Last night, David Letterman offered his opinion that Martha Stewart should be cleared of any charges, and he also offered to pay any fines or charges for which Martha Stewart is liable. Now, mind you, Dave had just been stitched up on the air, due to a minor mishap on his finger, so maybe the loss of blood had something to do with his largesse. I agree that Martha’s getting something of a bum rap – one of the charges claims that she committed securities fraud by defending her ImClone trade. The theory is that by claiming that she didn’t do anything illegal, she was attempting to convince shareholders to hold onto the stock, and thus artificially inflated the price. This smacks of a “darned if you do and darned if you don’t” problem – defend yourself, and you’re presumed guilty of fraud. Don’t defend yourself, and you’re presumed guilty of insider trading. Pick your preferred fine and prison term.
I think the first new show Martha does after all of this is cleared up should include such things as: how to wallpaper a bathroom with ridiculous legal paperwork; how to print in mugshot in various shades of tepia; the recipe for a delicious cake, containing a file in the middle; and how to elegantly take the perp walk, umbrella in hand, as demonstrated by M truly. May she make mega-bucks off of the SEC’s ravings, and do so in an over-the-top in-your-face Martha manner.