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Published on Nov 18, 2013
Bloomberg News has suspended Michael Forsythe, one of the reporters who investigated a controversial China story — a report Bloomberg spiked for political reasons. The New York Post said Michael Forsythe was escorted from Bloomberg's Hong Kong offices last week.
Bloomberg suspects Forsythe leaked details about Winkler's decision to spike a politically sensitive report. That report, investigated by Forsythe and Shai Oster, detailed ties between billionaire Wang Jianlin and party leadership. As the founder of real estate group Dalian Wanda, Wang Jianling is China's richest man and is estimated to be worth $14.1 billion. American viewers should get to know his name: Wang's holdings include AMC Theaters in the United States.
Next Media Animation was first to report on the self-censorship, which Editor in Chief Matthew Winkler justified by comparing China to Nazi Germany. Winkler with his remarks seemed to indicate that some amount of self-censorship was necessary in order to keep operating in the country.
New York Times followed up, with quotes that Winkler feared Bloomberg would be booted from China if it ran the investigative report. A Bloomberg employee told the New York Times: "He said, 'If we run the story, we'll be kicked out of China',".
The Financial Times obtained emails which showed seniors editors had vetted and approved the story. Editor Laurie Hays said the story was "almost there," but then later reversed herself and said she agreed with Winkler's opinion that the story wasn't ready to be published. Jonathan Kaufman in an email told reports: "I am in awe of the way you tracked down and deciphered the financial holdings and the players. ... It's a real revelation. Looking forward to pushing it up the line."
Matthew Winkler claims the story wasn't spiked and insists its remains 'active'.
Do you think Bloomberg News has damaged its credibility? Leave your thoughts in the comments.
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