I don't know whether Stockgate aired or not. Anyone see anything?
Here's something from Mark Faulk:
Investing 101 - Jul 25, 2005
- Dateline Stockgate: We're on, we're off, we're on, we're off.....WE'RE ON AGAIN: July 31st!!!
by Mark Faulk
(Editor's disclaimer: This article comes with a "I'll believe it when I see it" disclaimer. Like a lover who's been jilted one too many times, I'm getting a tad bit gun shy when it comes to this story.)
Okay, here we go again.....WE'RE ON!!! (subject to change.)
Dateline Producer Sharon Hoffman has confirmed that the Dateline expose' dubbed "Stockgate" (what scandal these days doesn't end in "gate"?) is scheduled to air on July 31st, at 7:00pm Eastern and Pacific Time, and at 6:00pm Central and Mountain Time (subject to change).
Before everyone gets too excited, let's review the history of the Dateline Stockgate segment:
June 11, 2004: "Is Dateline Losing Credibility Over StockGate Story Delays?"
The Faulking Truth first breaks the Dateline Stockgate story in an exclusive article, saying that:
It's been called the biggest financial scandal in the history of the world, with incurred losses estimated by some experts at well over $1 trillion dollars. It's a scandal that involves over 1,200 offshore hedge funds, over 150 US brokers, and has already bankrupted over 7,000 US companies in the past six years. According to many of the lawsuits filed to date, the crooks include terrorist groups and organized crime syndicates. Sources say that this scandal, which involves an intricate system of selling electronic counterfeit shares of stock in an effort to destroy the market value of small publically traded companies by utilizing a method known as "naked short selling", will eventually implicate almost every major broker in America, all of the governing bodies that oversee trading, and will extend into Canada and Europe.
Then we asked the burning question: "
Why hasn't one of the major network investigative shows put together an in depth expose' to blow this scandal wide open?"
And answered it ourselves:
Incredibly, we have confirmed that Dateline has done that very thing. According to sources involved with the story, NBC's flagship news program has filmed over 100 hours of explosive footage on the "StockGate" scandal, which includes evidence that will "blow the roof off this scandal". There is only one problem. Originally scheduled to air in January or early February, they have postponed the show repeatedly, and now plan to air it "sometime in August". Even more incredibly, we have learned that they have signed an exclusivity contract with the two law firms that have filed the class action lawsuits that deal with the naked shorting scandal, in effect suppressing the public release of even more information about the scandal.
We went on to make fun of Dateline for devoting "five hours of programming to the season finale of 'The Apprentice' and the series finales of 'Friends' and 'Frasier'", but not finding the time to devote a segment or two to the "biggest financial scandal in the history of the world". Good stuff.
October 5, 2004: "Is Time Running Short in StockGate Scandal? (Dateline Confirms StockGate Segment)"
Round two: We received confirmation from Dateline Producer Sharon Hoffman that the segment, did indeed exist, and reported the following:
One source close to the Dateline story told us this week that the segment would air 'in the next two to three weeks', and that there is a '90% chance that it will air before the Presidential election on November 2nd.' According to this source, who is heavily involved with the segment, 'the Dateline story is imminent'. Another source told us that while they would "be surprised if it aired before the election", that the segment was nearing completion.
Hoffman, however, was noncommittal when it came to giving us an exact date: " We are, in fact, still shooting interviews for the story, and it does not yet have a scheduled air date. There is a chance we'll air before the election, but also a chance that we won't. I'll let you know when I know."
(Editor's note: It didn't air before the election....duh.)
November 16, 2004: "Dateline: The Waiting is the Hardest Part"
Dateline Producer Sharon Hoffman assured us late last week that "the story is definitely still ongoing", and that the Faulking Truth, and our readers, will "be among the first to know the air date." Hoffman also told us that while "we're still shooting interviews and aren't ready to air yet.....I have received some new information that we are looking into."
March 28, 2005: "FINALLY! Dateline to Air Stockgate Segment April 10th"
After over a year of promises, postponements, and delays, Dateline finally confirmed today that they will air their report on the stock market scandal on Sunday, April 10th, at 7 pm ET. The segment, dealing with the scandal dubbed "Stockgate", has long been anticipated by advocates pushing for reform in the stock market, and was first confirmed by The Faulking Truth last June.
April 6, 2005: "Dateline Stockgate Update: POSTPONED YET AGAIN!"
Round five (and beginning to feel a bit punch drunk):
According to Dateline, the segment will definitely still air, but because of scheduling conflicts that have arisen due to the death of the Pope, the Stockgate segment schedule has been pushed back. A Dateline official confirmed that special segments that aired at the time of the Pope's death has caused a "major reshuffling of the entire Dateline schedule". Dateline producer Sharon Hoffman said that, "It has been a very busy news cycle, and Dateline is always subject to change." They have not yet announced a new air date for the show.
Instead, according to the Dateline website, they will air a segment in which "NBC's Al Roker sits down with 'American Idol' star Ruben Studdard to discuss his latest gospel album and how his life has changed since beating Clay Aiken on the second season of 'American Idol.'" Wow! An interview with last year's American Idol winner. It HAS been a busy news cycle!
