A former reporter for the New York Times revealed making monthly donations to Planned Parenthood in her new book, according to the Washington Post.
Who was the reporter?
Linda Greenhouse, a former Supreme Court reporter for the Times who now contributes op-eds to the paper, wrote in her new book “Just a Journalist: On the Press, Life and the Spaces Between,” that the publisher of the Times solicited employee contributions to the United Way.
“I always contributed after checking the list of beneficiaries and seeing that Planned Parenthood was on the list,” Greenhouse wrote.
But when she moved to Washington, she saw that Planned Parenthood wasn’t on the list. When she asked why, she was told it was “controversial.”
“I replied that I didn’t see much controversy in curbing the high teen pregnancy rate in the District of Columbia, and that I would henceforth make my own contribution directly to Planned Parenthood,” Greenhouse wrote. “I described this encounter in a letter to Arthur O. Sulzberger, the Times publisher, and posted a copy of my letter of the office bulletin board, urging colleagues to follow my example. If anyone did, they kept that knowledge to themselves.”
Greenhouse added that she wasn’t content to simply allow Planned Parenthood to deduct a contribution from her bank account each month.
“It was important to me to write a check every month and sign my name,” she wrote. “It was the signature of a citizen.”
Did Greenhouse cover Planned Parenthood as a reporter?
According to the Post, a Nexis search showed more than 100 stories mentioning Planned Parenthood under Greenhouse’s byline, “though a dozen of those date from the time she moved to an opinion role at the newspaper.”
“The stories that appeared under my byline, on abortion and all other subjects, were the work of a journalist,” Greenhouse wrote. “If anyone ever thought those failed to measure up to professional standards, they never told me or anyone else.”
The report noted that Greenhouse also participated in a 1989 pro-choice march in Washington while working as a Supreme Court reporter.
What did the New York Times say?
The Post reported that the Times' ethics guide states, “Staff members should think carefully about their own contributions to various causes, bearing in mind the need for neutrality on divisive issues.”
“Those in doubt about contributions should consult their supervisors and the standards editor or the deputy editorial page editor,” it adds.
Danielle Rhoades Ha, a spokeswoman for the Times, told the Post that such contributions aren’t an “issue” for someone working in the paper’s opinion section. Rhoades Ha called the timing of the donations “unclear” and said the paper won’t be commenting further on the matter.