Clark Hoyt, the paper’s public editor, notes the NY Times’ continuing publication of pieces by Henry Blodget, one of the Internet bubble’s most notorious characters. In “Taint by Association” Hoyt asks two key questions:
One is whether The Times properly identifies Blodget when he writes for the paper. I don’t think so. His name was big in financial news at one time, but many readers do not know him.
The bigger question is whether The Times should be publishing him at all. Like Nocera, I believe in second chances, and Blodget seems to be doing fine establishing a new career. But why would The Times give a former analyst who lied to investors a platform to write about financial markets? If he wanted to write about how investors can spot phony reports by analysts, that would be one thing. But each time the newspaper uses Blodget as it has, it is conferring greater expert status on him.
These deals work two ways. The Times’s luster may help Blodget. But some of his taint rubs off on The Times.
Hoyt has it exactly right here. The newspaper is sullying its own name by lending Blodget its columns.
(Note: I own a small amount of stock in the company.)