Sunday, June 05, 2005

BBC: Cox sucks

Gee, I wonder whether the BBC disapproves of Bush's new nominee to head the SEC.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to adopt a more "laissez-faire" approach if Christopher Cox is confirmed as its new chairman.

President Bush named the Republican congressman as SEC chairman, but the job must be confirmed by the US Senate.

Current chief William Donaldson quit on Wednesday, raising doubts over whether the finance watchdog will stick to its tough stance on corporate misconduct.

Mr Cox, a former corporate lawyer, is seen as close to the finance industry.

Experts say he could move the SEC towards a lighter touch on regulation.

Some commentators have claimed that his SEC predecessor Mr Donaldson quit the post having come under pressure from Republicans who objected to his hard-line reforms.

Note the constant use of the passive tense. The SEC "is expected to..." Expected by who? The BBC doesn't say. Doubts have been raised. Who has these doubts? The BBC doesn't say. Mr. Cox is "seen as" close to the finance industry. Seen by who? The BBC doesn't say. Even when the passive voice is abandoned, the actors are vague and unknown. Anonymous "experts" say this and "some commentators" say that. Hell, search the internet long enough and you can find "some commentator" saying virtually anything.

Clearly the BBC would like us to come away thinking that the current SEC chairman has been forced from his job by Republicans, who plan on replacing him with a guy who is going to turn a blind eye to corporate malfeasance. However, if we look at only the substance that the BBC has provided, it turns out that all we know is that President Bush has nominated a guy named Chris Cox to replace the outgoing SEC chairman.

The rest of the piece provides us with the following bits of information:

1) President Bush has nice things to say about his nominee.

2) An academic (perhaps one of the BBC's "experts"?) thinks Cox will be "a major change in direction". How or why we don't know.

3) Cox sponsored a piece of legislation in 1995 that some people liked and others didn't.

4) A class-action lawyer doesn't like Cox.

5) California's Democrat state treasurer doesn't like Cox.

6) US trade unions "are understood" to not like Cox. Exactly who this is "understood" by, or how they came to this understanding, the BBC keeps to itself.

Quality information, Beeb. Oh, and one more thing: What's up with the quotation marks in the headline, New SEC head 'signals big change'? At no point in the entire article is anyone ever quoted saying the words "signals big change". Who exactly are you quoting?

BTW, compare this article with the Beeb's piece on previous SEC head William Donaldson when he took over in 2003. Note how almost the entire piece is given over to Donaldson's own words, while in this recent piece quotations from Cox are comprised of a single, 6 word sentence fragment.


Post a Comment

<< Home