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From ‘All the News That’s Fit to Print’ to ‘Fake News’

Brett Davis

Posted on September 19, 2019 03:59

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At the rate its reportage is devolving, soon The New York Times will only be useful for lining birdcages and wrapping fish.

The New York Times is allegedly the nation’s “newspaper of record.” Of course, that’s not obvious given the reprehensible way “The Gray Lady” went about smearing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh this past weekend, shattering some of journalism’s basic tenets along the way.

On Sunday, the Times published an article about Deborah Ramirez, who had accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her during a party at Yale University in the early 1980s. The piece is based on an upcoming book – “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation” by Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly – that asserts others, including fellow classmates, recalled hearing contemporary accounts of the incident

The powers-that-be at The New York Times were apparently anxious to reignite the political sparring over Kavanaugh’s October 2018 confirmation to the Supreme Court. That much was obvious given some of the peculiarities of the story. For example, the piece wasn’t in the news section; rather an excerpt of the book was published in the paper’s Sunday Review, which the Times defended in a tweet by noting “that section includes news analysis and opinion pieces. The section frequently runs excerpts of books produced by Times reporters.”

The more egregious journalistic sin – for which there is no defense, however – is the bewildering fact the Sunday essay left out a key detail in the book, namely that Ramirez declined to be interviewed, and moreover, her friends said she did not recall the incident. In other words, The New York Times conveniently forgot to mention the alleged victim utterly failed to confirm the allegation against Kavanaugh. It was, in the immortal words of President Trump, “fake news.”

The Times has since appended to the story an editor’s note addressing the glaring omission in its original story, but the damage was done. At best, the Times bungled the story in a major way; at worst, the paper purposely and recklessly sought to assassinate (again) the character of Kavanaugh in a blatantly dishonest way.

For their part, the book’s authors unconvincingly blamed the paper’s editorial process for taking out the part about Ramirez not remembering the incident. “I think it was just done in the haste of the editing process,” Pogrebin said, which doesn’t at all sound like the Times was in a rush – cutting corners in the process – to get out a story damning Kavanaugh. Then again, that’s marginally better than intentionally bypassing journalistic ethics to besmirch Kavanaugh for partisan reasons.

Sadly, it’s not at all unreasonable to suspect The New York Times reported, then corrected, questionable allegations against Kavanaugh deliberately as part of its obvious bias against President Trump. One could be forgiven for thinking the Times has become a tool of misinformation for the left. It seems the paper’s famous motto, “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” is selectively implemented.

Brett Davis

Posted on September 19, 2019 03:59

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