Oops! I E-mailed a Reporter

Friday, February 08, 2008


If you’re a partner at a powerful law firm and your client is in secret settlement talks, you really don't want to send a confidential e-mail to the wrong person - especially not a reporter. Guess what the New York Times' Alex Berenson found in his inbox? He tells the story.

Comments [3]

Malcolm Segal from California

I firmly believe in a free press and, as a former New Yorker, still believe that the New York Times is the newspaper of record in this country. Having said that, I found Mr. Bereson's smarmy attitude, and frankly the acceptance of his conduct by the show's host, shocking. Americans are entitled to privacy in private communications. Conversations between attorneys, representing a joint client, have long been considered privileged and confidential. Where is the "honor," where is the respect for constitutional rights, in the reporter's statements? I don't have a dog in the drug company fight but we all should have a interest in protecting privileged communications.
I'm not laughing at all!

Feb. 19 2008 11:17 PM
Craig from Montana

I was really bothered by the way you handled this story.
I understand the reporter deciding that it was newsworthy and that he was not legally bound to return ithe email, but did you even consider asking if he had any ethical concerns about getting information that way.
A missed opportunity to talk about journalistic ethics and what is or is not appropriate.

Feb. 11 2008 10:54 PM
parker from chicago

Shortly after listening to this story, I turned on THE NEWS HOUR on PBS and was suprised to recognize the guest commentator on the topic of the 9/11 suspects going on trial as former White House counsel Brad Bereson, the intended recipient of the email in question. How about that?

Feb. 11 2008 07:45 PM

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