More on Teri Buhl’s firing

Not content with firing her, Greenwich Time has also completely erased her presence from its archives. It’s as though she was never there – I assume they’ve also hired an old Stalinist to airbrush her out of any staff photographs, too. I’m not sure when Greenwich Time lost its caojones, but it was a long time ago. God forbid anyone should take offense at anything they print. They deep sixed Sarah Littman awile ago after her liberal point of view hurt someone’s feeljngs and I know they have self-censored themselves for a long time.

So where did this passion and devotion to “happy news” come from? Beats me, but it sure makes for a dull paper.

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4 responses to “More on Teri Buhl’s firing

  1. In the late 1980′s I worked for the GT/Stamford Advocate’s parent company at the time, Times Mirror. They were okay local papers back then, with adequate management in place. They’ve since been spun off at least twice, which isn’t good for any organization.

    What I find puzzling is that typically the only people who can twist arms hard enough to influence coverage are big local advertisers, like the car dealers or chain retailers. There’s no revenue on the line if a reporter pisses off someone who just doesn’t like the coverage. Perhaps Teri will jump in with her own theories about where the leverage came from.

  2. Anonymous

    does anyone care? i know NO ONE who still reads the greenwich time, except on friday for the real estate. and, you do a much better job on that subject, so even friday’s greenwich time makes no sense.

  3. The GT has become useless…it is now a regional paper, and not even local. If I want a regional paper, I get the NY Times or even a Hartford paper.

  4. Frank Harrison

    Sorry for a late posting, but as an inveterate fan of Teri Buhl’s blunt and honest reporting, I must comment.

    I’ve followed Ms. Buhl’s writing for about a year now since first seeing her stories on the NY Post and Dealbreaker.com et al, and although I don’t agree with everything she writes, I think the true journalistic service she provides to the public – and specifically the investing public – is invaluable.

    I’m in the real estate finance area of the investment arena myself and certainly everyone hates bad publicity in their own space – and it certainly doesn’t make it easier to raise money. That said, however, I absolutely believe that the hedge fund, private equity, etc. sector needs reporters like Ms. Buhl as a watchdog, because it sure as hell beats the alternative: the possibility of more government regulation.

    And government regulation certainly doesn’t work as we saw in the meltdown of the highly regulated mortgage industry and the SEC/Madoff failure.

    As tough as the medicine might be in the short-term, the best way to get the government out of the over-regulation business, and to instill greater investor confidence in Hedge Funds et al, is to hope that all the “bad” funds get cleaned up sooner, rather than later – and I can only imagine that there are many, many more bad funds out there waiting to be exposed.

    [And a free, obvious hint to the investing public: when a fund, or any business for that matter, begins blaming their current or future performance on bad press: RUN FOR THE HILLS and redeem on the way… Because I have yet to see “bad press” coming early to the party - see developers blaming reporters for the crash of the Florida Condo Market.]

    Print media has for years been blaming the Internet for the loss of readers (and advertisers) and perhaps there is some truth to that explanation, but maybe it’s also true that the quality, and as importantly, independence, of this media is getting worse by the day – e.g. it’s still inexplicable that the major business press ignored the numerous red-flags for years and missed the massive Madoff fraud, largely because he was “well liked and respected”.

    However, although Ms. Buhl is still a relatively new journalist, I understand from very good sources that her reporting has led to at least 1 or 2 ongoing fraud investigations, and probably will lead to others in the future. So it’s unfortunate that she wasn’t around early enough to catch Bernie…

    The obvious fact that the financial press – and again the public – needs more investigative reporters makes it all the more disconcerting that although I admittedly don’t know the specific, real reasons why Ms. Buhl was let go, it does appear to lean to an explanation that some people didn’t like what she wrote about them.

    Unfortunately, and tragically, millions of people have lost their jobs in the last couple of years. However, what is at issue here is not the loss of just another job. It’s a reporter being discharged under very questionable grounds – and a reporter’s job is the only private sector job where the freedom to discharge their responsibilities is specifically protected by the U.S. Constitution.

    The “rough writing” explanation doesn’t make sense, because I think Ms. Buhl’s writing actually improved in her short stint at Hearst/Greenwich Times, as I’m sure they had good editors.

    Also, to be a devil’s advocate, if Ms. Buhl’s writing was a little “rough”, I would think that Hearst/Greenwich Times knew that going in and that was the job of their editors to correct and improve upon her skills.

    Ms. Buhl’s strengths are that she has good instincts for a real story. And more importantly, she has the courage to report it.

    Courage and instincts are qualities that can’t be coached.

    Basically, the once-great news organization Hearst/Greenwich Time has made a deliberate decision to continue ever downward on their path to mediocrity, if they’re not already below that level.

    *And to Mr. Fountain’s point above, what is especially deplorable by Hearst/GT is that rather than just removing any offending content from its site – a possible milquetoast solution – they removed ALL of it – a solution so lacking in “manhood” that any self-respecting Eunuch would be embarrased to be associated with it – and in turn basically Hearst said to their readers (and advertising CPM’s) who collectively must have spent numerous man-days commenting on Ms. Buhl’s blog – “go screw yourselves…” *

    In the end, I’m very sure Ms. Buhl will do very well in her career and I wish her the best.

    Frank Harrison
    [Duplicate posting on Reuters blog]