On the Media apologizes for Infinite Mind lapse

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On the Media, the NPR-distributed weekly press review, released a correction last week apologizing for what it called a “lapse in journalistic judgment” in preparing its November 2008 report about the public radio show The Infinite Mind.

Dr. Fred Goodwin, host of psychology program, had stirred controversy when the New York Times reported that he had accepted more than $1 million in speaking fees from drug companies and discussed their brand-name drugs on the show. Infinite Mind Executive Producer Bill Lichtenstein had previously denied knowledge of the psychiatrist’s links to the firms in statements on his production company’s website. But On the Media’s report about the flap relied on an account from an anonymous Infinite Mind producer who claimed the show was in fact aware of Goodwin’s activities.

Host Brooke Gladstone said March 13 that OTM should have checked the allegation with Lichtenstein, who said his producer told him she had “no firsthand evidence that (Lichtenstein) knew of any fees.” Gladstone said not checking with Lichtenstein was “a mistake, it wasn’t fair and it didn’t serve our listeners.”

The Infinite Mind ran for 10 years, ceasing production in 2008. It aired on public radio stations and on NPR’s Sirius Satellite Radio channel.

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