In a rather subversive answer to my recent blog post that exposed Palm Beach mayoral candidate C. Gerald "Gerry" Goldsmith's corrupt history, the Palm Beach Post re-endorsed Goldsmith, saying he's "still the choice."
The paper, in one of the most pathetic excuses for journalism the Pulp has ever witnessed, cited a flyer that had been passed around by Goldsmith's opponent, Jack McDonald, about the allegations. Here's the crux of it:
The accusations are that Mr. Goldsmith's company was doing something wrong, and that he was illegally diverting money to himself. The Times reported that Mr. Goldsmith returned $2.9 million, and the company agreed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to violate no more laws. Though Mr. Goldsmith has documents to show that he was cleared in U.S. Tax Court in 1986 on the diversion, Mayor McDonald points to the Times article and says, "I wouldn't consider that 'cleared.' "
Mr. Goldsmith's response? "The article was wrong. It was not my $2.9 million to return. It was the company's. The deal with the SEC was that they wanted us to change the way the books were kept. In those cases, companies don't deny the charges or agree with them."
This accusation came up in 1995, after Mr. Goldsmith had filled out a term on the town council. His letter to then-Mayor Lesly Smith noted the ruling against the IRS. Mr. Goldsmith's strongest point is that since the accusation, he has founded two banks, one of which he serves as chairman. Regulators closely vet those seeking bank charters and bank board members.
As we did for the Feb. 3 election, The Post supports Gerry Goldsmith in Tuesday's mayoral runoff.
That is one disgusting, lightweight piece of editorialism. It does the exact opposite of what a responsible newspaper does -- instead of exposing corruption, it excuses it. And the newspaper totally misses the point and relies on some half-baked IRS ruling -- that doesn't even get into the heart of the Bahamian corruption -- to let Goldsmith slide. Much of the money Goldsmith took from the company has never been recovered; and the rest of it went to corrupt political payoffs. But hey, it was the Bahamas and corrupting little banana republics is okay; it's what America is good at. My favorite part, though, is that the newspaper says that Goldsmith's "strongest point" is that he started two banks. Yeah, we all know how trustworthy bankers are.
Somebody posted my original blog post as a comment. Glad they did -- at least it brought some sense and professionalism to that misguided piece in what is now officially a lost newspaper.