'A number of media outlets took part in what the New York Times called a “campaign to remake the public image” of Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire financier who served a short jail sentence for sex offenses after reaching a controversial plea deal in 2008 that allowed him to avoid federal prosecution.
The Times cited Forbes, the National Review, the Huffington Post, and a tech website as outlets that published positive stories about Epstein and noted that those stories were deleted or revised after the newspaper inquired about them.
Forbes published a retraction for a story praising Epstein for his philanthropic spirit headlined: “Science Funder Jeffrey Epstein Launches Radical Emotional Software For The Gaming Industry”:
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The Times reported:
The Forbes.com article, posted in 2013, praised him as “one of the largest backers of cutting-edge science around the world” while making no mention of his criminal past. The National Review piece, from the same year, called him “a smart businessman” with a “passion for cutting-edge science.” The HuffPost article, from 2017, credited Mr. Epstein for “taking action to help a number of scientists thrive during the ‘Trump Era’,” a time of “anti-science policies and budget cuts.”
The article on the Forbes website was attributed to Drew Hendricks, a contributing writer. As The Times revealed in an article last week, he was not the author of the piece. Instead, it was delivered to him by a public relations firm, and he said he was paid $600 to attach his byline and post it at forbes.com.
The Times story included a quote from Hendricks, who said he did not know about Epstein’s criminal background.
“All I knew was, this is a guy doing a science thing,” Hendricks said. “If I had known otherwise, I wouldn’t have done it.”'
Read more: Report: National Review, Forbes, HuffPost Helped Epstein Remake Image After Sex Crime Conviction