  But, then, that is what Zero Hedge is for.

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knukles's picture

MSM Compromised, pliant?

Watch out it's happening to the Internet, too.  Evidence Google's joining of the internet Identity Layer protocol (or whatever it's called) and now the monitoring of your/our systems even when logged out of Google?

George Orwell was right.

This is small potatoes in media-land.

Keep on keepin' on, ZH

tip e. canoe's picture

gift from col. kurtz:

knukles's picture

Merci mon coronel,

But the traffic which one generates via any intermediary even when logged out of Google is now recorded on Google and recpatured at a later time via an anonymous cookie as was noted by site: Tech Radar, posted on Cryptogon 12/06

tip e. canoe's picture

do you know where the cookie is parked and how to scrub it?

ZerOhead's picture

I know I can be a tin foil hat wearing nutjob at times but what the hell is Google up to these days?

While Google did reactivate the autosearch function for "Climategate" searches... it is now deleting links to same articles. Current count is 8,470,000 today. Yesterday it was 10..1MM... day before 10.7 MM. Remember two weeks ago it was 30.1MM.

Using Bing  "Climategate" for comparison is over 50MM hits.

Try googling "googlegate"... yesterday 33 hits only... (Update... today 23,000)

Bing "googlegate" ??? ... Over 70 Million.

Was is happening here guys? Google censorship ALA China? Are the lights going out on Al Gores information superhighway? Just askin'

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Google tipped their hand regarding their future proclivity to willing and complicit censorship when they agreed to Chinese censorship. The almighty buck is the one and only litmus test for corporations.

I also have a shiny hat and I don't trust companies that go from zero to 10,000 MPH in a few years. It smacks of artificial stimulation and the hidden hand and I suspect there's some CIA/NSA involvement in Google, Facebook etc.

Anonymous's picture

Don't suspect, know. Google, facebook, myspace, youtube are ALL NSA/CIA Funded data mining ops.

And internet operation that provides a 'free service' is not free. Nothing is free. Remember that.

The IAO (Information Awareness Orifice) is alive and well.


TumblingDice's picture

Yup, advertising works both ways. They can advertise info for you and they can advertise your info.

Anonymous's picture

Dammit this thread cost me an hour of my life. I couldn't help but read all about identity layer protocol proposals. Damn internets.

But seriously, google is way beyond evil, think about it, to get information you have to give it! They are correlating anything and everything they can on everybody, using fuzzy logic, etc. If something doesn't exist in google, it doesn't exist on the web. AKA the "single point of failure".

Privacy wingnuts - time to read up on "Flash Cookies" for a fresh jolt of paranoia. Use Firefox and the "Better Privacy" plugin to get out of that hole. Delete cookies on exit and don't accept thrid party cookies.

tip e. canoe's picture

thnx for that better privacy reminder.   gotta scrub those machines, keep em clean.

what i realized on uboob is that they now have some crazy visual recognition software that correlates by similarities in visual information.   realized my strange visual experiments on there were related with other weird visuals with no similar tags whatsoever.

time to go super subliminal psychedelic.

anynonmous's picture

correction this is the link to the blog of Reuter's CEO

Glocer's Blog

and here is Goldstein on video December 4 discussing Cohen & SAC Capital



anynonmous's picture

And this

During his syndicated radio show Friday, libtalker and MSNBC host Ed Schultz relayed to listeners how he observed 'Morning Joe' Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski take feedback directly from the White House during their program last week.

Assetman's picture

So what are we reduced to, in terms of getting good, honest investigative reporting?

Is Rolling Stone magazine it?

TumblingDice's picture

You do realize where you are posting this question?

Assetman's picture

I meant to include "mainstream media" in my commentary, not "all media".

Perhaps my enigma is now on an accelerated timeline to Zero.

Anonymous's picture

S. Cohen has been shitting his pants for months since Galleon dropped. Its all hands on deck to try and cover all bases, destroy any evidence and to assasinate all ex-wives.

It is no coincidence that the markets have not budged since Rajaratnam, Chiesi, et al got busted. All the largest hedgies are a bit preoccupied staying out of the clink and wondering which one of their buddies is going to be the next to sing like a canary.

deadhead's picture

Well said and an excellent insight Marla.

