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Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Media Descends on Westport for Martha Reaction

It was predictable following indications that Martha Stewart was about to be indicted related to her insider-trading problems the national media descended on Westport early today for reactions from her neighbors.

CNBC set up its satellite truck at the Saugatuck train station where correspondent Garret Glaser noted that Westport was the town that in 1978 issued a cease and desist order to stop Stewart from running a catering business out of her home.

֓Well, Martha has come a long way from those days and so has the town, Glaser said.

ԓBesides the large home at Turkey Hill and the TV production facility and numerous Martha-related ventures, Westport is very much aware of Martha Stewart and all she has been through.

The AP sent reporter John Christoffersen to prowl Main Street for reaction. He said those he interviewed were divided in their reaction to Stewart’s indictment.

Glaser found the same thing as he and his crew stopped commuters as they boarded the 7:28 for New York and asked them ԓwhat do you make of all of this?

The quick clips from commuters did not identify them by name but here is what they said:

(Man #1) ԓI think she should get whats coming. I mean the lawҒs the law. You break it, you deserve it.

(Man #2) ԓTheres plenty of people who have done much worse. Leave her alone.”

(Man #3) ғShe did something wrong, and, I mean I dont think any differently because she happens to live here. I mean she did something wrong then she deserves to be indicted like anyone else.Ҕ

(Woman #1) Ah Ӗ who cares? You know really, with all the stuff thats happening in the world, it really seems very insignificant.Ҕ

(Man #4) TheyӒre just making a show of her. I mean this is something that happens to a lot of people. A lot of people do it. If shes innocent or not, I donҒt know, but theyre making a big show of it. TheyҒre trying to make an example of her.

(Woman #2) ԓWhat she did was so much less than what everybody else did with all the other scandals. I think its resentment. I think thereҒs a lot of sexism going on here and, you know, a powerful woman, (they) tried to bring her down.

Later, the CNBC crew did a quick pass by Stewart’s home on Turkey Hill Road South. Its footage, shot from a distance through a car window, showed only a red SUV manned by a security guard parked in her driveway.

Glaser ended his report this way: ԓPeople are being tempting to say or easy to say there is no love lost between the town and Martha. But thats not true. ItҒs really a complex mix of opinions.

A New Haven station took up a spot in the Main Street area. Its correspondent interviewed Planning and Zoning Director Kathy Barnard about Stewart’s applications over the years to do taping at her Westport home and other issues.

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Posted 06/04/03 at 01:00 PM  Permalink



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