So Bloomberg News reporter Michael Forsythe, who leaked a big story last fall to the New York Times about Bloomberg News spiking his report about corruption among China’s political leaders, gets fired by Bloomberg News and then hired by the Times.
Pay for play, anyone?
The hardsearching staff has found nothing so far questioning what could be seen as a quid pro quo between the Times and the Times source.
Except this, which we posted last fall about Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan’s examination of the paper’s spiked-story coverage.
Fallout from the Times piece included Bloomberg having its offices in Shanghai and Beijing tossed by Chinese authorities, and this [from Sullivan]:
Publicly, Bloomberg has continued to say that its article was held back for more reporting, not permanently killed. One of the reporters of that article, Michael Forsythe, was suspended from Bloomberg; he later left the company. It would not be surprising if Mr. Forsythe soon joined the reporting staff of The Times.
Wait a second . . . that’s it? No followup from Sullivan? Because to the gimlet eye that could look an awful lot like a quid pro quo, couldn’t it? You give us a scoop, we give you a job.
Maybe that’s the case or maybe it isn’t, but it sure feels like Sullivan should have addressed it. The hardworking staff thinks Sullivan has done a pretty good job as Public Editor, but we also think she let this one slip by her.
Sullivan continues to be uncharacteristically tin-eared on this topic, as this thumbsucker from last week attests. But we wrote to her again, regardless.