The major media outlets have failed miserably in digging for and presenting objective information. 

This was predicted many years ago when corporate interests (GE being a perfect example) started buying media and press companies.

Just another card in the house of cards of lies, fraud, cheating and CONfidence building that the United States has built itself upon. 

Funny how we universally teach out children to "tell the truth" yet abandon that mantra with fury as we become adults.  We are paying the price now.

serendipitous_one's picture


 But, then, that is what Zero Hedge is for.

You're damn right!  Great job (as always), Marla.  MSM is going to have an increasingly difficult time keeping their dirty laundry out of the public eye with folks like you and the rest of the ZH band of purported "ne'er-do-wells" on the job!  Well done!

Anonymous's picture

Fuck it Babylon iz Burn!

fiasco's picture

i must protest.  everything complex moves toward-a it's natural fascistic state of war between famiglie

i encourage you to see 'capture' from the other perspective, a victory of the accumulation of power

per favore, americano, the future is italian fascism because it's the nature



tip e. canoe's picture

si paisano, il duce is grinning in his grave-o.

besodemuerte's picture

"the future is italian fascism because it's the nature"

You're probably right, but I hope not.  I'd rather go fighting than relinquish my liberties.

We all know that mainstream media outlets are horrendous.  I'm wondering how long it will take the government to takeover the true sources of information (radio and internet).  I'm a believer that you can't stop the spread of information, adn the internet is by far the best instrument in doing so.  People have had their eyes opened more than ever thanks to the internet.  If they ever take this over we're fucked for sure.

Anonymous's picture

"future is italian fascism"

the future is already here. no one on ZH should have any doubt of who runs the show in this country. if you are not a sympathizer/supporter of an OT a non-stop flight away from NYC, then you are not in the "inner circle".

Born in the USI, er USA.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The great American "experiment" was just that. An experiment in alternative control mechanisms. So was communist Russia and China.

We are now publicly and openly moving back to a more "normal" or "natural" control mechanism of a small group of elites holding power over everyone else. It's always been that way, only hidden from public view. The experiments were designed to hide that control and see if control and exploitation could still be maintained. Or at the very least, if new and more effective methods could be devised.

New methods were devised and they're now being implemented. Just watch your TV. Closely and frequently.

I need more asshats's picture

Selling out to sleaze bags. Was the Timothy Sykes episode your Achilles' heel? I wish I understood as I usually dislike using the word hypocrite. Show me the light.

Anonymous's picture

When can we read the story here on ZH???

AngryVoter's picture

I was wondering the same thing.

Miyagi_san's picture

A picture is worth a thousand LIES

Medic's picture

That's a nice place.  I wonder what someone would do to protect that kind of lifestyle?

Sell their soul perhaps......

Ripped Chunk's picture

That spread would also look great from the air burned to the ground.  Thanks for the map!!!!

Leo Kolivakis's picture

Why doesn't 60 Minutes or any other respectful news outlet cover the big hedge fund and private equity fund managers more closely? Simple. George Carlin said it best: "....the real owners of this country want more for themselves and less for everyone else."

Having invested in some of the best hedge fund and private equity managers in the world, I laugh when I see people treating these guys like gods. They aren't half as smart as people think and they often manipulate stocks or private companies to profit any way they can, either through naked short selling/ insider trading (hedge funds) or through financial engineering/ debt loading (private equity).

But people are stupid. How many times do I hear "...he's so smart, he makes a lot of money." They consistently mistake wealth and luck for brains. In my life, I've met only one genius, and he wasn't running a hedge fund or private equity fund. His name is Charles Taylor and for years he taught political philosophy at McGill University and other universities. Read one of his masterpieces, Sources of the Self, and you'll see what I am talking about. The breadth and depth of his knowledge is awe-inspiring.

As for elite hedge fund managers getting away with murder, it's up to the government to start better regulating this industry. They can start by mandating that all pension funds and institutions invest via a managed account platform, but I guarantee that elite hedge fund managers will not go for this. They will say it's because they do not want their clients to "reverse engineer" their strategies, but the truth is that they do not want their clients to see all the shady trading they do intra-month.

