The fallout from the New York Times “bombshell” report that wasn’t continues.
Vanity Fair reports that book writers Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly (who are also reporters at the paper) originally went to the news side of the paper to get their story published – but it was rejected:
Why did the Kavanaugh excerpt end up in the Review? People familiar with how things went down told me that Kelly and Pogrebin initially pitched their scoop to the news side, but the top editors ultimately felt that there wasn’t enough juice to warrant a story there, let alone a big page-one treatment (the type many lefties would have been salivating for). Instead, Pogrebin and Kelly were told that they could pitch the Review, which is entirely independent of the News department. I asked for clarification as to what about the story wasn’t News-pages-worthy, but the Times declined to comment, as did Kelly and Pogrebin. (A Times spokesperson did, however, point out that “it’s not unusual for Opinion or Sunday Review pieces to break news.”)
None of this makes any sense. Why would editors on the news side reject this story, but find it suitable for the Sunday Review side?
Elizabeth Vaughn wrote this morning that Pogrebin and Kelly said Monday night their original report did include the information about how the alleged victim had no recollection of the alleged sexual assault – but that the editors somehow unintentionally removed it during the editing process.
Neither of these stories about the differences in both the news and Sunday Review sides exonerate the New York Times from being guilty of journalistic malpractice (at the very least) by way of removing vital information from the piece before it went to press (assuming what Pogrebin and Kelly said was true), information that called the explosive allegation in to question.
But should we believe the authors were victims of an innocent editing mix-up? An interview Pogrebin gave this morning on WMAL makes the writers themselves look guilty, too:
In her WMAL interview this morning, Pogrebin repeatedly refers to the woman as a “victim.” This word choice is instructive about Pogrebin’s thought process. Calling her a victim would be begging the question if the woman claimed this status for herself. She would then be only an alleged victim. But she isn’t even that. She has made no claim to be a victim, yet Pogrebin describes her as one anyway. This is a case of a reporter overriding her reporting with her opinion. Pogrebin then impugns the woman by saying she was so drunk that her memory can’t be trusted. She also says that “everyone” at the party was massively drunk and that their memories are therefore unreliable.
Does she hear herself talking? If this is true, it means Max Stier was also drunk and his memories also can’t be trusted. (Someone should ask Pogrebin whether she was present at this party about which she knows so much.) By what journalistic standard does a reporter discount what is said by the person with the most direct and relevant experience of a matter — the woman in question at the Yale party — in favor of a drunken bystander?
We know from past experiences that the paper operates from the Republicans / Orange Man Bad perspective, and to hell with standards. But even with that said, this seems especially egregious and intentional no matter how you look at it, and no matter who ultimately is found to be at fault.
(Hat tip: Twitchy)
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— Based in North Carolina, Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter. –
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