New York Times reporters blame editors for key omission in Kavanaugh story

The New York Times is under well-deserved fire for excluding from its Kavanaugh penis-thrusting tale the fact that the alleged victim has no recollection of such an incident. Even CBS News has attacked the Times’ shoddiness in this regard.

Now, the two authors of the story — Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly — are blaming their editors for the omission. They claim they included the alleged victim’s statement in the story, but their editors removed it.

Mollie Hemingway, who blew the whistle on the omission, isn’t satisfied with the authors’ attempt to wriggle off the hook, and understandably so. She tweets:

Reporters blame their editors for leaving the single most important detail out of their story. They don’t explain why they signed off on inaccurately edited version or why they didn’t say anything all day yesterday.

I assume they don’t explain these things because there is no explanation that casts them in a good light. But this doesn’t mean the authors are lying when they say they included the alleged victim’s statement in their original story.

Indeed, it seems unlikely that Pogrebin and Kelly would throw their editors under the bus with a false claim about the editing. Their claim is easily verified (or easily shown to be be false). Lying under these circumstances about such a high-profile matter would be a bad career move, to say the least.

In addition, Vanity Fair reports that the news section of the Times rejected the Pogrebin-Kelly story because it didn’t have enough “juice.” Thus, it may well be that the editors of the Sunday Review section, where the story appeared, decided to “juice it up” by editing out the exculpatory evidence.

The two reporters might have gone along with the edits as the only way to get the story published by the Times. Publication, in turn, would help sell their book.

If this is what happened, and I think it is, both the editors and the two reporters displayed an utter lack of integrity and respect for journalist standards. That’s how the New York Times rolls these days.

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