Kurt Eichenwald Has A Pretty Valid Reason For Not Remembering Anything
Our story so far: Kurt Eichenwald wrote some stories for the Times a while back (then he left the paper and went to Portfolio then left that mag!) about all the pedophiles on the internet and their multi-zillion-dollar-a-year business selling child porn and exploiting kids. And, well, beyond feeding the current "your children are at risk!" hysteria, some of his methods were kinda creepy and weird? Like donating money to his source before he was a source (a pornographer that he helped "free" from the kid's own porn ring) than he revealed to the Times, and, uh, also signing up for "an illegal porn website as a member and administrator." When asked why he didn't disclose any of this, he claimed to not remember the PayPal payments. Sketchy! Except that Kurt's finally going on NPR today to make everything about this story even more uncomfortable and terrible. Because his epilepsy has become so severe that, "according to his neurologist, he suffers from 'significant memory disruptions.'"
Great! One more reason to not want to write about this! It's just much more comfortable leave this story to Daniel Radosh and anti-Eichenwald crusader Debbie Nathan.
Did Eichenwald's editors know how much his memory had deteriorated? The New York Times' own stories on the story don't seem to indicate that anyone was too sympathetic to his "I forgot" defense before these revelations.
But yeah, now Eichenwald's credibility and reporting methods are at the heart of the cases against two child pornographers currently on trial—so we all get to take sides between a reporter who can only remember what he documents at the moment he's doing it and people who may or may not have had sex with children. Ugh.