The New York Times' Juicy, Scoop-Filled 9/11 Op-Ed Is Neither Juicy Nor Full of Scoops

John Cook · 09/11/12 12:00PM

Kurt Eichenwald, the disgraced former New York Times reporter whose career went up in flames after he got caught secretly paying thousands of dollars to a child pornographer he wrote about, is on the comeback trail. Today he published an op-ed in the New York Times claiming to have evidence that the Bush Administration is guilty of "significantly more negligence" in ignoring 9/11 warning signs "than has been disclosed." That may be true, but save for a few interesting details, the evidence he presents has been in the public record for nearly a decade.

This Child Porn Coverage Brought To You By Disney

Ryan Tate · 02/15/08 01:52AM

San Francisco talk radio host Bernie Ward was instant messaging with a dominatrix around Christmastime a couple of years back when, about an hour into the conversation, he decides to send her a picture in which two underage kids are allegedly touching an adult "in a sexual way." Of course the dominatrix then called the cops, and now Ward is facing child pornography charges, and is claiming the whole thing was a misunderstanding because he was doing journalistic research for a book. The local ABC affiliate offered extensive coverage casting doubt on Ward's defense, then nearly ruined all that hard work by running this ad alongside their child porn reporting:

Choire · 10/26/07 04:15PM

We haven't gotten our "next week in New York magazine email yet" that usually comes by now—but we hear David France's story on former Times and former Portfolio reporter and one-time kiddie-porn-ring investigator Kurt Eichenwald is running on Monday! (That was speedy.) Hoooo boy.

Kurt Eichenwald Has A Pretty Valid Reason For Not Remembering Anything

Pareene · 10/19/07 09:35AM

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.'"

abalk · 09/14/07 03:17PM

Kurt Eichenwald antagonist Debbie Nathan writes that the former New York Times reporter "not only gave money to a child pornographer, but did business with him and even signed on to an illegal porn website as a member and administrator, documents unsealed yesterday in a federal criminal proceeding in Nashville reveal. He claims in one court document, he only 'posed' as a pedophile." Three predictions: Things are going to get a lot worse for Kurt Eichenwald. Debbie Nathan is going to get sued. We are still going to feel icky about this whole thing. [Counterpunch]

'New York' Loves Matt Drudge And Men Who Don't Love Them Back

Choire · 08/27/07 11:40AM

Phil Weiss crops up in today's New York mag with a write-around profile of king of all media Matt Drudge, who could not be found anywhere. (It does contain pretty much everything you might need to know about Matt, except where he is and if he's gay or not and why there might be Spanish overheard at what might or might not be his house.) This is becoming something of a trend at New York. In the hopper over there, that we know of, there are forthcoming stories on former Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald, a story sort-of-maybe about our boss Nick Denton, and a story about New York Observer owner and Jersey boy-king Jared Kushner; each subject is, when we last heard, variously barely or sort-of not-at-all participating. Do Adam Moss and his band of boys just crave rejection? Is there a self-help book for this?

Choire · 08/13/07 11:20AM

Late Friday, former Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald bailed out of Portfolio. The magazine's second issue arrives this week. We can only guess at Eichenwald's motivations, but it certainly came hot on the heels of the firing of Jim Impoco, the mag's non-lapdog deputy editor who dared to disagree with editor Joane Lipman. Who's going next? Weirdly, a number of people have called or emailed us to ask us what we think will happen in the long run, as if we know anything. Our prediction: Lipman goes jobless just before Christmas, but the mag doesn't fold. Because it shouldn't. If someone could actually edit it, and stop second-guessing every single story, it could be just dandy. Random bonus prediction: Before Labor Day, Lipman disposes of a key staffer. Better-informed speculation than ours welcome. [NYO]

Why No One Wants To Write About Kurt Eichenwald

Choire · 08/08/07 12:10PM

Today the New York Times picks up on a story about their former reporter Kurt Eichenwald, one that's been drifting around the internets for a week or so. It began with a piece on Counterpunch by Debbie Nathan. Here's the Times's hedging-some-bets opening: "A former New York Times reporter who wrote an article in late 2005 about a teenager who operated a pornographic Web site may have sent more money to the young man than he had previously acknowledged, according to people familiar with sealed documents filed with a court in Tennessee."

Is Kurt Eichenwald Writing His Own Wikipedia Page?

