Giving Bernie Madoff a "Media Megaphone" is Not Wise, Prof. Bob Steele '69 Tells Fox Business

Giving Bernie Madoff a "Media Megaphone" is Not Wise, Prof. Bob Steele '69 Tells Fox Business

August 25, 2011

60937August 25, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — Media outlets are scrambling to land interviews with Bernard Madoff, incarcerated in a federal prison in Butner, North Carolina, "where he's serving a life sentence for carrying out the greatest white collar swindle of all time -- a Ponzi scheme that cost investors some $50 billion," notes a Fox Business report. In fact, some news outlets went with a statement Madoff made which proved to be false: that he's in talks with Harvard Business School to develop a course on entrepreneurship and the markets. Harvard says it isn't so.

Charlie Gasparino writes, "Is the exclusivity of a Madoff interview now making competing news channels forget they are dealing with one of the world’s best liars who is intent on remaking his image? According to media experts, it's easy to be manipulated, particularly by someone as skilled as Madoff, when a major scoop is on the line." 

The piece quotes Robert M. Steele, Phyllis W. Nicholas Director of DePauw University's Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics and Distinguished Professor of Journalism Ethics. "Now with heightened competition from the Internet, bloggers and shows like TMZ, mainstream journalists are facing even more pressure to get the story first including this one," says Dr. Steele. "Interviewing him is one thing, but to give someone like Bernie Madoff who has 101173hurt so many people, a media megaphone to lie is counterintuitive of the values of the journalism profession."

Read the complete article at Fox Business' website.

A 1969 graduate of DePauw, Bob Steele is one of America's leading experts on media ethics. He is quoted in the September 2011 issue of Real Simple magazine and was cited August 18 by USA Today.