Biz media also on trial with Theranos and Holmes
Sara Ashley O’Brien of CNN Business writes about how the business news media that lauded now-disgraced blood testing company Theranos is also on trial during the case of founder Elizabeth Holmes.
O’Brien writes, “In the government’s opening statements, lead prosecutor Robert Leach called attention to Holmes’ role in using the media and positive press coverage to propel her company and attract investors. ‘The defendant’s fraudulent scheme made her a billionaire. The scheme brought her fame, it brought her honor, and it brought her adoration,’ Leach said.
“The government alleged that Holmes even approved a 2013 piece by a Wall Street Journal opinion writer prior to its publication that offered a glowing look at Holmes and Theranos, but also contained misleading claims of the company’s capabilities at the time. The article corresponded with a broader unveiling of the startup after years of operating in stealth and was leveraged by Holmes as external validation of the company.
“In a statement to CNN Business, Journal spokesperson Steve Severinghaus said, ‘editors make publishing decisions based on their independent judgment.’
“The statement continued, ‘Our writer asked Elizabeth Holmes to confirm complicated facts on a technical subject, not to approve publication. Our writer visited Theranos, spoke with numerous sources in and outside the company about its technology, and had his blood tested on a Theranos machine that appeared to offer credible results. If that was all a deception, then the responsibility lies with Ms. Holmes and Theranos.'”
Read more here.