The Journalist and the Whistle-Blower

New York Times' Eichenwald Called 'Dirty'

The story of the telltale fax made its way into Lieber's book. Last July, a month before the book was published, Four Walls Eight Windows received a letter from Liptak demanding a retraction. Based on the following "proof," Liptak insisted that the fax number had been forged: (1) The number belongs to a Times fax that "does not send outgoing faxes." (2) Times faxes that do send outgoing faxes "do not print fax telltales." (3) The phone bill for "the month in question" shows no outgoing calls from 556-4007. (4) The font in which the telltale fax is printed is not commonly used by fax machines, but is the default font for Microsoft Word. Eichenwald calls the document a "forgery" as well.

The controversy surfaced again last week, when Four Walls Eight Windows publisher John Oakes told Corporate Crime Reporter that he has no intention of deleting the offending passage from the paperback edition of Lieber's book. Times managing editor Bill Keller has not responded to dozens of letters from Hoech. While Oakes sees the Times' demand for a retraction as "a blatant attempt at intimidation," Hoech hears the inescapable pounding of a guilty heart.

"When big business and the media are in bed together, you have chaos, and the rule of law doesn't exist," says Hoech, who is given to rhetorical flights of fancy.

Eichenwald declined to comment, and Keller did not respond to repeated calls.


ccotts@villagevoice.com

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