October 18, 2007
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR

   

FORMER NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER KURT EICHENWALD SHARES THE UNTOLD STORY BEHIND HIS CONTROVERSIAL TIMES ARTICLE, DISCLOSING WHY HE COULDN'T REMEMBER PAYING A SOURCE, TO NPR'S DAVID FOLKENFLIK ON ALL THINGS CONSIDERED TOMORROW, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19

WEB STORY AT
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15430924;
AUDIO TO BE AVAILABLE TOMORROW AT 7 PM (ET)



October 18, 2007; Washington, D.C. - In an interview with NPR media reporter David Folkenflik, former New York Times investigative reporter Kurt Eichenwald speaks openly about his controversial December 2005 exposť about online child pornography and - for the first time - reveals the reason for the memory loss he says caused him to forget giving money to that article's main source. Folkenflik reports that Eichenwald, who is known to have epilepsy, suffers from "significant memory disruptions" resulting from years of seizures, according to his neurologist. Folkenflik's full story about Eichenwald is airing tomorrow, Friday, October 19 on NPR News All Things Considered. A web companion article is available at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15430924

Eichenwald's front-page article came under scrutiny when it was revealed that he and his wife made payments to the primary subject of his story, payments Eichenwald said he did not remember making and forgot to disclose to his editors. Until now, Eichenwald never gave any further explanation for this memory loss. In the NPR interview, Eichenwald tells Folkenflik why he decided to come forward, after decades of hiding his condition: "I believed that I had enough of a reputation and enough of a track record that, when I say to other journalists, I don't remember, that they could simply accept that - or prove me wrong. But instead, it just became fodder for more attacks - and for people saying, suggesting, that I was obviously hiding something because I was saying I forgot."

Eichenwald tells Folkenflik he tried to mask his disability by using typed transcripts of court hearings, taping interviews and re-reading documents and notes until he could recall them. He says: "There are reporters who are stupid. There are reporters who are lazy. There are reporters who are drunk. I'm none of those things. And I didn't want to be judged on my challenges. I wanted to be judged on my work."

All excerpts must be credited to NPR News All Things Considered. Television usage must include on-screen NPR News credit with NPR logo. The audio of the interview will be made available at www.NPR.org at approximately 7 PM (ET) on Friday, October 19. All Things Considered, NPR's signature afternoon news magazine, is hosted by Melissa Block, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel and reaches 11.5 million listeners weekly. To find local stations and broadcast times, visit www.NPR.org