By Static Chaos
The ink of the ruling against the offshore drilling moratorium is not even dry yet, the media is already jumping all over that Judge Martin Feldman is "greased with oil investments", says Mr. Christopher Helman, an Associate Editor of Forbes.
A "blog" at Forbes penned by Helman cited the NewsWatch Energy blog at Houston Chronicle that
"Judge Martin Feldman.....has owned stock in more than a dozen oil and gas companies, including two involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster: Transocean and Halliburton. Feldman's 2008 financial disclosure report shows investments in gulf players Hercules Offshore, ATP Oil & Gas, Rowan Companies and Parker Drilling."
However, Helman forgot or chose to omit one pretty important paragraph from the same Houston Chronicle post:
"Some of those stocks were sold during the reporting period."
Furthermore, according to the "Update" section by Mr. Tom Fowler, author of the same post at Houston Chronicle:
"Some environmental groups are already releasing statements noting what appears to be a conflict of interest on the part of Judge Feldman.... However, a lawyer with non-profit public interest law firm Earthjustice told the Chronicle..that the organization did not ask for a recusal, nor did the issue ever come up."
So, in layman's term --NO, there's no evidence that Feldman still had those said stocks at the end of 2008, nor that he still holds them during the period of the moratorium hearing. And...YES, the environmental groups would love nothing more than to see Feldman recused on conflict, but were unable to raise it as a cause.
This renders the Forbes "blog" pretty much irrelevant in what appears to be an attempt linking conflict of interest to a federal judge, who happened to have ruled against the drilling moratorium on legal and constitutional ground.
In any case, even if this allegation were legit, it would have paled in comparison to the blatant conflict of interest by Matt Simmons' TV sensationalism.
Well, this is just one example of the sad but real picture of what has become of today's headline-chasing media and the so-called journalism.
Or could it be that since more and more reporters are becoming "bloggers" to drive web traffic, but still with the legal protection (i.e. indemnified) by their major media employers, this is a conspiracy to discredit the real blogosphere, who's driving them out of business? Just one theory....
By Static Chaos