Celebrities, Jane Pauley, Lawsuit of the Day, New York Times, Television

Lawsuit of the Day: Pauley v. New York Times

jane pauley.jpgTelevision broadcaster Jane Pauley is suing the New York Times. Pauley v. New York Times may not go down in history like New York Times v. Sullivan; but it’s still a case worth noting. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Former “Today” show co-host Jane Pauley sued New York Times Co., alleging the publisher helped deceive her into participating in an advertising supplement for drug companies published in the Times.

Also named in the suit is DeWitt Publishing, a company that prepared articles for the supplement. The lawsuit alleges Ms. Pauley was “tricked” into being interviewed for the supplement, which promoted makers of psychotherapeutic drugs, by a DeWitt employee who represented herself as a reporter for the New York Times.

So Pauley’s claim is that she was unwittingly turned into a shill for Big Pharma. Because when celebrities sell out to corporate interests, they prefer to do so consciously.
The Times’s defense:

“Ms. Pauley’s assistant was told that the article for which Ms. Pauley was to be interviewed would appear in a special advertising supplement and Ms. Pauley agreed to participate.”

They told your assistant? Bad news, Jane. In the entertainment industry, if that’s not constructive notice, we don’t know what is.
(You can access Pauley’s complaint by clicking here. The case has been assigned to Judge Gerard Lynch, a brilliant S.D.N.Y. jurist and former full-time law prof at Columbia — and a proud graduate of our high school.)
TV’s Pauley Sues New York Times [Wall Street Journal via WSJ Law Blog]
Jane Pauley Sues New York Times [The Smoking Gun]

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