NYT Tech Columnist Spanked For 'Flagrant' Violation of Ethics Policy

Star tech writer David Pogue has been publicly admonished by his editors at New York Times on ethics again, for charging flacks $159 each to learn how to get into his column. How many times must this happen, David?

Pogue's "Pitch Me, Baby" presentation explained, by example, just how to get on the good side of David Pogue. "I'm one of the guys public-relations people work with," Pogue wrote on his website. "This talk, geared for PR professionals, also offers a few of the most hilariously bad, and impressively good, pitches I've seen in my days at the Times."

The paper decided this was a violation of its prohibition against taking "part in public relations workshops that charge admission or imply privileged access to Times people," according to the public editor, and Pogue agreed to stop doing the events. He had already done the presentation at a media conference; it's not clear if a scheduled July 11 online event will go forward.

The Times implied it caught this infraction on its own, but it's not clear if anything would have happened but for coverage in Forbes and on Poynter.org. This incident follows the recent revelation that Pogue was dating a flack whose clients he covered and past scandals involving Pogue's paid speaking gigs and acceptance of free computer repair service. We'd like to think this is the end of Pogue's ethics controversies, but the guy has quite a track record — and now he's probably going to have some hefty alimony payments to make.

[Photo of Pogue via Randal Schwartz/Flickr]