Tags: Jeffrey Epstein | Media Bias | the new york times | conflict of interest | donation | journalistic ethics

Report: Ex-NY Times Reporter Solicited $30K From Epstein

jeffrey epstein sits at a court hearing between two men before he committed suicide in prison
Jeffrey Epstein (Uma Sanghvi/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 22 August 2019 10:42 PM

A former financial reporter for The New York Times once solicited a five-figure donation from sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein, NPR reported.

Landon Thomas Jr., who had been at the Times for 16 years until he left earlier this year, had sought a $30,000 contribution for a Harlem cultural center, the outlet reported.

The Daily Beast reported Times staffers were furious at the revelation.

"This was a shocking lapse of journalistic standards. It was clearly a f– up of epic proportions," one unnamed staffer told the Daily Beast.

Another unnamed source told the outlet, "It was made clear to Landon that he was never to have any professional conduct with Epstein whatsoever."

"He wasn't to call him or speak to him or use him as a source. This was a flagrant breach of New York Times ethical guidelines and editors were horrified."

Thomas tried to downplay his relationship with Epstein to the paper, the Daily Beast reported. Yet, he resisted giving Epstein's contact information to colleague James Stewart who had been assigned to interview Epstein, the outlet reported, citing unnamed sources.

Ultimately, Thomas was "pushed out" out of the paper by top business editor Ellen Pollock, the Daily Beast reported.

In a statement to the Daily Beast, the Times said Thomas had violated the outlet's ethical rules around donations, which only allow employees to solicit small amounts of donations from figures not covered in the paper. 

"Landon Thomas Jr. is no longer on staff at the Times. Soliciting a donation to a personal charity is a clear violation of the policy that governs Times journalists' relationships with their sources, and as soon as editors became aware of it, they took action," a spokesperson told the Daily Beast.

Thomas, the author of a 2008 glossy story about Epstein after he pleaded guilty to sex charges in Florida, did not respond to the to requests from the outlet for comment. Epstein killed himself Aug. 10 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking of underage girls.

"We count on the press to uncover problems, not merely to report on when problems have been prosecuted and when people have been indicted, but to uncover problems before they reach that stage," David Boies, a lawyer for several of Epstein's accusers, told NPR. "And here you had a terrible problem. A horrific series of abuses."

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A five-figure donation from sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein was once solicited by a former financial reporter for The New York Times, according to an NPR report.
the new york times, conflict of interest, donation, journalistic ethics
Thursday, 22 August 2019 10:42 PM
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