The AP's clumsy attempt to implicate Richard Holbrooke in AIG scandal

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

From the AP's Richard Lardner:

Obama administration special envoy Richard Holbooke [sic] was on the American International Group Inc. board of directors in early 2008 when the insurance company locked in the bonuses now stoking national outrage.

If you've been following the AIG story closely you can immediately spot the hole in the soggy AP dispatch. Especially when you read in the following [emphasis]:

Holbrooke, a veteran diplomat who is now the administration's point man on Pakistan and Afghanistan, served on the board between 2001 and mid-2008.

The problem here is the time line. AP wants to suggest it's now a big deal that Holbrooke served on the board of AIG, and that Holbrooke was somehow connected to the current bonus story. That's why the AP shoehorned in the reference to "bonuses" in the lead. Because if it's just a story about Holbrooke once served on AIG's board, then there's really no story because AIG, until not that long ago, was a Wall Street darling and there'd be nothing even remotely newsworthy about Holbrooke sitting on the board.

But with the bonus angle, the AP pretends there's news. i.e. Holbrooke somehow knew about the post-bailout bonuses?!

No. Holbrooke left AIG in "mid-2008." AIG accepted its first government bailout in September, 2008. AIG handed out the scandalous, post-bailout bonuses last week.

Holbrooke has nothing to do with the bonus story. The AP obviously knew that, yet seemed to do its best to introduce a phony angle connecting the U.S. envoy to the story.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.