Alex Gibney Talks Elliot Spitzer and “Nice Men” Lay and Skilling

Alex Gibney is back. Speaking to Culture Map, Gibney talks about his new obsession: Elliot Spitzer and defends his abortion of a movie, Smartest Guys In The Room. The pertinent quote from the interview:

CM: A final question. You’ve returned to scene of the crime, so to speak, years after directing Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. While you’ve been here for the Cinema Arts Festival, have you run into anyone who thought you were too hard on that nice man Ken Lay?

AG: Actually, there were a number of people I met at a party last night who felt I was too hard on that nice man Jeff Skilling as well as that nice man Ken Lay.

CM: And of course, you responded — politely.

AG: Yes, I did respond politely. I said I didn’t think I was too tough on them. And that a lot of people wished I would have been tougher. I felt I gave them, shall we say, the benefit of the doubt. And they cooked their own geese.

I must say: One thing that struck me about Eliot Spitzer is, he took responsibility for what he did. Which is something that Lay and Skilling never did. In their minds, they were the ones who became victims. Not the people who had lost all their money.

Skilling and Lay never had to accept responsibility because they did nothing wrong. But I’m amused about his confrontation. I have a very good idea who those rabble-rousers were. Way to go. I wish I could have watched him sputter a reply.

Cara Ellison


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