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Sorry for his embezzlement and angry about The Day

By DANIEL GORDON

Publication: The Day

Published September 16. 2012 4:00AM
Day file photo
In 2003 Daniel Gordon, then-chairman of Daticon Inc., poses inside the company in the Norwich Business Park. Gordon, who was convicted in 2005 and served half of a 42-month prison sentence for embezzling $43 million from Merrill Lynch, was freed in 2007.

For over ten years now, I have been the subject of numerous articles in The Day - many of which have been "unflattering" to say the least. And, for over 10 years now, I have never responded to any of these articles - despite their often inaccurate claims and unsupported conclusions. The reason for my silence has been my guiding view that 5 percent of people will love you, 5 percent of people will hate you and 90 percent of people simply don't care. Yet at some point, if left to rely on the questionable reporting practices of The Day, even the 90 percent will start to wonder.

The most recent article about me - "Norwich native, out of jail after embezzlement, accused of fraud" (July 24) - written by Lee Howard, however, reached a new low in terms of journalistic standards.

Despite the fact that I am contacted by reporters for The Day on a regular basis asking me to comment on various stories, no one from The Day bothered to call me for a comment about the story being written about me. For that matter, no one from The Day contacted any of my lawyers, my ex-wife or any third party concerning the subject matter. Rather, Mr. Howard relied on various out-of-context excerpts from one-sided legal filings from a 2009 legal case expressed by an ex-wife as part of a contentious divorce and custody proceeding. Does anyone seriously believe that this is fair and objective reporting?

But perhaps fair and objective reporting is not the goal of The Day. In fact, one could argue that this style of reporting represents the perpetual decay in an Internet dominated media industry that has become less about reporting and more about pandering. But shouldn't newspapers, as a whole, and The Day, in particular, strive to be better? Don't readers deserve this? Shouldn't editors select stories on their merit and their contribution to society rather than what happens to be most sensational? If not, don't The Day's readers deserve the "full story" so that they may independently evaluate the credibility of the information being provided to them?

There is no one in the world who has been more critical of me and my past misdeeds than me. I will bear this cross for the rest of my days. And yet are dated, inaccurate and incomplete stories about me the best that The Day has to offer? With everything going on in the world today - with record levels of poverty, economic stagnation, and environmental devastation, the most outrage that The Day can express in its Editorial Page is about me? If The Day is truly concerned about the failures of the criminal justice system, where is the Editorial Page's outrage over the fact that the United States leads the world in the incarceration of non-violent criminals yet ranks 27th in math and science? Is there no one at The Day who can write about this sad reality?

Or, if stories about the criminal justice system aren't sexy enough for The Day's editors, what about the teachers, policemen and firefighters who are vilified on a daily basis over their contracts and pensions while big oil companies generating billions of dollars in annual profits receive over $30 billion a year in tax subsidies? Is this not outrageous enough to warrant the attention of The Day?

And if these topics are too depressing, what about the local small business owner working seven days a week to make their business a success - not only for themselves but for their community as well? Doesn't such a topic warrant at least as much "ink" in The Day as stories about failed businesses and the personal shortcomings of their owners? Perhaps it's just that articles filled with unchecked facts and wild innuendo are easier to write. They certainly require less effort on the part of the writer and the editor. But is that what The Day wants to be?

Some may read this and ask, "Who does this guy think he is?" Many of these same people are likely the cowards who anonymously post online comment that they would not otherwise dare to post under their real names. I am not a subscriber to The Day. I do not read it. I do not reside in New London County. And yet, for some reason, in the eyes of some I remain newsworthy. I accept this reality as a consequence of my wrongdoing from over 10 years ago. And while I may not have a vote in the matter, I would nevertheless suggest that the level of reporting that The Day has used in past stories about me and many others is beneath the respected legacy of tradition and reporters on which The Day was built.

Its readers deserve better.

Note: The Day stands by the accuracy of its reporting on Mr. Gordon and has reported and editorialized on many of the topics cited by Mr. Gordon, including the nation's high imprisonment rate, the struggles of small businesses, and the environment.

Daniel Gordon, a former Norwich resident, pleaded guilty in 2003 to embezzlement against his former employee, Merrill Lynch, and spent nearly two years in prison. More recently The Day reported on a bankruptcy case involving Mr. Gordon.

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