When Hank Paulson's spokeswoman said he couldn't comment on the Times' big "conflict of interest" story on him yesterday because the publisher of his upcoming memoirs had "barred" him from recalling anything prepublication, we wondered who in the mousy publishing industry would have the brass ones to hold back the former Treasury secretary and Goldman Sachs CEO from defending his good name. The Journal's Katherine Rosman actually asked his publisher, Business Plus, about it, and surprise! There was no such agreement.
“Hank was an All-American football player at Dartmouth,” said Business Plus publisher and editor in chief Rick Wolff. “I don’t think it’s wise for my health to try to bar him from doing anything.”
But, if you must know the truth, the publisher went on, Paulson was just too busy and important to talk to such a piddling news organization as the Times. “Hank is in process of writing his book and quite frankly, he is on deadline," Wolff said. "He is too busy to go and sit for interviews.” And, Lord knows, if the man responded to every legitimate query about Goldman Sachs conspiracies and his core involvement in the multi-billion-dollar bailout of the financial sector that crossed his desk, he'd never get anything done.