Jane Pauley Sues the New York Times

Jane Pauley was interviewed by a person who, according to this lawsuit, claimed to be a N.Y. Times reporter. The interview concerned Pauley’s history with mental illness, and as she understood it, was meant for an article that would appear in the N.Y. Times Magazine. But in fact the article appeared in an advertising supplement of the Times Magazine. To the layperson, this might not seem like such a big deal. But to any journalist, and certainly to Jane Pauley, this is fraud pure and simple. It makes journalists look bad — even though the alleged perpetrator worked for an outfit called DeWitt Publishing, and probably wasn’t really a journalist at all. My only question is why Pauley, along with suing DeWitt, is also suing the Times, which from the lawsuit doesn’t appear complicit at all. On the other hand, that’s where the offending article ultimately appeared.

Addendum: Today’s (10/26) Wall Street Journal gives the Times’s side of the story, with a Times spokesperson saying this: “Ms. Pauley’s assistant was told that the article for which Ms. Pauley was to be interviewed would appear in a special advertising supplement and Ms. Pauley agreed to participate.”


Raymond Keller

If you read into the lawsuit on page 5 paragraph 34, it states the supplement is identified as "a special advertising supplement of New York Times Magazine." That's why the NYT is being sued.

But I am surprised that the first lawsuit of this type is coming from someone being interviewed. I thought it would come from an advertiser. I suspect many advertisers are mislead in a manner similar to the way Pauley was.

I believe that in many cases the publishers of these various supplements come pretty close to stating to potential advertisers that the atricles that will appear are writen by the publication where the supplement is inserted, e.g. NYT. I find it extremely difficult to believe that the publications where these supplements appear don't know how sleazy the supplement people are and how close to the edge of truth they operate at.

Thus, The Times may not be legally liable, but I think it says a lot about their integrity, or lack of it, by operating with characters like these.

Read more...

Gaijin51

From the facts presented in this post, it sounds like the culprit is DeWitt, and not the Times. However, the Times may have deeper pockets. That is the obvious explanation.

A similar thing that occurred to me with the Google acquisition of YouTube is that now more copyright holders may try to enforce their copyrights against YouTube simply because Google has deep pockets.

Simply put, money attracts lawsuits, while its lack deters lawsuits.

Jun Okumura

Ah, the wonders of outsourcing.

The Japanese equivalent of advertising supplements are usually found as the innermost pages of our much thinner, one-section dailies. I believe they became popular during the post-bubble economy years, as conventional advertisement revenue dropped precipitously. They used to surprise me in the beginning because they were (and are) dressed up to look very much like regular news and features.

I've always regarded the celebrities interviewed in those "articles" here as being half-way there to hosting teleshopping programs. So I'm not surprised Jane Pauley is irate.

Where are your US supplements coming from? Do they still fool people? Do they use those not-so-hot-anymore faces?

dotyoureyes

I'm surprised Eli Lilly and other pharma companies aren't also named in the suit -- after all, they're the ones who paid for the supplement and presumably benefited the most from Pauley's implied endorsement of their products.

synaesthesia

Well from my understanding of business law you sue every entity along the chain. This ensures that you've covered all possibilities and increases the likelihood of receiving some settlement. Chances are New York Times wouldn't be found liable, but as a plantiff it's good to cover all the bases.

Raymond Keller

If you read into the lawsuit on page 5 paragraph 34, it states the supplement is identified as "a special advertising supplement of New York Times Magazine." That's why the NYT is being sued.

But I am surprised that the first lawsuit of this type is coming from someone being interviewed. I thought it would come from an advertiser. I suspect many advertisers are mislead in a manner similar to the way Pauley was.

I believe that in many cases the publishers of these various supplements come pretty close to stating to potential advertisers that the atricles that will appear are writen by the publication where the supplement is inserted, e.g. NYT. I find it extremely difficult to believe that the publications where these supplements appear don't know how sleazy the supplement people are and how close to the edge of truth they operate at.

Thus, The Times may not be legally liable, but I think it says a lot about their integrity, or lack of it, by operating with characters like these.

Read more...

Gaijin51

From the facts presented in this post, it sounds like the culprit is DeWitt, and not the Times. However, the Times may have deeper pockets. That is the obvious explanation.

A similar thing that occurred to me with the Google acquisition of YouTube is that now more copyright holders may try to enforce their copyrights against YouTube simply because Google has deep pockets.

Simply put, money attracts lawsuits, while its lack deters lawsuits.

Jun Okumura

Ah, the wonders of outsourcing.

The Japanese equivalent of advertising supplements are usually found as the innermost pages of our much thinner, one-section dailies. I believe they became popular during the post-bubble economy years, as conventional advertisement revenue dropped precipitously. They used to surprise me in the beginning because they were (and are) dressed up to look very much like regular news and features.

I've always regarded the celebrities interviewed in those "articles" here as being half-way there to hosting teleshopping programs. So I'm not surprised Jane Pauley is irate.

Where are your US supplements coming from? Do they still fool people? Do they use those not-so-hot-anymore faces?

dotyoureyes

I'm surprised Eli Lilly and other pharma companies aren't also named in the suit -- after all, they're the ones who paid for the supplement and presumably benefited the most from Pauley's implied endorsement of their products.

synaesthesia

Well from my understanding of business law you sue every entity along the chain. This ensures that you've covered all possibilities and increases the likelihood of receiving some settlement. Chances are New York Times wouldn't be found liable, but as a plantiff it's good to cover all the bases.