The premier rule governing those who practice medicine is apparently not applicable to reporters for the New York Times. Sharon Otterman has the byline for an article detailing the arrest of David H. Newman, distinguished Mt. Sinai physician and author, on charges of sexually abusing two patients in the emergency room at different times.(”Colleagues Express Disbelief Over Arrest of Doctor with Picture-Perfect Life,” NYT 1/21) The reporter goes on to give the dates and circumstances of each patient’s story, one having occurred on Jan 12 and one elicited by a patient after hearing news of that event; her experience occurred the previous Sept. The Times article differs from all other coverage of this story in that Ms. Otterman felt it necessary to mention the full name of Dr. Newman’s wife, a practicing physician herself. She also felt the need to describe the house where the two live with their children as well as the town where it is located.
Needless to say, Dr. Newman has not been tried or convicted yet so we are not reading about a man guilty of the crime for which he has been arrested. We are possibly reading about an innocent man, wrongfully accused by a woman under the influence of morphine. The names of the two purported victims are withheld out of respect for their privacy. Why isn’t Dr. Newman’s wife afforded equal respect, both by Sharon Otterman and the Times editor who reviewed her article before publication?
In googling Ms. Otterman to gain some insight into what sort of reporter reveals irrelevant information including details of the wedding pictures of the accused, I found her own wedding announcement with the names of her bridegroom and parents. I won’t reveal them but will say that someone with the same name as Ms. Otterman’s mother has a pornographic website online. Yes, that’s irrelevant too.
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