Media Moves

An ad that disagrees with what a business reporter wrote

June 29, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Gary Weiss, the author of “Wall Street versus America,” takes issue with a decision by the New York Times advertising department to allow an ad in the paper Friday that took issue with a column that chief financial correspondent Floyd Norris wrote.

Floyd NorrisThe company is Universal Express, and Norris had written a column about an SEC investigation into the company and its allegations that it was a victim of naked short selling.

On his blog, Norris posted a comment from Stephen Jasperson, the newspaper’s director of advertising accountability, that stated in part: “It is the policy of the New York Times to accept advertising that disagrees with our reporting, whether it be on international affairs, business news, or our own editorials. Universal Express has done exactly that, as well as comment on their own court case. We do this because we believe that this ad and many like it are part and parcel of a free press. To limit a company’s right to free expression to voice their opinions would, in our opinion, cut off an important vehicle of free speech.”

Weiss responded by stating: “I’m afraid I must take issue with Mr. Jesperson. The New York Times owes it to its readers to not allow its pages to be forums for corporate lies and blame-shifting.”

Later, he added, “Also there is an irony in Mr. Jesperson’s comment about stocks needing to be registered with the SEC, because Universal Express has been selling unregistered stock on a massive scale, according to the SEC.”

Read more here.

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