Accuracy in Media

The New York Times was forced to issue a correction after wrongly characterizing the 445,000 documents turned over by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as only “small portion” of the total.

The article “Kavanaugh Portrayed as a Hopeless Partisan as Hearings on Supreme Court Nominee Open” by reporters Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Adam Liptak, had a correction appended stating “An earlier version of this article misstated the proportion of documents from Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s time in the White House Counsel’s Office that have been made available to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee was given 445,000 of 663,000 total documents, which is a portion but not a small portion of the total.”

The reporters also stated that “Democrats have been complaining for weeks that the document production process, supervised by a lawyer for former President Bush, is rigged. Only a portion of documents relating to Judge Kavanaugh’s time in the White House Counsel’s Office have been made available to the committee — and many of those are being kept from the public.”

Yet the New York Times’ reporting failed to mention, as the Independent Women’s Forum pointed out, that Kavanaugh has already released 17,000 pages of judicial opinions, speeches and writings, that there are more than 290,000 pages of publicly-accessible emails and other documents from the Bush White House, that he has responded to more than 1,200 written questions–more than all other Supreme Court nominees combined.

Times reporters stated that “Democrats, furious at being denied access to records related to Judge Kavanaugh, immediately interrupted the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, demanding time to consider tens of thousands of pages of documents released late Monday — the night before the hearing.” Yet the reporters don’t mention that Grassley had criticized Democrats for providing access to documents in an improper manner that contained highly sensitive information and could be damaging if released.

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