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How The New York Times picks reporters

In a story that probably hit close to home to anyone who ever clicked on the wrong email recipient in Outlook, it turns out that attorneys for Lilly sent confidential documents to a New York Times reporter named Alex Berenson instead of an attorney named Bradford Berenson. Katherine Eban, who has linkurl:written for us;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/home/52963/ about biosecurity, linkurl:reported the story;http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/top-5/2008/02/05/Eli-Lilly-E-Mail-to-New-York

By | February 6, 2008

In a story that probably hit close to home to anyone who ever clicked on the wrong email recipient in Outlook, it turns out that attorneys for Lilly sent confidential documents to a New York Times reporter named Alex Berenson instead of an attorney named Bradford Berenson. Katherine Eban, who has linkurl:written for us;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/home/52963/ about biosecurity, linkurl:reported the story;http://www.portfolio.com/news-markets/top-5/2008/02/05/Eli-Lilly-E-Mail-to-New-York-Times in Portfolio: ''Alex Berenson logged on to find an internal 'very comprehensive document' about the negotiations, [Eban's phamaceutical industry] consultant said, and on January 30, Berenson's article, 'linkurl:Lilly in Settlement Talks With U.S.';http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/business/30cnd-drug.html appeared on the Times' website. A similar article followed the next day on the front page of the New York Times.'' Bradford Berenson is co-counsel to one of Lilly's outside lawyers, and Alex Berenson covers the pharmaceutical industry for the Times. Oops. The episode reminded me of one involving another Times reporter who reportedly got emails not intended for him because of his name. That time, the emails came from within the Times. In 2001, Fox News' Roger Friedman linkurl:reported;http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,25375,00.html that Maureen Dowd had sent Andrew Ross Sorkin, a Times business reporter, emails intended for ''West Wing'' creator Aaron Sorkin. Oops. I think this is a great newsgathering strategy. If you're a reporter named Obama or McCain, we have a job opening for you. UPDATE (posted 2-12-08): Alex Berenson appeared on NPR's "On The Media" to discuss what actually happened. See the transcript linkurl:here. ;http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2008/02/08/04
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