OLD Media Moves

NYT Sunday biz article fails to do basic background check

January 31, 2010

The NYTPicker site notes that the Andrew Martin article in the Sunday business section of the New York Times failed to conduct a basic background check on its topic — a businessman who provides loans to small businesses.

That background check would have discovered an arrest for accessing his former employer’s computer system and deleting purchase orders.

NYTPicker writes, “Martin’s story makes no mention of the arrest — or even of any significant information about Eitelberg before 2004, when he founded Hartsko. Martin reports only that Eitelberg worked ‘for years on the financial side of the garment industry, following in the footsteps of his father.’

“Eitelberg told Martin that many of the businesses he worked for ‘struggled to stay afloat and had to seek purchase-order financing’ and that he ‘had an epiphany one day that he was in the wrong business.’

“Interestingly, the crime that Eitelberg was charged with would have given him a leg up in creating his current business — in that he was alleged to have taken purchase orders from his former employer’s computer. But all Martin says about the Hartsko’s start is that he began ‘with a loan from several investors and a $1 million credit line from a bank.’

“The nature of Hartsko’s business, as one of its current clients puts it, is roughly akin to ‘loan sharking.'”

Read more here.

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