LAST CALL: Fine mess for New Jersey PR man demanding payment for 9/11 interviews

During the months that followed 9/11, many of those affected by the tragedy told their stories to the media.

During the months that followed 9/11, many of those affected by the tragedy told their stories to the media.

One of these people was Edward Fine, the dust-caked businessman whose picture was seen by people across the world, and who came to represent the layperson's unwitting role in the events for many.

And this week, Fine - a New Jersey PR man (about whom very little seems to be known) - has demonstrated his professionalism and commitment to the principle of ethics in PR to the core, by demanding money for any interview he gives in this week of remembrance. The fee is $911 for each two hours. While this closely equates to the $500 per hour he apparently charges for his firm's time, he admitted that "there is a significance to that sum." Clearly, he felt his demand of money was not newsworthy enough in itself.

Leaving aside the obvious crassness of his decision, it should also be noted that the principle of paying for news interviews is against the ethical mores of journalism in the US, and undermines the credibility of the news media.

The New York Post reported that Fine feels the fee is justified as he is no longer a news story.

He is now.

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