When a Scandal Involves a Stockholder, NYT Takes a Pass

James Ledbetter (Big Money, 2/20/10) points out that Mexican media mogul Carlos Slim, the third-richest person on the planet and one of the New York Times‘ biggest stockholders, is a central player in a remarkable New York-based legal story–one that the Times has so far ignored.

The story involves Slim’s attempt to take over a loan that JPMorgan Chase made to a subsidiary of Grupo Televisa, Slim’s major business rival–a deal that would have required Televisa to reveal virtually all its financial secrets. A U.S. federal judge in New York City held that JPMorgan was acting in “bad faith” and put a hold on the loan’s transfer (Reuters.com, 2/18/10).

Writes Ledbetter:

This is a scandalous story, involving one of the world’s largest banks, a powerful federal judge, and two Mexican telecom giants. Under any other circumstances, the business section of the Times would be expected to cover it, as the Journal and Bloomberg have. Yet as of Saturday midday, I cannot find a single mention of any aspect of this case, anywhere in the physical New York Times, or on its website–not even a blog post or a wire story. Perhaps as the lawsuit moves on, the Times will be compelled to cover it. But for the moment, it certainly appears that Carlos Slim’s investment has bought the silence of one of the world’s most important newspapers.

I suppose that the Times could argue that it just doesn’t find judicial findings of financial wrongdoing against the biggest corporation based in New York City to be particularly newsworthy.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.