Mint CEO Patzer: “I personally don’t think Mint … should even be covering this particular topic”

June 18, 2010, 9:03 PM UTC
Fortune

This is one in a series of articles leading up to
Fortune Brainstorm Tech
, which takes place July 22-24 in Aspen, Colo. The articles will look back at the progress of companies that presented at Brainstorm in 2009 as well as look forward to those that will present this year.



(Photo: karaemurphy, Flickr.com)

By Shelley DuBois, reporter

Earlier today, Fortune wrote about an infographic on the dangers of immigration — containing misleading information — that was posted on Mint.com’s “mintlife” blog.  We had reached out to Mint.com CEO Aaron Patzer and he responded just as the post went live.

In short, Patzer — who is also the vice president and general manager of Intuit’s (INTU) Personal Finance Group — disapproves, and says he’s dealing with the problem. He wrote this in an email:

I’ve been traveling and found out about the “Economic Impact of Immigration” article this morning.  As soon as I read it, I had it pulled.  While my editor ensures the article was fact checked, I personally question two sources of such facts.  More, even if the facts or statistics to check out, they were presented in a biased, editorialized, and non-objective way.

I personally don’t think Mint, who’s dedicated to personal finance, should even be covering this particular topic.  If that were in our domain, and one were covering “illegal immigration”, I should hope that we’d cover both sides of the topic.  In no instance should the ethnicity or nationality matter in such a discussion.  That’s simply wrong.

The post is down, I’ve put my editor on warning, and issued the following apology:

At MintLife, our mission is to give users and visitors the financial information they need to save and do more with their money. Topics range from personal finance advice, to analysis of macroeconomic trends and the fiscal impacts of news of the day. We publish content from a variety of contributors and sources, and the opinions expressed don’t necessarily reflect those of Mint.com or of Intuit. It’s true that the tone is often provocative, seeking to engage readers in dialogue around important topics, but the recent blog post “The Economic Impact of Immigration” went too far, cited polarized sources and did not receive the editorial judgment and oversight it deserved.  We regret it.  Our intention was not to further the agenda of any of the sources from which data was pulled, and the post has been removed.