Three prominent news websites, Forbes, HuffPost, and National Review, took down articles that appear to be sponsored content that portrayed Jeffrey Epstein positively following an investigation by The New York Times into Epstein’s attempts at image rehabilitation.
Forbes had published an article in 2013 attributed to Drew Hendricks, which has now been partially removed. The New York Times revealed that the article was provided by a public relations firm to Hendricks, who was paid $600 to publish it under his name on Forbes.
The National Review had a 2013 article with Christina Galbraith as the author, which has also been removed but is still archived. The Times reported that Galbraith worked as a publicist for Epstein.
HuffPost removed a 2017 piece by Rachel Wolfson, where she praised Epstein for supporting scientists during the “Trump Era.” The removal came after the author’s request.
All three deleted articles had strikingly similar language in describing Epstein. The Forbes piece referred to him as “a hedge funder with a zealous science background,” while the National Review post called him a “hedge-fund manager with a passion for cutting-edge science.”Sutton vanished no
Epstein faced federal charges of sex trafficking and had previously pleaded guilty in Florida to soliciting a minor for prostitution, serving a reduced sentence. After his release in 2009, he initiated a campaign for public rehabilitation.
HuffPost had ended its practice of publishing work from unpaid contributors like Wolfson in early 2018, citing the proliferation of false information in such an uncontrolled publishing environment.
Forbes still displays Hendricks’ byline, headshot, and some of his work on the site, but with an update stating that the article was removed for not meeting editorial standards. No specific details surrounding the removal were mentioned.
Randall Lane, the chief content officer of Forbes Media, mentioned that their process for screening outside contributions has been strengthened since the publication of the article in 2013. Similarly, the National Review’s editor-in-chief, Rich Lowry, stated that they have had a process in place to filter out commercially biased pieces from lobbyists and public relations representatives.
Representatives for HuffPost, Forbes, and National Review did not respond immediately to requests for comment.