By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Ms. Williams' lawsuit references the sale of a building from Camelot to one of my affiliated companies. This transaction occurred as part of the reorganization of Camelot which involved the sale or closure of all its existing business in order to focus Camelot's activities on the software industry. Briefly, two buildings were sold to Forme Capital, an affiliated company. One building required that any future profits from the sale of that building would go to Camelot. The profits were in fact paid to Camelot. The other building is occupied by Camelot as its head office and an advantageous lease was arranged with Forme at a savings to Camelot of approximately $100,000 per year over a five-year lease. The allegations made by Ms. Williams are totally without merit.
The article describes a minority investment in a video distributor called Goldstar Video. That was not a good investment for Camelot; however, it relates to a 1993 transaction which has absolutely no relevance to today's activities.
The balance of the article focuses on the present activities of Camelot, which it describes in a very skeptical tone. In my opinion this skepticism is misplaced. I believe Camelot has a tremendous future, and in that regard I have demonstrated my commitment to the company by recently investing $2 million of my own money into Camelot.
I have been involved for over 20 years in public companies as an advisor, principal investor, and executive, and I believe that my activities have been appropriate, effective, and in the best interests of the shareholders of the companies concerned.
I believe that responsible journalism requires that the facts stated in any article should be accurate, and in that regard Miriam Rozen has failed.
Chairman and CEO
1. Lila Gill states flatly that she met personally with Danny Wettreich. Moreover, she details her meeting with him--on April 12, 1991--in a sworn affidavit made in connection with litigation between Camelot and her client, Golden Triangle Royalty & Oil.
2. Miriam Rozen's story doesn't state that Wettreich said, "It's the stock price, stupid." It notes that "one can sum up his credo" with that statement--and Wettreich's comments above reaffirm that point.
3. In its November 20, 1995, issue, Business Week described a Camelot posting on Prodigy's Money Talk Bulletin Board. The story quoted a Camelot spokesman attributing the company's rising stock price partly to online postings.
4. Camelot's 1995 annual report includes the following comment about the Hunt partnership's involvement in Camelot: "Management believes that to have investment advisors of the quality of the Hunts directing a substantial investment into Company is an expression of confidence in Company's future prospects."
5. Wettreich issued a number of press statements about acquisitions.
6. The story doesn't say Wettreich formally launched "hostile takeover bids"; it says he "threatened" hostile takeover bids--a point his letter does not dispute.
7. Our story noted Wettreich's contention that he knew nothing about an SEC inquiry. It also included comments from former employees who say SEC investigators personally interviewed them about Camelot's activities.
8. Wettreich complains that it is "untrue" he fired "all but five of the employees of Business Investigations" after buying the company. Three former BII employees tell us he did just that--though it took him four months, not five days as our story stated.
For the love of Molly
The recent decision of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram to pull Molly Ivins' column from the Dallas Observer ["'A little bit of revenge,'" February 22] is a most petty move. Evidently, they hold criticism in as much contempt as Ivins holds objectivity.
I have read Molly's column for many a year, and have always marveled at her ability to mangle, obfuscate, and distort the truth to such an extent as to make George Orwell blanch. Though I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, her sweeping generalizations about both parties, as well as any other number of subjects, were always presented from an emotional and subjective, rather than logical or factual, stance. She demonizes her foes while idealizing her allies to such an extent as to render her columns mere propaganda.
This tendency had become so bad that one would almost dread her patronizing defense of some very enlightened causes, many of which I am a very passionate believer in! Thus, it was not her perspective that was so odious; rather, it was her debate style--filled with contradictions, illogic, wild rationalizations, and a contempt for the truth--which was always sure to fill me with disgust.
It is also exactly why her column is so important. Two of the great dangers today are apathy and ignorance. Those in power thrive on people exhibiting those features. Thus, it is invaluable to have such extremists around; whether it's a Pat Buchanan, who chooses to blame all society's ills on "foreigners," or a Molly Ivins, who chooses legal gun owners or any other perceived nonliberal as the Ultimate Evil. They are two sides of the same coin. One must become galvanized into action to counteract their propaganda. If any real change is ever to occur, lies and prejudice should be met and defeated in the public forum.
However, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram way of doing things imperils this. So as Molly speeds off (probably in a BMW) into the sunset, smugly rhapsodizing about "the '60s" and how her generation "made a difference," I can but hope that she will yet again find a way to make herself heard in Dallas. Reading her column was not unlike viewing a smug murderer who regularly beats the system and smirks at his superiority and your stupidity: It was impossible to remain apathetic.