The New York Times is being lambasted for allowing New York Times Magazine staff writer Emily Bazelon to co-author a New York Times article about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh following negative comments she made about him on her personal social media account.
Bazelon characterized Kavanaugh as “a 5th vote for a hard-right turn on voting rights and so much more that will harm the democratic process & prevent a more equal society.”
Bazelon, who is also a fellow at Yale Law, contributed to a The New York Times article published on Monday that was titled “Kavanaugh Was Questioned by Police After Bar Fight in 1985.”
In that article, Bazelon and co-author Ben Protess reported that as an undergraduate at Yale, Kavanaugh was accused of throwing ice on another patron in September 1985.
The article cited a police report by the New Haven Police Department, which said that Kavanaugh threw ice on a 21-year-old man “for some unknown reason.”
The article went on to talk about another individual named Chris Dudley who was reportedly friends with Kavanaugh, who also threw a cup, causing the young man to bleed from his right ear.
The article specified that while there was no arrest and Kavanaugh didn’t say whether he threw ice or not, the police report did describe it as “an assault.” An unredacted copy of the report later obtained by CNN said Dudley “was transported to Union Ave detention facility by prisoner conveyance.”
That article caught the attention of White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who tweeted the question, “What motivated New York Times reporter to write this ridiculous story?
“Throwing ice 33 years ago, or her opinion of Judge Kavanaugh in July?”
Democrats desperately attack Judge Kavanaugh for throwing ice during college. What motivated New York Times reporter to write this ridiculous story? Throwing ice 33 years ago, or her opinion of Judge Kavanaugh in July? https://t.co/JwiP3ELqkD
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) October 2, 2018
Josh Holmes, the former chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, also took note of the conflict of interest and tweeted, “As someone who has worked with press my entire career, and respects the vast majority, this kind of thing destroys my ability to tell conservatives they’re not out to get you. This is outrageous.”
As someone who has worked with press my entire career, and respects the vast majority, this kind of thing destroys my ability to tell conservatives they’re not out to get you. This is outrageous. https://t.co/qWjwoNu9z1
— Josh Holmes (@HolmesJosh) October 2, 2018
In a statement made to Mediaite Tuesday afternoon, The Times admitted that they made an error in assigning Bazelon to the story on Kavanaugh.
They did not, however, retract, or in any way back down from the story, calling it “straightforward” and “fact-based.”
“Emily Bazelon is a writer for The New York Times Magazine who occasionally writes op-eds for the opinion section. She is not a news reporter. Her role in this story was to help colleagues in the newsroom gather public documents in New Haven, where Emily is based. In retrospect, editors should have used a newsroom reporter for that assignment. To be clear, the story is straightforward, fact-based and we fully stand behind it.”
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