Journal Takes Trump Beat From Reporter Who Accepted Free Boxing Tix
NEW YORK (AP) _ The Wall Street Journal said prize-winning reporter Neil Barsky will no longer cover developer Donald Trump in the wake of disclosures that Barsky took three $1,000 boxing tickets from Trump’s company.
In a memo to the staff last week, Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine and Managing Editor Paul Steiger said the controversy had been ″both unpleasant and a source of embarrassment″ to the paper and its owner, Dow Jones & Co.
A copy of the memo was obtained Tuesday.
It said Barsky was being taken off the Trump story because some readers may question his motivation in writing stories about Trump.
Barsky has said he took one ticket to the Evander Holyfield-George Foreman fight in April after consulting with an editor because he felt it would enable him to make contacts within the Trump Organization.
He took two other tickets for relatives. Trump subsequently said Barsky had pressured his organization for the free tickets. Barsky countered that Trump’s employees pressed him to accept them.
″Despite our confidence in Neil’s coverage - before and after Mr. Trump’s accusations against him - we and Neil agree that it makes sense for him to stop covering Mr. Trump and the Trump organization,″ the memo said.
The Journal executives said the paper has since given the Trump Organization a check for $3,000 for the tickets, and has accepted a check of $2,000 from Barsky to cover two of them.
Dow Jones spokesman Roger May said Barsky will continue covering real estate as he has since joining the Journal 2 1/2 years ago, but will no longer cover the Trump story. Barsky won the Gerald Loeb distinguished business journalism award this year for his 1990 Trump coverage.