The once-prestigious New York Times felt compelled to issue a correction and make significant edits to a story on Friday after it made a “mistake” about U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.
In actuality, The Times was forced to walk back an underhanded and incredibly biased attempt to smear Haley with a hit piece, and only did so after it was called out publicly for the blatant and wholly unfair attack.
The Times initially ran with a headline and picture that featured Haley in a story criticizing “customized and mechanized” curtains in the ambassador’s posh New York City residence, the clear implication being that Haley had recklessly spent taxpayer funds while the rest of the State Department had faced budget cuts.
The curtains were reported to have cost $29,000, and the hardware and motors utilized to automatically open and close them cost an additional $22,801. They reportedly were installed between March and August 2017. The curtains covered a large picture window in the high-rise apartment — which reportedly is rented for $58,000 per month — that provided an expansive view of the city skyline and nearby U.N. building.
The only problem: Haley, in fact, had nothing to do with the curtains. The Times admitted in the sixth paragraph of the original article that the curtains and apartment had been ordered and paid for in 2016, during the prior administration of former President Barack Obama and while the State Department was run by former Secretary of State John Kerry.
The Times has since made the necessary corrections to the headline and picture for the article, as well as other requisite edits to the body, and added an editor’s note that reads: “An earlier version of this article and headline created an unfair impression about who was responsible for the purchase in question.”
Pro tip: that's what they're supposed to do before the story gets posted pic.twitter.com/6quwBLEjrW
— Amber Athey (@amber_athey) September 14, 2018
“While Nikki R. Haley is the current ambassador to the United Nations, the decision on leasing the ambassador’s residence and purchasing the curtains was made during the Obama administration, according to current and former officials,” the editor’s note continued. “The article should not have focused on Ms. Haley, nor should a picture of her have been used. The article and headline have now been edited to reflect those concerns, and the picture has been removed.”
The original headline — “Nikki Haley’s View of New York is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701” — was changed to “State Department Spent $52,701 on Curtains for Residence of U.N. Envoy.”
This is the kind of bad reporting that erodes trust in the media. And tacking on an editor’s note isn’t enough. https://t.co/hFo107Wc0S
— S.E. Cupp (@secupp) September 15, 2018
Cynically, the newly updated article still attempts to slam the Trump administration for costly expenditures, proving once again that The Times will exploit any opportunity to attack the president it loves to hate, even a report on the costly expenditures of the prior administration.
Of course, the damage of the initial article had already been done, as Haley had come under tremendous criticism — which may have been the explicit purpose — throughout the day for her supposed purchase of the expensive curtains, as reported earlier by Fox News, prior to the apology and edits from The Times.
Oddly, even within The Times’ own initial article that quietly mentioned the costly automatic drapes had been purchased by the Obama administration, the newspaper quoted a former Obama administration official slamming Haley for the purchase.
Brett Bruen, a former Obama White House official, was quoted by The Times as saying, “How can you, on the one hand, tell diplomats that basic needs cannot be met and, on the other hand, spend more than $50,000 on a customized curtain system for the ambassador to the U.N.?”
Unsurprisingly, the initial article also sparked a firestorm of outrage among the left on social media … which makes it clear that a lot of people merely skim headlines and look at featured pictures instead of actually reading an article’s body, as Haley’s critics would have known she wasn’t responsible for the curtains if they had done so.
And that right there is perhaps the clearest example of “fake news” and media bias, as The Times knew prior to initial publication that Haley wasn’t responsible, nor had any say in the matter, for the expensive apartment or curtains. Yet, the paper framed the story to make it appear that way regardless, obviously with the intent of making her look bad.
In this sometimes subtle, sometimes not so subtle manner, The Times and other liberal media outlets like them display their overt bias against conservatives, typically via deliberately misleading headlines, choice of certain descriptive words for Democrats or Republicans, burying the lede deep within an article and/or using pictures of specific people who aren’t even really an integral part of the story.
And then they wonder why public approval and trust for the media is at dismal levels, why they are constantly referred to as “fake news” and why the president seems to be locked in an all-out war with them. This is why, folks, and it is “stuff” like this that helped Trump get elected in the first place and will help him get re-elected in 2020.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.