Skip to comments.Bush Will "F--- Whack This S---" for Enron, "Crude, But True"(CBS Rather Blathers Enron Bush Tie)
Posted on 06/02/2004 3:18:52 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
CBS on Tuesday night resurrected the Enron scandal and made sure to tie it to President Bush. Playing some audio tapes of conversations amongst low-level Enron sales staffers, CBS News reporter Vince Gonzales maintained that back in 2000 "they were sure President Bush would fight any limits on sky-high energy prices." Gonzales also claimed that some inarticulate vulgarity by an unidentified Enron staffer, about how Bush will "f------ whack this s---, man. He won't f------ play this price-cap bull----," was "crude, but true."
Anchor Dan Rather set up the CBS Evening News story which led the June 1 broadcast: "Good evening. We begin tonight with a CBS News exclusive. You are about to hear the shocking words of Enron employees as the company was boldly ripping off the state of California and consumers high and low, manipulating gas, oil and electricity markets. Market manipulation in this country and elsewhere is at the heart of criminal charges still pending against former Enron executives, the first of whom go on trial next week in Houston. CBS News investigative correspondent Vince Gonzales obtained the audiotapes the U.S. government had kept under wraps hoping, along with Enron, that you would never hear them."
Maybe government lawyers wanted to keep them private so they could be used in criminal proceedings. By Rather's logic, all prosecutors, who don't divulge to the media all the evidence they've gathered, are in collusion to hide valuable information from the public.
Gonzales began, as taken down by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "When a forest fire shut down a major transmission line into California, cutting power supplies and raising prices, Enron energy traders celebrated."
Audio clip of Enron employee: "Burn, baby, burn. That's a beautiful thing."
Gonzales: "Four years after California's disastrous experiment with energy deregulation, on audiotapes obtained by CBS News, Enron's energy traders can be heard gloating and praising each other as they helped bring on and cash in on the western power crisis."
Audio clip of employee #1 [Text on screen, with ---- and parts of words bleeped, over video of electricity meter]: "He just f---- - California. He steals money from California to the tune of about a million."
Audio clip of employee #2 in the apparently recorded phone call: "Will you rephrase that?"
Employee #1: "Okay, he, arbitrages the California market to the tune of a million bucks or two a day."
Gonzales: "The tapes, from Enron's West Coast trading desk, also confirm what CBS News reported years ago. In secret deals with power producers, traders deliberately drove up prices by ordering power plants to shut down."
Audio clip of employee #3 [Text over picture of power plant]: "If you took down the steamer, how long would it take to get it back up?"
Audio clip of employee #4: "Oh, it's not something you want to be just be turning on and off every hour. Let's put it that way."
Employee #3: "Well, why don't you just go ahead and shut her down?"
Gonzales: "Officials with us in Snohomish public utility district near Seattle received the tapes from the Justice Department."
Eric Christensen, Snohomish County Public Utility District: "These tapes prove beyond a doubt that Enron was engaged in a massive criminal conspiracy to defraud the rate payers of the entire West Coast."
Gonzales: "That utility, like many others, is trying to get its money back from Enron."
Audio clip of employee #5 [Over picture of power lines]: "They're f------ takin' all the money back from you guys? All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?"
Audio clip of employee #6: "Yeah, grandma Millie, man."
Employee #5: "Yeah, now she wants her f------ money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her ass for f------ $250 a megawatt hour."
Gonzales: "And the tapes appear to link top Enron official Jeffrey Skilling and Ken Lay to schemes that fueled the crisis."
Audio clip of unidentified female "executive": "Government affairs has to prove how valuable it is to Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling."
Audio clip of employee #8: "Okay."
Same unidentified female executive: "Do you know when you started over-scheduling load and making buckets of money on that?"
Gonzales, over video of balloons dropping on George and Laura Bush at the 2000 Republican convention: "Before the 2000 election, Enron employees pondered the possibilities of a Bush win."
Audio clip of employee #9: "It'd be great. I'd love to see Ken Lay be Secretary of Energy."
Gonzales: "That didn't happen. But they were sure President Bush would fight any limits on sky-high energy prices."
Employee #9, with "Enron Phone Recordings, CBS News Exclusive" on screen and text of audio over a shot of Bush on a dais: "When this election comes, Bush'll f------ whack this s---, man. He won't f------ play this price-cap bull----."
Gonzales: "Crude, but true."
George W. Bush in a speech, May 29, 2001: "We will not take any action that makes California's problems worse. And that's why I oppose price caps."
Gonzales concluded: "Both the Justice Department and Enron tried to prevent the release of these tapes. Enron's attorneys argued they merely prove, quote, 'that people at Enron sometimes talked like Barnicle Bill the sailor.' Vince Gonzales, CBS News, Los Angeles."
For the online version of this story: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/06/01/eveningnews/main620626.shtml
Forgive me, but were they not manipulating the market during the Clinton Administration?
