Ms. has posted a fantastic letter of support for Martha Stewart. Like me, they have reservations about Martha, but they sense a bitch hunt is under way.
Elaine Lafferty, Editor-in-Chief of Ms. Magazine, writes: "Let's make it clear at the start: Martha Stewart has never been a feminist icon. While we may like her K-Mart paints or appreciate some of her suggestions for décor, she's never made the short list for Ms. Woman of the Year. It doesn't mean we don't consider her a feminist - we have no idea what Ms. Stewart calls herself - it's just that domestic perfection hasn't been one of our top priorities. That said, we're outraged about her recent prosecution and conviction. It's time for women to speak out. The issue is proportionality. John Ashcroft's Justice Department spent millions of dollars overzealously pursuing a case in which Martha Stewart saved herself $52,000 in stock losses by following an insider stock tip. And she wasn't even prosecuted for that--she was busted for lying about whether or not she'd sold her stock based on that tip. We certainly believe in the judicial system, and in going after "bad guys," including rich white collar criminals who use their power and connections to make money off the backs of small investors. Let's just go after the real bad guys, and put Martha Stewart into perspective. For example, we can't wait for indictments to come down on Bush crony Kenneth Lay of Enron, contributed thousands to the Republican Party, who sold off $80 million in company stock while telling his employees to keep buying. When those employees found out that Enron's profits were created by smoke-and-mirror accounting, many lost their retirement nest eggs. We're also concerned about Vice President Dick Cheney's sale of Halliburton stock in 2000, on which he made $18.5 million. The price of stock then was $52/share; sixty days later, when reports of poor earnings surfaced, it dropped to $13/share."