MIT is under fire after revelations that it's Media Lab had deeper ties to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein than it had previously admitted. Dan digs in with Axios' Felix Salmon, who thinks there are more big shoes to drop.
The Jeffrey Epstein story is going to far outlive Jeffrey Epstein, as is evidenced by Ronan Farrow's latest blockbuster report in the New Yorker about the criminal’s secret ties to the MIT Media Lab, as well as by MIT president Rafael Reif’s latest revelations about the number of university officials who knew about Epstein’s donations.
Why it matters: These raise a lot of questions about the billionaires in Epstein's circle, especially Leon Black and Bill Gates. My reporting, below, answers at least some of them.
In newly revealed emails, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman urged former MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito to avoid naming his wife — MIT professor Neri Oxman — when discussing Jeffrey Epstein, the Boston Globe reports.
The state of play: In 2017, Oxman produced a gift for Epstein after he donated $125,000 to her lab. In Oxman’s statement to the Globe, she said MIT required Epstein’s gifts to her lab be kept confidential. Per email records, Ito asked Oxman how to respond to media queries and Ackman then raised concerns about his wife's name being tied to Epstein.
Reid Hoffman, the venture capitalist and LinkedIn founder, appears regretful for his role in enabling Jeffrey Epstein's post-conviction rehabilitation.
What he's saying: In an email to Axios, Hoffman writes, "The abuse described by Jeffery Epstein’s survivors is abhorrent, horrific, and disgusting. I am hopeful survivors can attain justice and support, and the communities damaged by these events can begin healing."