CBS is gonna have to answer for a lot after Bush gets re-elected.
Bush was not President in 2000 and Clinton did little to hinder his buddies at Enron.
It is just me, or does anyone else think the press is getting desperate for subjects to bash Bush with? With the same vigor with which they ignored Clinton's transgressions, they have brought up everything they could find, distort or torture into an anti-Bush piece. I think they're beginning to fear they won't be able to influence the election and seem to be going for broke.
So, Bush holds a legitimate free market position against price caps and he's in bed with Enron? Rather's an idiot.
I am not sure what will happen when the dust settles, but I doubt that it will change much at FERC. Part of the problem is that it is very difficult to retroactively unwind all of the short term and power market spot sales. It is even harder to figure out who made money and who lost money. If there was a big pot of money that Enron and others had, it would be easier to come up with a solution.
As it is now, a lot of "innocent" PNW public utilities got hammered by high prices to keep the lights on in California. They are fighting that tooth and nail and want to reset the clock and get refunds.
Yes, and if I remember correctly, when Enron started having money problems, Lay went to Bush, via Clinton's ex-Sec of Treasury Rubin, asking for a bail-out. Bush said "No!" I wonder why Dan didn't say anything about that? Bernie Goldberg's Bias.
A good report would have included information as to whose plant that was, and whether it was in fact taken offline. But the purpose of this story was not to provide facts or context. It was to smear George Bush, even though he had nothing whatsoever to do with it.
Like Rush said this morning, you haven't seen anything yet. Some of these characters will be foaming at the mouth by October. I won't be surprised if Ratherbiased breaks down in tears on national TV, if Dubya has a good lead by that time. What bothers me is that many of my parents' generation tune in to RatherJenningsBrokaw every night, and soak up their propaganda like a sponge.
I don't remember the details but if I remember correctly there was something fishy during the Clintons' administration involving Enron and India.
Didn't Lay sleep in the WH when Bill was there.
If anyone other than low grade morons got their "news" from Dan Rather, this just might be.
So Dan Rather will take the blame for the ranting of all the low level CBS employees?
The Chinese deal with Enron has its roots with former Vice President Al Gore. In 1998, Gore wrote the Chinese leadership, urging them to sign lucrative contracts with Enron.
The Clinton-Gore National Security Council and Vice President Gore strong-armed Mozambique so that Enron could obtain an exclusive deal using threats of aid cuts as leverage.It would take two visits from VP Gore and Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary to South Africa to convince the Pretoria government to buy the Enron deal.
During Clinton's eight years in office, the company and Lay contributed about $900,000 to the Democratic Party. Former Enron officials said an important part of their strategy to win favor with the Gore campaign was a significant increase in the company's donations to Democrats. In 1999 and 2000, the company gave $362,000 in soft-money donations to Democrats.
1999 Gov. Gray Davis of California led a $200,000 trade trip to Europe that was very high on the Enron list. Davis tripped on California taxpayer expense with his wife in ancient Greece, lobbying on behalf of Enron Wind for the "Greek Wind Project."
1999 documents are part of a long string of heavy lobbying efforts that the Clinton administration carried out to convince the Greeks to buy Enron Wind products for Crete.
Enron also pushed the limits inside the former Yugoslavia. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown worked on an Enron contract in Croatia just prior to his death in 1996.
1997, Enron executives flew to Croatia with Clinton Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor. The trade trip took place just after Enron executives made a $100,000 donation to the DNC. As a result, Enron struck a deal with the Croatian government to build a power station and run it for 20 years at a highly inflated price of nearly $200 million above market prices.
The most infamous Enron project is the troubled Dabhol power plant in India. President Clinton highlighted Enron's problems with its planned $3 billion Dabhol power project in a short "FYI" note to his chief of staff Mack McLarty. McLarty worked with Enron and the U.S. ambassador in New Delhi to keep tabs on the Dabhol project.
Four days before India finally granted approval for the project, Enron donated $100,000 to the DNC.
Many former Clinton administration officials eventually went to work for Enron, including former White House counsel Jack Quinn, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, former Assistant Treasury Secretary Linda Robertson, former Chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Elizabeth Moler, and the former media adviser to Vice President Al Gore, Greg Simon.
The newly released documents show that the Clinton administration worked for Enron in China, Vietnam, South Africa, India, Brazil, Argentina, Mozambique, South Korea, Japan, Belgium, France, Russia, the Philippines, the West Bank and Uzbekistan.
Guess Rather is suffering from amnesia.
The media won't be able to sell the message that Bush was protecting his Enron friends because the timeline won't work. The attack at Bush will be for not admitting the markets were manipulated and bailing out California. Bush allowed the fiscal situation in California to deteriorate for partisan gain. Bush insiders were being told the California voters would become so upset with Grey Davis that they would recall him from office and elect a Republican instead. The next step for the media is to establish some sort of connection between the Bush administration and the Davis recall effort.