Choire · 07/06/07 10:35AM

You know who suddenly has the longest Wikipedia biography in history? Not just Times tech columnist David Pogue, but also former New York Times reporter and current (alleged) Portfolio scribe Kurt Eichenwald! An unknown Wikipedia user called Milo73 has added huge amounts of autobiographical data recently. Maybe this person even knows Kurt, because Milo73's IP address tracks to Dallas, Texas, which is where Kurt lives! (Also, that IP address worked on the Wiki page of Eichenwald story subject Justin Berry too—but on no other entries.) The Wiki writer knows all kinds of obscure stuff about Kurt, about his epilepsy, for instance. You know what else is interesting? The Wikipedia additions cite court transcripts in State of Michigan versus Kenneth Gourlay, a kiddie porn case in which Eichenwald testified. Almost nobody has those transcripts, because they cost nearly $2000—we were trying to get them for a while, but gave up. A few folks, including Kurt and his Dallas lawyer Tim Perkins, have copies though!

Kurt Eichenwald Gets Spiked Again

Doree Shafrir · 06/12/07 01:07PM

In late March, as hubbub about Kurt Eichenwald's involvement with his main source for his blockbuster New York Times internet kiddie porn expose refused to die down (due in part to his threatening his critics with lawsuits), WWD ran an item saying that Eichenwald's first story for his new employers at Portfolio had been held from the debut issue. According to those accounts, the magazine didn't want Eichenwald's NYT problems overshadowing its first issue, though easily they just might not have room for the piece, as the magazine over-commissions wildly. Now sources inside the magazine confirm that the piece will not be running in the second issue, and they suggest it most likely will not be running at all.

Choire · 06/07/07 08:00AM

Hey! Wasn't Portfolio's Kurt Eichenwald going to sue some folks?


Byron "Dan" Worthington III · 04/17/07 10:37AM

I am going to use this column to do something I will never be able to do again—convey my first impressions of intensive Gawker-reading. Until I was asked to consider taking on this job, I had been only a casual reader, mainly clicking on the Stalker map to track the whereabouts of Kelly Ripa (Kelly: I know you love me! Why do you insist on playing these games?). Since that day, I have read more Gawker than is typical of any but the fruitlessly employed and Kurt Eichenwald's lawyer.

Debbie Nathan Rewrites Kurt Eichenwald

Choire · 04/12/07 02:05PM

Today at Counterpunch (subscription only, hence the handy partial guide that follows), reporter Debbie Nathan retells the Justin Berry narrative. It's another version of the story of the teen hustler turned adult pornographer turned government witness that Kurt Eichenwald told in the New York Times in December, 2005—a retelling she undertook as his was constituted from what she calls "deficient reporting." This will undoubtedly incite Eichenwald into some lawyerly frenzy.

Kurt Eichenwald May Still Feel Litigious!

choire · 04/11/07 05:05PM

Oooh, we got an email from Tim S. Perkin today, of Underwood, Perkins & Ralston out in Dallas—he represents former Times and current Portfolio reporter Kurt Eichenwald, who was accused (by others!) of being in a funny place for loaning money to a kiddie-porn story source. It was all: "Please forward me the name of Gawker's legal counsel as soon as possible," that kind of thing. Well gladly! We were beginning to think Kurt Eichenwald's plans to sue various people, or at least reporter Debbie Nathan, as he so vehemently expressed in a letter to Romenesko a month or so ago, had just evaporated. Anyway we called Tim to ask what was up, but he was in some sort of legal meeting or something. Fine! We're going to Balthazar for coffee, so try us later!

(Very) previously: Eichenwald Defamation Suit: It Is On

Media Bubble: East Hampton 'Press' v. 'Star'

Choire · 04/09/07 08:45AM
  • Southampton Press, owned by entirely nutty Joseph Louchheim, begets East Hampton Press; East Hampton Star not thrilled. We say: If there are two places to read crime reports about dumb girls named Amy Kline who miss the last train back to the city and call the police, who then actually call and get them a bus back to town instead of telling them to sleep on the street, we're thrilled. [NYT]

Media Bubble: Play It As It Lays

abalk2 · 03/26/07 08:27AM
  • There's a lot of backbiting and infighting at the Los Angeles Times, which is completely unusual behavior at a major newspaper. [NYT]

Media Bubble: Lady Black Strikes Again

Choire · 03/20/07 08:46AM
  • Lady Black flips out on Canuck media outside hubbie Conrad's court date, calls producer a slut, claims "I used to be a journalist!" Oh my God, when? [CP]

Eichenwald Defamation Suit: It Is On

Choire · 03/12/07 05:03PM

While no one had heard a peep yet today about former Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald's threatened $10-million defamation suit against reporter Debbie Nathan, including, as of this afternoon, Ms. Nathan's attorney, we hear it is so ready to go. The complaint will be filed in Dallas, in either the state or federal court. Debbie Nathan is being advised by the deep-voiced Victor Kovner (right), who's represented Village Voice Media and Wenner Media; he's also offered her advice regarding Eichenwald in their previous tanglings, though he may not represent her in the action. Eichenwald is being represented by Tim Perkins, of Underwood, Perkins & Ralston, which is not in New York and therefore we know nothing about it.