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Friday, June 08, 2018

In 1977, NYT fired a reporter for trading sex for stories

New York Times reporter Ali Watkins so far has not denied an assertion in a federal indictment that she slept with a source, receiving classified information. The Times has reported it.

What would longtime Times editor A.M. Rosenthal do?

Fire her.

With a colorful quote, naturally.

41 years ago, a federal investigation of Democratic state Senator Henry Cianfrani of Pennsylvania revealed that he had lavished gifts -- including a $6,000 fur coat -- on his paramour, the Philadelphia Inquirer's political reporter, Laura Foreman.

By the time the story broke, Foreman had advanced to the New York Times.

The Times fired her.

No, Rosenthal fired her, summing up his ethos in a 18-word line, "I don't care if my reporters are sleeping with elephants, as long as they aren't covering the circus."

That was in 1977.

30 years later, Telemundo placed reporter/anchor Mirthala Salinas on paid leave for dating Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The Los Angeles Times found other people who slept with sources.

"Matt Cooper, then Newsweek's deputy bureau chief in Washington, married Mandy Grunwald, a longtime media advisor for the Clintons, in 1997. He wrote about presidential politics while they dated. Today, he is the Washington editor for Portfolio magazine, and she is the chief ad strategist for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign," the Los Angeles newspaper reported.

Politicians like to screw reporters.


There were nine other examples in that story. I have another dozen of examples in "Trump the Establishment."

Everybody does it. That does not make it right. You cannot be taken seriously as a profession if you allow journalists to sleep with the people they cover.

And yet they do.

But when I was young, the newspaper trade had wise people.

On February 11, 1978, a woman columnist for the Washington Post said of Laura Foreman, "There just is no mystery as to what a woman journalist should do when she is having an affair with a man she is writing about. It is the same thing a man in journalism or politics does about anything from love to stock or other human 'conflicts.' She should tell her editors and write about something else, period.

"And if we can't figure out that basic truth, we shouldn't be in the business -- not because we're women or because we're immoral but simply because we're dumb."

40 years later, Ali Watkins keeps her job without a ripple in the news media.


Please enjoy my books in paperback and on Kindle.

Trump the Press covers the nomination.

Trump the Establishment covers the election.

Fake News Follies of 2017 covers his first year as president.

For autographed copies, write me at


  1. Big D, I’m gonna invent a new hashtag. Called #Dongate. Flush em out, let their dirty deeds see the light of day, and then let the voters decide. Awesome.

  2. Buddy Cianfrani, now there's a name out of the past.

    Ah, yes, I remember it well.

  3. You are showing your age, Don. Ali Watkins is the victim here. I'm sure Gloria Allred will be along shortly to explain.

    1. or get her licks in...

    2. I could have gone without that image...... forever.

  4. Right now, Ali’s old editor is having a lightbulb moment about all that Reddi-wip she claimed on expenses.

  5. If Watkins hasn't been indicted by the DoJ, it's only because her paramour James Wolfe is cooperating with the FBI to reach a plea agreement that would keep the two of them out of prison for decades.

  6. God, I love this blog.

    1. Better than 6 Flags, isn't it! More excitement, and no standing in line!

  7. Now that everyone knows she gives head for stories, every old goat in Washington will make a beeline to her door with a scoop.

    She's probably going to get a raise from the NYT, not the door. She's taking one for the team.

  8. Maybe somebody should ask Jordan Peterson about the wage gap between male & female reporters on politics?

    She slept with men to get ahead -- like so many of the #MeToo sluts.

    Him leaking confidential info was more criminal than his lying, I'd think, but maybe legally it's the other way.

  9. "Politicians like to screw reporters."

    Only fair since they get screwed by reporters so often.

  10. Watkins went from college intern to Buzzfeed, to Politico, to NYT in about 4 years. A meteoric rise made possible because she was being fed leaked confidential information for her scoops by a Director of Senate Security who was 30 years her senior, She traded sex for news scoops.
    It has been reported that her former boss and co-workers knew how she was getting her stories. Likely the NYT did, too. That’s why they recruited her.
    The NYT is a co-conspirator with Watkins in illegally obtaining and publishing confidential government information.
    Where is the Special Counsel for this?

  11. This is what kicked off Gamergate, a female game designer selling sex for good reviews of her crap game "Depression Quest." Imagine how much fun that text adventure 'game' is...

    Yes, she's an SJW