As for the media, they do a shitty job covering what's really going on at public pension funds, which is why I keep blogging on the subject. It irks me to see regular hard working people contribute to pensions, and then have pension fund managers invest in hedge funds and private equity funds to claim "alpha" as they beat their bogus benchmarks and collect millions in bonus. It's all self-perpetuating scam and when there is big money involved, everyone looks away.

fiasco's picture

charles taylor is a left hegelian

what's-a matter for you-a!

you corrupt the youth

Leo Kolivakis's picture

So what is your point? Marx was one of the most important thinkers in the world. Would you ban teaching his political theory at universities? Come on, let's get serious here. If Marx were alive today, he would be diligently examining the nexus between pension fund managers and financial oligarchs profiting off Casino Capitalism.

fiasco's picture

hey everybody, i expose-a one

i don't trust a man who publicly praises marx; one cannot imagine the vile ruminations of the private mind

you are banished from the city

milbank's picture

Lame, very lame fiasco.  Your alias describes you perfectly.

Keep up the great work Leo. You, "TD," Marla and the other columnist are what I'm here for.   The problem with ZH getting so popular is the standard of postings, outside of a few has dropped miserably to the point of being vulgar and/or just banal.

fiasco's picture

you like the quality comments that quote george carlin and refer to charles taylor?

you like the quality comments that have a link to youtube?

george carlin and sources of the self made leo a smart man, maybe you too

this leo is so stupido, he handed his papers in at university with hyperlinks


gabeh73's picture

fiasco is not vulgar...he is right on. Did you even see his first point? power will always "capture" as long are their are enough naive idiots to support big any socialist or marxist philosophy that justifies empowering some benevolent super entity (the government) is pure idiocy...might as well be working for the biggest baddest corporations around if your pushing that crap, because you are only being a "useful idiot" if you are not.



milbank's picture

Next time try reading for comprehension.  I did not say fiasco was vulgar.  That part of my comment was a general observation on the mass of lousy posts that now show up on this site.

I said fiasco was "banal" which is really worse.  Instead of disagreeing and bring reasons for disagreeing to the discussion he just goes off on how " Taylor is this" and "Carlin is that" and "Leo is this"  etc. ad nauseum. Add that Italian schtick (Schtick usually used in place of substance by those who lack it.) and all one can say is fiasco is a yahoo discussion board type and should go back there.  . .

I can only guess Leo must have had a very slow day to even mess with that lightweight as much as he did.

Leo Kolivakis's picture


I am not praising anyone, merely pointing out the obvious. Marx had his shortcomings, but if you don't understand his important contributions to political theory, and his genius at exposing the contradictions of capitalism, then you're living in a very dark cave.

fiasco's picture

marx a genius....mama mia!

yes, i'm in a dark cave, and there's a small fire behind me, and people and things are moving between me and the fire, 

and their shadows on the wall in front of me are mistaken for the real things

and it's just a me here!

WaterWings's picture

Take away reality TV and they'll attack you for it. Waking people up is a thankless job. People just need to step outside and see the light for themselves.

Or, in the vein of Fight Club: find your power animal.

Anonymous's picture

Nobody here but us troglodytes.

tip e. canoe's picture

"i don't trust a man"

you expose-a yourself right there paisano.  and the rest of your famiglia.

just remember there are those of us out there who are tired of watching the godfather for the 15,000th time, especially when it's forcibly beamed into our living rooms.  you get one more viewing, enjoy it while it lasts.   then it's time for us to take back the remote control.

Anonymous's picture

If Marx were alive today, he would also be gazing with clever amusement. While the leftist elite pump Chinese solar stocks looking for bag holders, like you LEO.

Miles Kendig's picture

Leo - Have at it.

And thanks for your contributions to my reading stack over this past year. 

Anonymous's picture

Marx's skewed ideas have infected millions of people like some kind of computer virus for your brain. Marxism has been nothing short of a tragedy for humanity--witness the millions upon millions of people slaughtered by Marx adherents. Always with the same line "just a little more power, a little less individualism, and the perfect society can be formulated." Complete and utter bullshit. So excuse me if I disagree. I wouldn't go so far as to ban teaching it, but in higher education these days, Marx is downright celebrated and that is something that is horribly, horribly wrong.