Here’s a quick lesson in Conflict of Interests 101. A reader writes into the New York Times asking if their op-ed columnists can take outside income, perhaps even from some other interested parties as well.
He quickly gets the bizniz from Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal.
To be frank, my first reaction was to take offense: the notion that one of our columnists would be paid by an interested party is that far out of the boundaries of the principles and ethics that guide this organization. Those rules are strict, far stricter than other news organizations, in my experience, and deeply embedded in our culture. Our journalists are not supposed to let a source or other interested party buy them a slice of pizza, never mind taking payments. For someone who works here, the kinds of things you ask about are not in the realm of possibility. But you’re not here, and not familiar with how we operate, so it’s a reasonable question.”
Yea! You tell him Andy! Reader, are you a moron? Well since you’re not a true-blooded, Murrow-fearing journalist such as myself, I guess I can enlighten you a bit. Stupid mortals.