Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hey County Times! We Got The Scoop on Ayres' Fundraising First Six Weeks Ago! Where's Our Credit?

Today the San Mateo County Times has a story by Elizabeth Pfeffer called "Ayres To Face Molestation Trial.

While we're always happy to see mainstream stories about Ayres (there can never be enough !) we were decidedly not happy when we saw this passage:

Amid swirling rumors that the former child psychiatrist was running out of money to pay for lawyers, The Times obtained a copy of a fundraising letter circulated on his behalf and signed by 11 colleagues.
The letter, dated from June, shares a concern that the financial burden of legal fees could prevent Ayres from receiving a fair hearing. A portion of it reads, "Bill and Solveig are running out of money after spending two million dollars in their own defense. If Dr. Ayres is going to have a chance at an unbiased trial; he is going to need to use expert witnesses."

Readers of this blog will know that one of our enterprising contributors was the first to obtain a copy of this fund raising letter back on July 17 and we posted it. This contributor went to a considerable amount of effort to obtain that cash fund raising letter and we have to say we consider it poor form that the County Times did not report that the letter had first appeared on our blog. Now we know how the reporters for the dueling papers - the New York Daily News and the New York Post - feel when one paper lift scoops from another without giving credit.

Additionally, a poster named "Jack Kirkpatrick" reposted our fundraising letter over at the San Mateo Daily Journal Forum on July 22, 2009. He was taken to task by readers for not crediting this blog with the information:

For a paper like the County Times that has referred to our contributors as "gadflies" in a story back in July, we guess we should be flattered that they are now taking us seriously enough to take our scoops.

However, there have been a number of occasions when we have gotten scoops first on the Ayres case by good old fashioned shoe leather reporting, - such as when we got an exclusive interview with the first dismissed juror. After we posted the interview, all of a sudden we're getting emails from the County Times and the Mercury News asking us to give away our hard-earned reporting and asking how to get in touch with the juror- for free!!

Well, to the reporters of the Bay Area: when the juror was dismissed, you shoulda been there yourself. We know there are cutbacks at newspapers, but come on guys, start getting out there and doing some real digging yourself!

Here's a suggestion to reporters: start looking hard into Ayres' background at Judge Baker and Children's Hospital in Boston. It certainly can be done. Try to find out why he left Judge Baker. We have sources who have given us information that is potentially very damaging to Ayres, and we would like the reporters from the Bay Area to start hunting this down.

Just this week, the East Coast papers and the Associated Press have all subpoenaed the civil suit molestation records from the Catholic Connecticut diocese. Why doesn't the Associated Press and some of the Bay Area papers all get together and get Ayres' employee records from Boston?

After all, you certainly don't want the Boston Globe scooping you on this. Just sayin'....

And next time you post a story in your paper that first broke here, please give us "gadflies" credit.

[UPDATE 8/31/2009:] As of  11:26am today, the San Mateo County Times has updated their page to include a note that the "fundraising letter" that they discuss was first obtained by Victoria Balfour, and then reported on this blog on the 17th of July.  Looks like the gadflies did get some credit after all. 


  1. Maureen Dowd at the New York Times got into bigtime trouble for swiping information from a blog and not attributing it to them.

  2. It is pretty underhanded. Then to call Kimmich and quote him about a begging email for Ayres.

    What Pfeffer should have asked Kimmich is not whether Ayres was a fine person but how much money he has raised for him and does he think it will hurt his practice.

    I notice Kimmich was quick to state the email or letter was not his idea.

    Give me a break. I would never allow my name on something I didn't at least support.

    SHAME on the Times and shame on Kimmich for wimping out!

  3. That was very underhanded of the Times reporter not to give you guys credit. You should complain to her superiors.

  4. Jack Kirkpatrick is ignorant. He doesn't now how to post a link.

    But the Times, that is unprofessional.