Earlier we told you about Uwe Reinhardt, the New York Times Economix blogger who earns more than $500,000 a year working for a number of health care companies, and earns $5 million in related stock.This information was not mentioned on Reinhardt’s NYT bio, which is an apparent violation of New York Times’ ethics rules.
We just talked to Reinhardt, who is also a Princeton professor, and while he sees the problem of the lack of disclosure, he said he never attempted to hide anything.
He also takes full responsibility for the issue.
“I guess I have to take the rap for this, but I don’t see it as an ethical lapse,” he told us in a phone interview. “It never occurred to me. My board memberships are public knowledge.”
“I invite you to look at the Wall Street Journal [academic columnists] and see their list of boards,” he added.
Reinhardt also insists that his board memberships have been helpful to his role in blogging about health care. He never skewed his content in favour of the companies he serves, he told us.
“Try to find a post where I am shilling for a company or for an industry,” he said. “I don’t do that.”
Reinhardt’s biggest issue with the whole situation is the NYTPicker, which first raised concerns over Reinhardt’s potential conflicts of interest:
“These people are anonymous. Are they even journalists? What if it is just someone who disagrees with my political beliefs. I sign my name at the bottom of everything I write, they should have enough honour to sign the bottom of their stuff. You don’t know if they have an agenda. They didn’t ask me. They didn’t contact me — they contacted the New York Times. In the middle of Easter.”
But Reinhardt sees the problem of not listing his positions in several health care companies as a conflict of interest. It’s a problem he aims to fix right away:
“When all is said and done, they pointed it out and that’s good. I had no intent to be unethical or deceitful. I have talked to the New York Times and soon my board memberships will be added to the bio so everyone can see it.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.