Accuracy in Media

CNN criticized the New York Times for its shoddy reporting about a new sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a storyheadlined, “New York Times’ botched Kavanaugh story the latest in series of blunders from Opinion section.

The piece was written by Oliver Darcy, who used to work for conservative news outlet The Blaze.

CNN said that this latest public debacle was “the latest in a series of high-profile blunders that have caused embarrassment to James Bennet since he was appointed in 2016 as the editor overseeing The Times’ Opinion section.” CNN noted that Bennet has overseen multiple “mishaps that have generated controversy, drawn criticism, and spurred at least one lawsuit.” In response, the Times told CNN that the Opinion section “produces powerful journalism that makes a difference in people’s lives.”

CNN listed the series of blunders from the Opinion section:

  • The unsubstantiated sexual misconduct allegation against Brett Kavanaugh;
  • the section’s Twitter account’s offensive tweet referring to the sexual misconduct allegation;
  • an opinion editorial that claimed links between Sarah Palin’s political action committee and the 2011 Tucson shooting that injured then-congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, resulting in a lawsuit;
  • published an anti-Semitic cartoon; and
  • a Twitter poll on the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings last year.

It is rare that mainstream media outlets criticize one another as they work in the same industry with the same goal to publish and generate news. But CNN’s criticism of the New York Times demonstrated the fallibility of the New York Times and how journalists recognized some media employers permit their biases to negatively affect integrity, accuracy, and ethics in journalism.

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