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Friday, 5 March 2021

NYT launches investigation into columnist David Brooks after he failed to declare to readers that he is drawing a second salary from a project funded by Facebook despite writing about the tech giant - and even penning a blog for it

 New York Times columnist David Brooks is on the payroll of a project funded by Facebook and has written articles peddling its cause, a report said Thursday.

Brooks, who also appears weekly on PBS NewsHour, takes an additional salary from his work with the Aspen Institute's Weave project which started in May 2018, according to Buzzfeed

That same year Facebook gave $250,000 to the Washington DC think tank for Weave. Brooks later told Times readers the project was focused on' building community and weaving the social fabric' of the US in one of his columns.  

Brooks did not tell readers he was being paid for his role at Weave or how it was funded, in part, via the social media giant.  

The paper has so far refused to comment on whether it knew Brooks was taking a salary for his role or if they knew the project's connection to Facebook. 

But NYT spokeswoman Eileen Murphy confirmed: 'We’re in the process of reviewing David’s relationship with the Weave Project and the Aspen Institute, and what disclosures, if any, should be added to David’s columns going forward.' 

DailyMail.com has reached out for comment.  

As well as promoting Weave, Brooks has also not disclose his ties to Facebook when writing about the social network for the paper, Buzzfeed reports. He also has written for the tech giant's website, archived records show. 

Defending Facebook on their blog, Brooks said: 'My takeaway from all this research is that it’s not social media that’s the problem, it’s the ideas and behavior of the people who use it.'    

New York Times columnist David Brooks is on the payroll of a project funded by Facebook and has multiple articles peddling its cause, according to a Buzzfeed report Thursday

New York Times columnist David Brooks is on the payroll of a project funded by Facebook and has multiple articles peddling its cause, according to a Buzzfeed report Thursday

Brooks did not tell readers he was being paid for his role at Weave or how the project was funded, in part, via the social media giant

Brooks did not tell readers he was being paid for his role at Weave or how the project was funded, in part, via the social media giant

Brooks' bio on the Times does not disclose his work with Weave or its links to Facebook. It does reference his work with PBS, NPR and NBC and his teaching at Yale University. 

It's also reported Weave's biggest donor came from Jeff Bezos' father Miguel for more than $300,000.   

Brooks continued to promote Weave in his columns, writing about one of the group's events and calling those who attended 'some of the most compelling people I’ve ever met'. 

In September 2019 he wrote sponsored content for a conference called Upswell, which had been organized by Independent Sector, another Weave supporter. 

He later spoke at Upswell alongside Facebook's Deepti Doshi.    


Brooks' bio on the Times does not disclose his work with Weave or its links to Facebook. It does reference his work with PBS, NPR and NBC and his teaching at Yale University

In September 2019 he wrote sponsored content for a conference called Upswell, which had been organized by Independent Sector, another Weave supporter. He later spoke at Upswell alongside Facebook's Deepti Doshi

In September 2019 he wrote sponsored content for a conference called Upswell, which had been organized by Independent Sector, another Weave supporter. He later spoke at Upswell alongside Facebook's Deepti Doshi

Brooks is named as the chair of Weave on its website; Brooks has continued to promote Weave in his columns, writing about one of the group's events and calling those who attended 'some of the most compelling people I’ve ever met'

Brooks is named as the chair of Weave on its website; Brooks has continued to promote Weave in his columns, writing about one of the group's events and calling those who attended 'some of the most compelling people I’ve ever met'

Wolfe said that her news website will be a place where she will 'tell stories' that 'possibly chill you to the bone'

Wolfe said that her news website will be a place where she will 'tell stories' that 'possibly chill you to the bone'

The news comes on the back a turbulent few months for The New York Times.   

In February veteran reporter Donald McNeil Jr announced he was resigning and apologized for his 'extraordinarily bad judgement' over his use of the N-word.  

A piece written by NYT conservative columnist Bret Stephens that was critical of executive editor Dean Baquet and managing editor Joseph Kahn's response to the controversy was later revealed to have been spiked. 

Weeks earlier the paper fired editor  Lauren Wolfe after she tweeted that she had 'chills' watching President Joe Biden land at Joint Base Andrews the day before the inauguration. 

According to Wolfe, the tweet was 'the only reason they fired me', she said as she responded to the paper for claiming otherwise.

A statement from the Times had alleged that her dismissal was not on the basis of the tweet alone, but did not comment any further on the reasons for letting her go. 

The in July, opinion editor Bari Weiss announced she was leaving the paper in a scathing resignation letter that slams the Times for fostering an 'illiberal environment' and allowing her to be bullied by coworkers for 'wrongthink'. 

Lauren Wolfe lost her gig with the paper, where she had started working last May, after tweeting: 'Biden landing at Joint Base Andrews now. I have chills'

Lauren Wolfe lost her gig with the paper, where she had started working last May, after tweeting: 'Biden landing at Joint Base Andrews now. I have chills'

Last month the paper said it needs a culture change to become a better place to work, particularly for people of color

 Last month the paper said it needs a culture change to become a better place to work, particularly for people of color

Weiss, who joined the Times in 2017, said the paper of record was among the media institutions now betraying their standards and losing sight of their principles as she accused them of only publishing stories that 'satisfy the narrowest of audiences'.

And in December the Times also admitted that it was duped by a fake terrorist in the creation of its hit podcast Caliphate.

In a four-part post on Medium on Monday, Donald McNeil Jr. (above) described for the first time, in his own words, the context behind his use of the racial slur in 2019

In a four-part post on Medium on Monday, Donald McNeil Jr. (above) described for the first time, in his own words, the context behind his use of the racial slur in 2019 

The Times acknowledged that it had been misled in the production of the series by Canadian-Pakistani man Shehroze Chaudhry, 25, who had fabricated his story of working as an ISIS executioner. 

Yet it was in further hot water after a group of 20 influential public radio stations condemned the Times for a 'lack of transparency' after personal ties between the star host of 'The Daily' Michael Barbaro and its discredited series 'Caliphate' emerged.  

New York Times' opinion editor, James Bennet, resigned after a controversial op-ed from Senator Tom Cotton in June.

The opinion piece, entitled Send in the Troops, advocated using federal troops to quell unrest across the US caused by the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. 

Last month the paper said it needs a culture change to become a better place to work, particularly for people of color. 

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