Corporate Crime at the New York Times and Washington Post

For the event, we would invite some of the world’s top experts on corporate crime.

We would go through the list of names of people we have interviewed recently– and then add others.

Columbia University Professor John Coffee, author of the new book Corporate Crime and Punishment: The Crisis of Underenforcement.

Jenny Chan, author of the new book Dying for an iPhone.

Duke Law Professor Brandon Garrett, author of Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations.

Barbara Freese, author of Industrial Strength Denial: Eight Stories of Corporations Defending the Indefensible, from the Slave Trade to Climate Change.

Dennis Kelleher, CEO of Better Markets.

Professor Ellen Hertz, author of Business and Human Rights: The Limits of Good Intentions.

People like that.

We asked both newspapers how much it would cost for us to sponsor such an event.

We wanted to work out the details.

Neither paper got back to us.

But they did get back to Accenture, MassMutual, Pfizer and Intel, among other major corporations who have sponsored news events at the two newspapers.

In June 2020, Intel sponsored a Washington Post Live event titled Corporate Purpose and Responsibility.

The guests at the event were Intel CEO Bob Swan, U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Suzanne Clark, Bombas CEO and co-founder David Heath and Goodr CEO Jasmine Crowe, “to discuss the role and responsibility of CEOs and companies during a time of chaos and crisis.”

According to the transcript of the event, there was no talk of corporate crime or corporate law violations.

On September 17, 2020, Siemens will sponsor a Washington Post Live event titled Infrastructure and Innovation. Nothing about bribery in contracting, which is something Siemens knows a bit about. (The same Siemens of the 2009 guilty pleato Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charges and a $443 million fine.)

In August, 2020, the Washington Post Live hosted an event titled America’s Health Future sponsored by UnitedHealthcare unit Optum – a pharmacy benefits manager. UnitedHealthcare is the largest health insurer in the United States. No talk at the event about single payer Medicare for All, which might crimp UnitedHealthcare’s style, if not put it out of business. (No note of California’s $173 million fine against the company’s PacifiCare unit in 2014 for some 900,000 violations of state law, or health care fraud in general.)

In July 2020, the Washington Post sponsored an event titled Chasing Cancer – sponsored by Pfizer. Nothing about Pfizer’s repeated run-ins with the law overforeign bribery and domestic health care fraud.

The New York Times has a similar pay to play news event series.

A September 17, 2020 New York Times event titled The New Prognosis for High-Tech Health Care is being sponsored by Deloitte. Nothing about accounting fraud, nothing about a $2 million SEC sanction in 2019 or the $149.5 million payment it made in 2018 to settle False Claims Act charges.

A July 30, 2020 New York Times DealBook DeBrief with Thomas Friedman was sponsored by Accenture. Accenture also sponsored the November 2019 DealBook Conference. (The Accenture of the $64 million payment in 2011 to settle False Claims Act charges.)

In July 2020, MassMutual sponsored a New York Times event titled Unfinished Work: Representation and Democracy.

“Reflecting on 100 years since women’s suffrage, in a presidential election year, many groups are still fighting for unimpeded access to the vote,” the Times explained in its description of the event. “Who still faces obstacles to voting?” What can be done to change it?”

I have a question.

What can be done about what Professor Coffee calls “the crisis of underenforcement of corporate crime”?

Would like to discuss that at the New York Times and the Washington Post.

How much would it cost to put that item on the agenda?

This post originally appeared on Corporate Crime Reporter.

Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter..