Yesterday, the Daily News reported that a lawyer for the Bernie Madoff victims demanded the resignation of Irving Picard. The lawyer, Helen Davis Chaitman, said the trustee "has been dishonest with the court and should step aside as trustee because nobody can trust anything he says." The News story also revealed that Picard has been questioned by Congresspersons on a number of different issues, from his connections to Securities and Exchange Commission that may constitute a conflict of interest, to his unwillingness to provide the depositions on which he's built his lawsuit.
You can take these accusations with as much salt as you want. After all, the News has clearly been on the Wilpons' side since the whole affair began, due in part (I would presume) from the two parties' connection to each other via SNY.
However, I do find it curious that when this story broke on Thursday, it fell with a thud. Every single Picard accusation has been pored over relentlessly by the press, treated with the utmost seriousness and virtually no skepticism. The Wilpons' responses to these accusations have been more or less dismissed. Some reporters said the Mets owners would be better off keeping their mouths shut.
Now, Picard is being called on to resign by those for whom he purports to be fighting--500 such people, in fact, which is how many Madoff clients Chaitman represents. I would think this would be big news. As yet, I've heard nothing but silence from everyone outside the Daily News. None of the non-News beat writers have yet to tweet or blog about the story, treating us instead to blow-by-blow accounts of Jay Horowitz's athletic endeavors.
This morning, most of the Mets news centers around a Times story that claims the Mets have suffered significant financial losses in the last few years--as much as $50 million in 2010 alone. A big story, definitely, one I've heard and seen discussed in multiple media. But the Picard-must-resign story remains curiously unexplored by anyone outside the News.
This gives weight to my conspiracy theory (put forward earlier this week) that the harsh treatment the Wilpons have received from the press in re: Madoff has little to do with justice or financial malfeasance and more to do with raking them over the coals for the team's performance. Because otherwise, a call for Picard's resignation would have to be big news. Even if you think the News is totally in the tank for the Wilpons, it's a story that at least deserves investigation and comment, if only to dismiss it. Doesn't it? Or am I the only nut who thinks so?
I guess it's just me. Carry on as you were, sports press.