The media knows that there is no way the Bush administration could have foreseen such events much less rigged them, but all they will be trying to do is cast doubt in the mind of enough voters to skew the election results. The Bush re-election effort will be taken off message dealing with this recycled media created "scandal".
Let me see if I understand this right. They committed crimes during the Clinton administration because they "knew" Bush was going to be elected. Do I have that right?
I am totally convinced that the American public, in any meaningful numbers, can't remember anything longer than six months.
This story is a nice one-day smear, but it's just part of a never-ending campaign to elect Kerry. By itself, I don't think it means much.
BOYCOTT CBS IT IS A HAZARD TO AMERICAN FREEDOM>
Is it free speech to publish the addresses of journalists?
What did Lay and Enron donate to Clinton and the DNC other than the $100,000 mention earlier?
Never mind to my question about donations to Dems.
Dan Rather -- the anchorman who blushed and gushed before Saddam.
There were a couple of guys down at the local pub hammering on Bush. I have it on tape. You think Dan will air it for me?
Absolutely. You could probably sell it to him for big bucks.
if rather wasn't an a-h, he'd question what the s.e.c under the clinton admin. was doing, or rather, not doing.
Actually, all the investigations to date have not found any manipulation at all, or very little.
But the liberal press is desperate for anything they can pin on President Bush, so they keep telling the big lie in hopes it will catch on if they repeat it enough times.
And I also believe that John Kerry was a war hero.
/from an old Pantera song, "Five Minutes Alone"
Dan Rather & the whole "decision"-making crew at CBS Evening News:
Lousy lead story tonight, again trying to dredge up the old Enron thing. Bill Clinton's administration was the one presiding when Enron was bilking investors and, allegedly, consumers. He did squat.
California since then has voted in a Republican governor...and the Ashcroft Justice Department has gone after a lot of the suspected perps in Enron. Breaks your heart, eh?
Trying to make Bush the bad guy here is foolishness. Gonzales and Rather both should know the Enron guys called and asked for special help from the Bush administration and were REFUSED. Guess that never made it into your report.
And the economic _fact_ that price caps DECREASE supply and are a _drain_ on the economy. A simple review of a very elementary book 'Basic Economics' by Dr. Thomas Sowell would provide the evidence for that statement. But, again, simple facts aren't in the agenda, are they? CBS gatekeepers would rather shade their journalism a very bright yellow.
The pathetically biased reporting from CBS is just another evidence as to why networks are trending toward a loss in market share while cable and internet sources of news are gaining. Who do you really think you're fooling? Even your older-trending demographics aren't going to buy this anti-Bush bilge forever.
More breathless coverage of the epithet-filled Enron tapes tonight. Sure seemed like Dan wanted you to associate this "scandal" with Pres. Bush.
Tonight's lead-in was a Breathless Dan "exclusive" that Pres. Bush has obtained a private attorney in the case of the public outing of the not-so-secret agent Ms. Pflame, enabling them to dredge up that whole story again.
I watched all the alphabets tonight to see how they covered the President's fine Air Force Academy speech. NBC was the only coverage briefly using the President's own words. PBS left the event out entirely. The other two had scant one-liner coverage, spinning the speech as equating Iraq with WWII. NBC had comprehensive coverage of the launching of "Fahrenheit 9/11".
Tonight's far more important topics included Chalabi, air national guard recruitment, military "stop loss" policy, old Gen. Skarpinski shoplifting story, teen antidepressant use, and the South Dakota "pivotal election" of someone who will serve for five months. PBS added earthquake prediction, and analysis of whose campaign ads are more believable (guess).
No cable here. If it weren't for FR, I might have been tempted to believe the "news" was really news.
There's absolutely no way that California avoids more blackouts this decade. Demand for electricity continues to grow as the population increases, more homes are being built, and the economy kicks into high gear again.
It took the Perfect Storm of bad legislation, high natural gas prices, Enron, and a drought in the Pacific Northwest to create the last crisis. It won't require that much the next time. Demand is up several thousand megawatts since the last crisis, and new plants haven't been built to match it.
There's a drought in the Pacific Northwest again this year.
Nice letter! I Love It!
If I remember correctly, the biggest trouble with Enron was the fake companies the big-wigs were creating on paper and doctoring the books.
I think they just saw a bunch of suckers. California DIDN'T deregulate, they only deregulated halfway. That's what cause the problem. Arizona deregulated all the way and we all saved a bunch of money. Of course, we didn't have an idiot like Grey Davis doing the negotiating.
I am highly amused, but only for a moment, when Bush-bashers try to indict the officials of this administration for doing the right thing.
His JD is still the one doing the investigating...Ashcroft isn't involved in the day-to-day...not necessarily because he is being coerced by the law, but because he wants to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Unlike Democrat Party Operatives of all stripes: who revel in such appearances.
My statements in the letter to See BS "News" are accurate and stand without need for change or amendment.
This will get as far as the last attempt to discredit Bush, and that went NOWHERE!!