April 6, 2005: "Time to Boycott GE, Dateline, and NBC?"
Round six. Feeling a little betrayed, I tried another approach:
All I know is this: if Dateline doesn't reschedule the Stockgate story....and soon, and doesn't give it the attention it deserves, or if they cave in to alleged pressure from the DTCC and the SEC, then it's time for Americans to "vote with their pocketbooks", and boycott NBC AND their parent company General Electric. THAT'S a voice that even Dateline can't ignore, and that's the Faulking Truth.
April 8, 2005: "Dateline, NBC, and GE: LET THE BOYCOTT BEGIN!"
Round seven. This is my letter to Dateline, after they tried to back out of the April 10th confirmed date. I was clearly not a happy camper at this juncture:
Thank you for updating the readers of The Faulking Truth on the "upcoming" Dateline Stockgate story. After reading your email, it is clear to me that you have once again misled your viewers, and our readers. THE STOCKGATE SEGMENT WAS CONFIRMED, and your implication that it was all a big mix-up is both condescending and misleading. And your decision to blame it on "a very busy news cycle" (because of the death of the Pope, Prince Ranier, and Terry Schiavo), and then replace it with an interview with "American Idol" Ruben Studdard? Well, even you must realize how ludicrous that it.
At the very least, you should stand up and take responsibility for your actions, and admit it when you are wrong. In the case of this story, and your repeated decisions to sit on this segment while millions of Americans are being fleeced on a daily basis by unscrupulous con artists, you are clearly morally and ethically wrong. Is it an ongoing story? Then do the segment, and follow up on it as it develops. This is the very basis of your show, "multi-part investigations, and follow-ups that stretch over weeks and months". TELL AMERICA THE TRUTH NOW!
May 31, 2005: "Stockgate: Turning up the Heat"
Round eight (but who's counting?):
Dateline planned an expose' on the Stockgate scandal over a year ago, but after several postponements, it appears that they have caved in to political pressure and shelved the project, at least for now. They are, however, airing yet another American Idol interview, this time with Kelly Clarkson, who won the pop singing contest during the show's first season. Dateline producer Sharon Hoffman hasn't responded to our phone calls inquiries about re-scheduling the Stockgate expose', and the show's representatives will say only that "we will let you know" when it's scheduled to air.
June 20, 2005: "Dateline Stockgate Expose': 'Could Air Any Time'"
And finally.....Round nine. Last but not least, we ran this exclusive interview with Sharon Hoffman:
It's still on! In an interview with The Faulking Truth this morning, Sharon Hoffman dispelled rumors that their Stockgate expose' has been permanently shelved. "We are still definitely planning to air the segment", said Hoffman, who also told us that it "could air any time." So, there you have it. I know it's not much, but at least she refuted the rumors that have run rampant that the story had been killed altogether (We even mentioned it once or twice ourselves.....hey, this is the internet, we don't have Dan Rather's crack team of investigative researchers to confirm every single thing we hear).
According to Hoffman, "There's a lot of speculation about reasons that it hasn't aired, and most of it is not accurate." She wouldn't comment on the socalled "political pressure" that had supposedly been exerted on Dateline, but she did reiterate her earlier statment that "there are no nefarious reasons for it not airing."
In response to my question as to whether or not the segment is completed, she told me that "It's complete up to the present, but we'll continue to update it until it airs."
I called her back in an attempt to get her to tell me that once it airs, "it would be worth the wait", but she wouldn't bite. Instead, she told me, "No comment on that, but nice try." (Thanks, Sharon)
As far as our reader's concerns, she had this to say: "I don't begrudge anyone their frustration, and I understand that everyone is very passionate about this, and they have a right to be."
Well, there you have it. And you wonder why I'm a little apprehensive about doing the Dateline Victory Dance just yet. Just so you'll know that I'm not just making this stuff up, here are the emails confirming this Sunday's scheduled air date (subject to change):
First, this email sent to Christian Smith & Jewell (one of the law firms representing dozens of clients in class action lawsuits involving stock counterfeiting) was forwarded to me:
From: Ivan Kronenfeld
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2005 1:09 PM
ToSubject: Dateline story air date
To: Christian Smith & Jewell
I have been informed by Sharon Hoffman that our story is scheduled to air on
Sunday July 31. This date is, of course, subject to change. Dateline airs
at 7:00pm Eastern and Pacific Time, and at 6:00pm Central and Mountain Time.
Being the natural born skeptic that I am, I copied and sent the email to Sharon Hoffman, under the subject heading "Hate to even ask you this again, but.....":
This email was just forwarded to me....
Can you confirm it for me? (or not, as the case may be)
And here's her prompt reply, four minutes later:
"The email is correct."
So, that's that. The Dateline Stockgate story IS scheduled to air on Sunday, July 31st.....Subject to change, of course. See you there.
(Another's Editor's note: In an ironic twist, after spending the past year dogging Dateline about airing this story, on July 31st, I'll be boarding an Alaskan Cruise ship at the exact time that it finally airs....subject to change, of course. That's the story of my life. Hmmmm....I wonder if they'd postpone it one more time, just for me?)
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