Anonymous 02/18/20 (Tue) 21:19:190e5df4 No.8176465
Wife of ex-Bloomberg News reporter says Bloomberg tried to ‘ruin’ family after she spoke out against China
The wife of a former Bloomberg News reporter claimed Michael Bloomberg threatened to “ruin” her family to protect his company’s ties to China. Leta Hong Fincher, whose husband, Michael Forsythe, now writes for the New York Times, accused the former New York City mayor of trying to ruin her family financially after she revealed that they had been threatened by Chinese authorities over negative coverage about Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping.
In an editorial for the Intercept, Fincher explained that Forsythe had written a story for Bloomberg News in June 2012 that described how Xi’s family became incredibly wealthy when he took over party leadership. After that story was published, Fincher received threats against her young children, who were 6 and 8 years old at the time. Bloomberg News urged the family not to speak out about the threats. Fincher stayed quiet until October 2012, when a separate story in the New York Times revealed that other reporters had been threatened. She tweeted, “Now that NYT has gone public about Chinese govt pressure, I can admit that we got death threats after Bloomberg story on Xi Jinping.”
Bloomberg News demanded that Fincher pull the tweets down. She refused but agreed to stop discussing the issue online. In 2013, Forsythe had been working on a story similar to the story about Xi’s family raking in cash. Just before the story was set to publish, Bloomberg knifed the story over fears that they would be “kicked out of China.” Bloomberg, who was mayor of New York City at the time, denied that he had killed the story, saying, “Nobody thinks that we’re wusses and not willing to stand up and write stories that are of interest to the public and that are factually correct.”
Shortly after he made those remarks, Fincher and Forsythe were ordered to sign a nondisclosure agreement. Fincher wrote, “Bloomberg lawyers in Hong Kong threatened to devastate my family financially by forcing us to repay the company for our relocation fees to Hong Kong from Beijing and the advance on my husband’s salary that we took out, leave us with no health insurance or income, and take me to court if I did not sign a nondisclosure agreement — even though I had never been a Bloomberg employee.” Fincher claimed that Bloomberg’s attorney was going to demand that they pay thousands of dollars to the company, including his legal fees, if she didn’t sign the agreement, despite not being an employee of the company. She hired the same attorneys who defended Edward Snowden to help her with the case, which Bloomberg eventually dropped. “My story shows the lengths that the Bloomberg machine will go to in order to avoid offending Beijing,” Fincher wrote. “Bloomberg’s company, Bloomberg LP, is so dependent on the vast China market for its business that its lawyers threatened to devastate my family financially if I didn’t sign an NDA silencing me about how Bloomberg News killed a story critical of Chinese Communist Party leaders.”
Fincher noted that she believed there were many similar stories out there against Bloomberg that have been silenced by nondisclosure agreements. “I haven’t met any of the other women [bound by disclosures], but I imagine that they, too, may have experienced the same terror of being threatened by a multibillion-dollar corporation, which could ruin their lives if they did not comply,” Fincher wrote. “Even now, I am nervous about the consequences of speaking out. But the more of us speak out, the stronger we are.”
The billionaire has been known to meddle in the newsroom owned by his company, Bloomberg LP. When he announced his presidential bid, Bloomberg News announced that it would continue its policy of not investigating Bloomberg or his finances. Instead, it decided to halt all investigations into 2020 Democrats but agreed to continue digging into the Trump administration and campaign. Bloomberg, 78, surged into second place in a recent national poll, trailing only Sen. Bernie Sanders. The billionaire’s strong showing in the poll also qualified him for his first debate appearance on Wednesday in Nevada.
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