Friday, January 23, 2004

A few years ago, Henry Blodget was in the midst of a securities fraud scandal. Blodget, an analyst for Merril Lynch, made an unprecedented amount of money -- high seven figures -- touting internet miracles. After the collapse of the internet bubble, Blodget was investigated for violation of conflict of interest provisions; he ended up giving up some of the money he earned and pledging never to work in the securities industry.

Blodget now works for, reporting on the Martha Stewart trial. And he's damn good too. Check out these three reports [1][2][3];

A gem from the first report is appended below.

"I really don't know," this prospective juror, No. 9, said, when Judge Cedarbaum asked whether he had seen or read or heard anything that might affect his judgment. "I'm not a news person. I'm a sports person."

"I see," replied Judge Cedarbaum. "So you don't follow the news?

"No. The news is depressing for me, so I stick to sports."

Prospective Juror No. 9 had another issue, too: He had answered "I don't know" to every question on the last four pages of the 35-page questionnaire. He explained to Judge Cedarbaum that he had done this because he just wanted to finish. Based on this and other factors, the defense moved to dismiss him for cause—arguing, effectively, that he couldn't be "fair and impartial" because he was brain-dead.

"He is a simple man who is interested in simple things," Judge Cedarbaum agreed. But she rejected the defense's contention that this meant he would spend the entire trial with his face buried in the sports section.


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