A (Sort of) Disclosure

In defense of a recent New York Times op-ed about Bernie Madoff written by Daphne Merkin, the editor of the Times op-ed page said that they asked Merkin to write the piece “‘in some respect because of her brother,’ with the relationship perhaps giving her interesting insights into what happened [with Madoff].” As for readers, here is the extent of the insight we were given in Merkin’s column about Merkin’s insight-providing “relationship:”

(I did not know Mr. Madoff nor did I invest with his firm, but have a sibling who did business with him.)

Yesterday, the Times’s public editor filled in blanks:

[Merkin’s] oldest brother is J. Ezra Merkin, a prominent financier and philanthropist who fed more than $2 billion of clients’ money into Madoff’s scheme, collecting more than $470 million in fees, according to New York’s attorney general…Ezra Merkin is a major figure in the scandal his sister wrote about, though no one has charged that he knew Madoff was a con man.

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.