Another Blemish for T Magazine’s ‘The Transformers’ Piece

Erik Wemple finds fault with a third portion of Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen's already challenged article.

As Erik Wemple puts it, three of the five mini-profiles that anchor Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen’s contribution to the Oct. 25 issue of T magazine ‘are now limping.’


The latest problem with the article, titled “The Transformers” in print and “Five Visionary Tech Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the World” online, involves Leila Janah (pictured, second from right). It turns out Arrillaga-Andreessen is both an advisor to and angel investor of Janah’s crowdfunding healthcare effort Samahope:

Through a New York Times representative, [T magazine editor Deborah] Needleman issued this statement in response to questions from the Erik Wemple Blog: “I sought Laura out because of the way she thinks about philanthropy and business, and asked her to highlight five companies we both thought were innovative. I am aware that she advises many tech company leaders on how to give their money away, and that her husband is a major venture capitalist. I made an error in not asking her what both her and/or her husband’s financial relationship to these companies was, and that was entirely my fault.”

NYT public editor Margaret Sullivan wrote last week that the Brian Chesky conflict of interest was reason enough for Arrillaga-Andreessen to have been disqualified from writing the article. The author’s husband Marc Andreessen is an investor in Chesky’s Airbnb.

Update (3:30 p.m.):
Wemple notes that references to Theranos’ Elizabeth Holmes, featured in “The Transformers” item, have vanished from the online version of Needleman’s letter to readers.
[Screen grab via:]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: November 5, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT