Eichenwald Tells NPR His Epilepsy Causes Memory Loss

In an interview to air this evening, former New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald told NPR’s All Things Considered that the reason he forgot to tell his editors about the substantial sums of money he paid a young man while reporting a Dec. 2005 front-page story on child pornography was that the epilepsy from which he has suffered since youth had crippled his memory.

NPR reports:

His epilepsy had triggered so many and such severe seizures that, according to his neurologist, he suffers from ‘significant memory disruptions.”

Eichenwald’s famed meticulous reporting methods on intrigue at Enron and other troubled companies masked his deeply unreliable memory for names, facts and events.

In the interview, parts of which are available now on the NPR Web site, Eichenwald said he did not previously come forward about the effect his condition has had on his memory because he wanted to be judged on the basis of his work, not his challenges.

"There are reporters who are stupid," he said. "There are reporters who are lazy. There are reporters who are drunk… I’m none of those things."