New York Times gadget guru David Pogue hit the tech scandal sheets this month when he was arrested for a domestic disturbance in which he allegedly hit his wife with an iPhone. Now, we learn he's dating an executive at a PR firm that represents companies that Pogue writes about all the time.
The Daily Beast's Dan Lyons reports that, Pogue, who is in the process of divorcing his wife, has been dating Nicki Dugan, vice president at OutCast, a firm that represents companies like Amazon, Facebook, Cisco and Netflix. (Dugan previously worked at Yahoo! where she specialized in making elaborate propaganda videos.) The two have been in a relationship since at least December, which is when Pogue disclosed the relationship to his editor at the Times. Since then, Pogue has written a number of columns about OutCast clients, including when he gushed about Amazon's cloud player in March.
Pogue's editor at the Times says he can write about companies OutCast represents as long as he doesn't write about companies personally repped by his girlfriend. But you know what? Pogue has batted down conflicts of interest by claiming he's simply an entertainer, not a journalist. Now is his chance to prove just how entertaining he can be. Forget the boring Times ethics policy: Pogue's column from now on should only be about products that his flack girlfriend makes him write about. It would be hilarious, since the reviews would fluctuate wildly depending on the health of their relationship.
Maybe the Times could give even Dugan her own rebuttal column, and the tech power couple could work out their issues in dueling passive-aggressive gadget reviews:
These new noise-canceling headphones are revolutionary! Perfect for when you're trying to listen to NPR and Somebody keeps going on and on about taking the trash out even though you did it the last five times.