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Mike Randle


“Living with Martha”
February 26, 2003

So there I was last night, kicking back on the couch and watching Martha Stewart make a baked chicken dinner. Now, make no mistake, regardless of whatever legal troubles she may be having these days (due to her “insider trading” accusations at IMCLONE), Martha can still cook a good bird with the best of them. I sat back in my MARTHA sheets (I’d gotten them on-sale at KMART), fluffed my MARTHA PILLOW (they came with the sheets, ok?)and kicked back with a bottle of Miller High Life. I was chillin’. It was DEFINITELY “Miller Time.”

Now, when Martha flashes that wonderful, motherly smile in those big grandma shirts, I just can’t imagine her involved in something as crooked as Insider Trading. See, Martha is a good friend of ImClone’s former CEO, and she sold $228,000 worth of ImClone stock the day before the Food and Drug Administration rejected the company’s promising new cancer drug. I’m sure it happens everyday.

It’s got to be pure coincidence. This went through my mind as I watched Martha put the whole chicken in a glass pot. She then poured (about) 2 cups of water at the bottom of the pot, seasoned the chicken and then added chopped potatoes, onions, thyme and carrots. After she put the glass lid on and popped it into the oven (pre-heated at 350F), she walked over to the cutting board, flashed another one of those dimpled smiles and said, “We’ll be right back, here on Martha’s Kitchen!”

I was borderline furious that someone would accuse this sweet lady of something as criminal as Insider Trading, when most of her fans (like myself) simply want Martha’s sheets and towels and the recipe to her blueberry cobbler. She has done so much and with so much class and for so many years that she should not be subjected to something as insulting as an Insider Trading investigation. You may think this problem might blemish Martha’s career but, think again; knowledge of labor abuses in Third World countries didn’t stop Nike from being the No. 1 maker of athletic shoes. We love Martha, guilty or not.

Now her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, is getting a battering. Its stock is down 19 percent for the week and Wall Street seems to be assuming the worst. This is not how I want to remember and know my Martha Stewart. The dinner parties, the summer place in the Hamptons, the Bar B Ques in the Catskills- that’s how i want to know her. I don’t know much about investment banking and stock trading but the one asset I think you can absolutely bank on is the image of Martha Stewart. Let’s hope it avoids tarnishing. And wouldn’t you know it, the chicken is almost done…

Mike Randle


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