Reuters Editors Increasingly Testy Over Hedge-Fund Story Questions

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Steve Cohen. Photo: Patrick McMullan

Last month, editors at Reuters killed a story about SAC Capital hedge-funder Steve Cohen after Cohen called to complain about it. The sequence of events was reported at the time by the blog TalkingBizNews, which called into question Reuters's journalistic standards. The decision to kill the story "hit morale at the news agency," the blog reported, as Reuters had been trying to boost their investigative reporting. This week, Reuters editor-in-chief David Schlesinger held a conference call with staffers in which he addressed the issue. He claimed that news editor Jack Reerink did not kill the story about Cohen — which concerned evidence of decades-old insider trading — because Cohen asked, but testily refused to give any other reasons why he prevented it from running. And today, Reerink himself devoted his weekly note to staffers to spoofing the whole mess.

Reerink transcribed a lengthy imaginary phone conversation between Cohen ("Stevie" here), himself, and David Schlesinger, which ended this way:


Stevie: OK, I would really appreciate it if you guys don’t put out a story that’s supposedly going to rock my world

Me: Say ‘Please.’

Stevie: Please.

Me: Well, what do you think, David? I’d say: Kill it.

David: I wanna hear ‘please’ one more time.

Stevie: Please.

David: Louder, please.

Stevie: PLEASE.

Me: OK, that settles it. It’s a kill. We’re gonna get some flak. But that’s OK. Stevie’s a nice guy.

Me: By the way, Stevie, my TDAmeritrade account is 39…

Of course, that scenario is patently laughable. Everyone knows Steve Cohen's nickname is really "C-Money."

Reuters global company news editor mocks furor over killed story [TalkingBizNews]
Reuters kills hedge fund story after pressure [TalkingBizNews]
Reuters Chief Accused of Caving to Hedge Fund; 'Not a Bad Story ... Could Have Run' [Gawker]
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