The New York Times was forced to issue a major correction to an article about alleged sexual misconduct by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, after the two journalists who wrote it failed to include evidence from their own anti-Kavanaugh book which significantly undercuts their argument.
While digging into an unsupported allegation by a woman named Deborah Ramirez that Kavanaugh waved his penis in her face during the 1983-1984 academic year at Yale, the Times's Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly claimed to have uncovered another alleged incident in which Kavanaugh's penis was thrust into a female student's hand.
A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. (We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.) -New York Times
The only problem - which Pogrebin and Kelly omitted from their NYT article, yet is contained in their new book "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation."- is that the woman has no memory of the incident.
NYT Reporters’ essay about a supposed second Yale incident omitted their own book reporting that completely undercuts it: alleged victim denies any memory of it. Journalistically indefensible, though gullible additional reporters are spreading it of course.— Mollie (@MZHemingway) September 15, 2019
After The Federalist's Mollie Hemmingway and others pointed this out, the Times issued a major correction to what the National Review's John McCormack called "one of the worst cases of journalistic malpractice in recent memory."
An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book's account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party. The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article. -NYT
President Trump on Monday had Kavanaugh's back in a series of tweets:
“The New York Times walks back report on Kavanaugh assault claim.” @foxandfriends The one who is actually being assaulted is Justice Kavanaugh - Assaulted by lies and Fake News! This is all about the LameStream Media working with their partner, the Dems.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2019
“What’s happening to Justice Kavanaugh is a disgrace. This guy is not a good man, he is a great man. He has to go to his church with his family while these terrible reports are being written about him, a disgrace!” Dan Bongino @foxandfriends— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2019
Trump has also suggested that Kavanaugh should sue the times.
Just Out: “Kavanaugh accuser doesn’t recall incident.” @foxandfriends DO YOU BELIEVE WHAT THESE HORRIBLE PEOPLE WILL DO OR SAY. They are looking to destroy, and influence his opinions - but played the game badly. They should be sued!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2019
Meanwhile, the office of Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) - who was mentioned in the article, tweeted several items of note to address the original claims by Ramirez:
1. Senate Judiciary staff "proactively contacted Ms. Ramirez' lawyers soon after the New Yorker story broke."
2. "Despite 7 attempts by staff, Ms. Ramirez' lawyers declined to provide documentary evidence referenced in the article/witness accounts to support the claims. They also declined invitations for Ms. Ramirez to speak with committee investigators or to provide a written statement"
3. Nonetheless, our investigators spoke to and reviewed material from several Yale classmates of Ms. Ramirez and Justice Kavanaugh in order to assess the claim. You can read the committee’s 414-page investigative summary here: http://bit.ly/30nwLKG
4. The committee's review found no verifiable evidence to support the claims. The @nytimes' own reporting at the time noted that it couldn't find anyone with firsthand knowledge & that Ms. Ramirez told friends she couldn’t be sure Kavanaugh was involved:
4. The committee's review found no verifiable evidence to support the claims. The @nytimes' own reporting at the time noted that it couldn't find anyone with firsthand knowledge & that Ms. Ramirez told friends she couldn’t be sure Kavanaugh was involved: https://t.co/e1B4ckSGhr pic.twitter.com/Wj1g9dCleo— Sen. Grassley Press (@GrassleyPress) September 15, 2019
5. Ultimately, Ms. Ramirez’ team agreed only to contact the FBI with the claims. She was reportedly interviewed by the FBI during its supplemental background investigation. More on those background investigations here:
5. Ultimately, Ms. Ramirez’ team agreed only to contact the FBI with the claims. She was reportedly interviewed by the FBI during its supplemental background investigation.— Sen. Grassley Press (@GrassleyPress) September 15, 2019
More on those background investigations here:https://t.co/nGQfCovkPb