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Web reacts to Martha Stewart sentencing

Message boards, other sites fill up with comments soon after the doyenne of domesticity's five-month sentence is announced.

"A tempest in a Cuisinart."

That's how one Web up the long-running U.S. legal case against Martha Stewart, which reached a climax on Friday, when the so-called doyenne of domesticity was sentenced to five months in prison, plus five months of home detention and a $30,000 fine for lying about a stock sale. Stewart said she would appeal.

"Martha will receive lots of cookies and cakes while in the slammer," one creative writer said on the Yahoo message boards, which were filled with dozens of comments soon after the sentence was announced. "But what they don't know is that a small file will be inside one of those treats. She will use the file to open the front gate, and a limo will be waiting. Then a Lear jet will whisk her out of the country, where she will trade stocks with inside information and bake cookies."

The "to do" list on the SaveMartha Web site included a letter to President Bush asking him to pardon Martha. "A terrible injustice has been done to Martha Stewart," the letter said. "Her only real crime was to be too successful, thereby eliciting the enmity of misguided and misinformed citizens who feel that she represents the face of corporate crime."

CNN, ABC News, Fox News, The New York Times and the New York Post, among other Web sites, all flashed the news across the top of their Web sites when the sentence was announced. "Stewart Sentenced to 5 Months in Prison for Lying to Investigators," read a staff-written article that led The New York Times Web site. Many of the sites featured homegrown reporting rather than wire dispatches.

Google News carried nearly 1,200 stories related to the announcement by Friday afternoon, a sign of the story's immense popularity.

Martha's own Web site,, included a letter to her "friends." She wrote: "The sentencing decision in my case is in. As horrendous as it is, it was not unexpected, and I am not afraid of what the future holds."