New York Times bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell responded Wednesday night to a report alleging he is a shill for Big Tobacco.
The report, published on website Pando, lists Gladwell as one of the "Shillers for killers."
As evidence, the author claimed Gladwell was listed on a secret Phillip Morris file from the 1990s as a "third party" advocate. Panda also cited the bestselling author's college internship at the "tobacco-funded" National Journalism Center.
In a statement sent to The Huffington Post, Gladwell responded.
[sharequote align="right"]"For these morons to...somehow maintain that I am sympathetic to big tobacco is beyond offensive."[/sharequote]
"I have been staunchly anti-tobacco for as long as I've lived," Gladwell wrote. "I've never smoked. No one in my family smokes. I hate smoking. (I'm a runner, for goodness sake.)"
"I am someone who is passionate about the dangers of smoking. It's something I have cared about for years -- and I've attempted to write about the issue with intelligence and insight," he added. "For these morons to come along and somehow maintain that I am sympathetic to big tobacco is beyond offensive."
Gladwell told The Huffington Post the author of the story, Mark Ames, never even contacted him before publishing his story. Ames said it was clear he was only "re-reporting" what a colleague had in the past.
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