Last week I called out Bloomberg’s Alice Schroeder for a bullshit story about Goldman Sachs executives being “armed to the teeth.” Today the Wall Street Journal joins in. They asked the NYPD who confirmed that it’s just not true. A grand total of four Goldman Sachs employees have pistol permits. One is a security guard. One is head of security. Two have permits allowing them to have guns in their homes. Only one of the four is a trader. His permit was issued in 2001. Either Alice Schroeder is a liar or she’s a very bad reporter.
I figured that my initial blog entry about this would be a clear hit—as I explained, it’s obvious that the widely-reported story was made up—but while well trafficked, my article wasn’t nearly as popular as I thought it would be. The well-known proprietor of one famous blog was defensive, nearly argumentative with me, when I pointed out my rebuttal to the Bloomberg story (which he’d written about). He e-mailed the author, who (apparently) never got back to him, and never wrote anything about it. I’m convinced that a lot of bad reporters get away with doing a crappy job by doing the same thing that Schroeder did in this instance (and is still doing)—ignoring the questions and complaints. The VQR and WSJ fiskings of this piece aren’t going to get anything near the traction that the original story did. This is how bad journalism survives.