OLD Media Moves

Ben Stein on why his NYT biz column was stopped

August 10, 2009

Ben Stein writes for the American Spectator that he thinks his column in the Sunday business section of the New York Times was terminated because of a column criticizing President Obama, not because of the commercial he did for FreeScore.

Stein writes, “Of course, there was no conflict of interest. I had never written one word in the Times or anywhere else about getting credit scores on line. Not a word.

“But somehow, these people bamboozled some of the high pooh-bahs at the Times into thinking there was a conflict of interest. In an e-mail sent to me by a person I had never met nor even heard of, I was fired. (I read the e-mail while having pizza at the Seattle airport on my way to Sandpoint.) I called the editor and explained the situation. He said the problem was ‘the appearance’ of conflict of interest. I asked how that could be when I never wrote about the subject at all. He said the real problem was that FreeScore was a major financial company and I wrote about finance. But, as I told him, FreeScore was a small Internet aggregator, not a bank or insurer.

“Never mind. I was history. ‘You should have consulted us,’ was the basic line.

“Of course, there was not one word of complaint when I did commercials for immense public companies. By a total coincidence, I was tossed overboard immediately after my column attacking Obama. (You can attack Obama from the left at the Times but not from the right.)”

Read more here.

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