New York Times fires lawyer who worked with Weinstein

This file photo taken on March 2, 2014 shows US film producer Harvey Weinstein arriving on the red carpet for the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California. (AFP)
Updated 08 November 2017
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New York Times fires lawyer who worked with Weinstein

NEW YORK: The New York Times on Tuesday fired lawyer David Boies’ firm after learning it tried to halt the newspaper’s investigation into sexual harassment charges against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein while also representing the newspaper on other matters.
Boies has disputed the Times’ view that his work for Weinstein represented a conflict of interest. Still, he no longer works for Weinstein and said the task he completed for him was a mistake.
It represents the fallout from a New Yorker magazine article that reported Weinstein hired investigators to trail women who had accused him of mistreatment, including Rose McGowan and Rosanna Arquette. Journalists pursuing the story, including Jodi Kantor of the Times and Ronan Farrow, author of Tuesday’s New Yorker piece, also were investigated.
It was not immediately clear how much business the Times did with the law firm Boies Schiller and Flexner.
Boies, best known for representing Al Gore in the 2000 disputed election against George W. Bush, is the second prominent attorney to take heat for representing the man accused of being one of Hollywood’s biggest sexual predators. Lisa Bloom, a prominent women’s rights lawyer, quit representing Weinstein when the extent of the accusations against him became known.
The article said Boies’ firm hired and paid one organization with a background in Israeli intelligence agencies at the same time it was representing the Times in a libel case.
In a statement to his firm’s employees on Tuesday, Boies noted that his contract with the newspaper made clear that his firm might do work for clients in unrelated areas that were against the Times’ interests.
Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said the newspaper never contemplated the firm would contract with an intelligence firm to conduct a secret spying operation aimed at our reporting and reporters.
“Such an operation is reprehensible, and the Boies firm must have known that its existence would have been material to our decision whether to continue using the firm,” she said. “Whatever legalistic arguments and justifications can be made, we should have been treated better by a firm that we trusted.”
Boies said Weinstein had told him that the Times was considering publishing a story alleging that the mogul had raped an actress. Boies said he would not defend him against these charges, and told him the only way the story could be stopped was to prove it was untrue.
Weinstein selected private investigators to try and do that, Boies said, and asked him to draft a contract with one such group. Boies said he now believes it was a mistake to do this for an investigative firm he did not know.
The New Yorker said some of the investigators misrepresented themselves in contact with their subjects, compiled personal and sexual histories on some, and left some of the targets feeling intimidated. Boies said he never would have drawn up the contract had he known what it would be used for.
“I would never knowingly participate in an effort to intimidate or silence women or anyone else,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Weinstein did not immediately return a message seeking comment. He has characterized his contact with actresses as consensual.


Conservative U.S. commentator Charles Krauthammer dies

This is the final verdict, my fight is over, wrote Krauthammer on June 8. (Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)
Updated 22 June 2018
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Conservative U.S. commentator Charles Krauthammer dies

  • Krauthammer was a fixture on the Fox News Channel as well as on editorial pages of the Washington Post and other US newspapers
  • The cause of death was cancer of the small intestine

WASHINGTON: Pulitzer Prize winner Charles Krauthammer, who gave up a psychiatric career to become one of the leading conservative political commentators in the US media, died on Thursday at the age of 68, the Washington Post and Fox News said.
Krauthammer was a fixture on the Fox News Channel as well as on editorial pages of the Washington Post and other US newspapers.
His work had been curtailed since having an abdominal tumor removed last August and in an open letter on June 8 he said doctors told him that he had only a few weeks to live due to a recurrence of the cancer. “This is the final verdict,” he wrote. “My fight is over.”
The cause of death was cancer of the small intestine, his son, Daniel Krauthammer, told the Post.
Less than a month earlier, Krauthammer had told a Fox colleague that the worst appeared to be behind him.
Krauthammer, who in 1972 was left paralyzed from the neck down after a swimming pool accident while attending Harvard Medical School, was known for a dour expression, wry humor and sharp intellect.
He was a regular on Fox’s weeknight show “Special Report,” and also wrote a column that was syndicated to hundreds of newspapers.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend ... A gifted doctor and brilliant political commentator, Charles was a guiding voice throughout his time with Fox News and we were incredibly fortunate to showcase his extraordinary talent on our programs,” Suzanne Scott, CEO of Fox News, said in a statement.
Krauthammer gave mixed reviews to President Donald Trump, questioning his “loud and bombastic” approach to the job and calling him a charlatan while praising actions such as withdrawing from the Paris climate accord and nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
He had been a leading critic of President Barack Obama and what Krauthammer perceived as his “social democratic agenda,” while supporting George W. Bush’s intervention in the Middle East. He also liked President Ronald Reagan’s stand against communism and popularized the term “Reagan Doctrine” to describe it.
Krauthammer was born in New York City on March 13, 1950, and grew up there and in Montreal, Canada. During his 14-month recovery from the diving accident, Krauthammer kept up his studies from his hospital bed and graduated on schedule from medical school in 1975. He then worked as a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, also studying manic depression.
In 1978, Krauthammer moved to Washington to work in psychiatric research for the administration of Jimmy Carter, who he later would call a failed president, and drifted away from psychiatry. He became a speechwriter for Carter’s vice president, Walter Mondale, before writing opinion pieces for The New Republic and Time magazine.
He joined the Washington Post and won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1987. In 2006, the Financial Times named him the most influential commentator in the United States.
“I leave this life with no regrets,” Krauthammer wrote in his farewell statement. “It was a wonderful life ... I am sad to leave but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”
In a Fox News special about his life, Krauthammer said he never dwelled on the day he hit the bottom of a swimming pool with his head, severing his spinal cord.
“I made one promise to myself on day one — I was not going to allow it to alter my life,” he said. “On the big things in life, the direction of my life, what I was going to do, that wouldn’t change at all.”
Besides his son, Krauthammer is survived by his wife, Robyn, who he met while studying at Oxford before medical school.