Accuracy in Media

The New York Times reporters whose original article required a major correction for falsely asserting a new claim of sexual assault by Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh have now blamed their editors for taking out their original language.

Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell that their editors took out the passage from their book quoted in the article that stated the alleged victim refused to be interviewed and said she didn’t remember the explosive allegation. Watch the video below:

KELLY: “We included the additional detail of this other unreported allegation because it seemed germane to the type of thing we were talking about. It was a somewhat similar incident,” Kelly said.

O’DONNELL: “In your draft of the article, did it include those words that have since been added to the article?”

POGREBIN: “It did.”

KELLY: “It did.”

O’DONNELL: “It did. so somewhere in the editing process, those words were trimmed?”

POGREBIN: “Yeah, I mean I think what happened actually was that we had her name, and you know, The Times doesn’t usually include the name of the victim. and so i think in this case the editors felt like maybe it was probably better to remove it. And in removing her name, they removed the other reference to the fact that she didn’t remember it.

O’DONNELL: Ok, so the way, in your draft for The Times, you used basically the exact words in the book–that I deliberately left off the name, because that passage begins with the name.


O’DONNELL: and so in their removal of the name, they ended up removing what follows it.

POGREBIN: The whole sentence. Yes. And so I think it was sort of an editing, done in haste– done in the editing process, as you know for closing the section.

O’DONNELL: Were you involved in the decision to amend this and do the correction, the addition online to the piece?

POGREBIN: We discussed it. Yeah, I mean we felt like there was so much heat. everyone has been kind of seizing on various aspects of this that we certainly didn’t want this to be an issue anymore. and we certainly never intended to mislead in any way. We wanted to give as full a story as possible.

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