by Anthony G. Hendricks
Now that the Enron Scandal's hit, there's a lot of squealing
and squirming coming from the media. Body language speaks
volumes. I've watched David Brooks on the Lehrer Report look
like he's auditioning for a Hemorrhoid Commercial, or as a
star in the "I Gotta Go, Gotta Go" commercials for Americans
with over active bladders. David's voice goes up a notch as
he says, "It's not Whitewater. It's a financial scandal
This is the right-wing chorus, sounding as mournful and prophetic
as a Greek Chorus. It worries me every time he and other Journalistic
Media stars say it's not Whitewater. Fifty-five million dollars
of taxpayer money and the capable arm twisting of Ken Starr
convinced me there never was anything to Whitewater. Taking
that as my cue, that means in contrast there must be an awful
lot of real corruption involved in the Enron Scandal. Much
more than just a Financial One.
Last Friday night I watched Bill Moyers interview, Robert
Bartley, Editor of the Wall Street Journal, one of the most
influential conservatives in America who nearly single handedly
created out of thin air the Whitewater Scandal. Mr. Bartley
is also the winner of a Pulitzer Prize in Journalism. Mr.
Bartley's body language spoke volumes. He didn't squirm as
much physically, but when it comes to equivocation he was
The man who led the Clinton Witch Hunt, who claims to have
a monopoly on that higher ground called Morality, equivocated
about: Off Shore Tax Havens, used by the Enrons and Drug Dealers
of the World; about removing a former Enron Lobbyist, Harvey
Pitt from his Chairmanship of the Security and Exchange Commission;
and about the need to Regulate the Enrons at all. Mr. Bartley
made the bold claim that the rapacious Enron got nothing from
the Bush Administration.
Evidently Mr. Bartley considers the fact that Ken Lay, former
CEO of Enron had the head of the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission removed and replaced with a somebody who would
allow Enron to gouge western energy consumers as Nothing.
Evidently he considers the fact that Wendy Gramm, wife of
Senator Gramm, a husband-wife tag team, got Enron exempted
from Regulatory oversight is Nothing. Shortly after Wendy
Graham used her Chair position on the Commodity Futures Trade
Commission to get Enron an exemption from Federal Oversight,
she resigned to take a Board position with Enron where she
earned nearly one million dollars a year. An obvious Quid
Pro Quo. On the Enron Audit Committee, Wendy Graham continued
to star, voting to exempt Enron from any Ethics at all. Just
Her hubby Senator Phil Gramm the Nasty from Texas, had already
announced his retirement claiming that he wanted to spend
more time with his family. Be assured that the Enron Scandal
was well known by Senator Gramm before he decided to spend
more time with his grown family. After all being married Phil
and his wife Wendy are in bed with each other. But Mr. Bartley
assures us it's all just Nothing. Does he mean Nothing Good
Ever Comes Out of Texas? Would that it were only Texas.
Amazing what nothing costs. Several billion dollars worth
of nothing. Maybe we ought to ask the people of the State
of California how they felt about being gouged. We should
continue to ask about the impact of that Nothing on those
who had no insider knowledge and took a financial bath, losing
savings and retirement. We should ask the taxpayers who picked
up the tab for Enron's fair share of the Federal Government.
I think Mr. Bartley meant it was nothing to him. None of that
gouging affected his pocket book at all.
As Moyers' questions got more pointed, Mr. Bartley's hypocrisy
became more transparent and he seemed to be waiting for the
final blow. That one or two questions that would put him into
complete retreat and expose him for a complete fraud. Bill
never asked those questions, probably because they never occurred
These questions only occurred to me upon reviewing the tape
of the interview. I kept wondering why these normally blustery
self-aggrandizing hypocrites were so back on their heels and
defensive. I believe I have the answer. The following test
questions should be asked to Mr. Bartley, Paul Gigot, all
journalists and management at the Wall Street Journal:
1) How much Enron stock did you own, and when did you sell
2) Do you now, or have you ever had money in an off-shore
If we could get Mr. Bartley and others at the Wall Street
Journal to answer these questions truthfully, we might discover
that the Enron Scandal's got more legs than an octopus. Might
help explain why they're trying to defend the indefensible.
Do they award a Pulitzer Prize for Hypocrisy and Propagandizing?
If not they should - and I want to nominate Robert Bartley
as the first recipient.
As for poor David "I Gotta Go, Gotta Go," Brooks.
I think he may be squirming because he's internally conflicted.
There's the party line he's supposed to hold versus the vestiges
of a conscience at war. Let's hope for him and other journalists
that the vestige of a conscience emerges, that it's something
more than a unrealized recessive trait. Or maybe he just has
the heartbreak of hemorrhoids and is hoping to change careers.
Maybe Brooks could go into Honest Commercial Television to
star for Preparation H, where the commercials may be obnoxious,
but they're at least honest about what they're doing. Excuse
me now, because I "Gotta Go, Gotta Go." Honest!
Anthony G. Hendricks is a country poet & satirist, author
of the book, Democracy Bushwhacked, Election 2000, Florida
Theater of the Absurd. Available at firstname.lastname@example.org
or 1-888-795-4274. Contact the author at: P.O. Box 1621, Nashville,