Accuracy in Media

The New York Times changed a headline Friday for an article that implied that Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations,  was responsible for a $52,000 curtain expenditure at her official residence.

The report was published despite the fact that the curtains were ordered by the Obama Administration in 2016

The original headline read, “Nikki Haley’s View of New York Is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701” next to a picture of Haley gazing out at a window.

Here is the note the Times published after it changed the headline:

An earlier version of this article and headline created an unfair impression about who was responsible for the purchase in question. While Nikki R. Haley is the current ambassador to the United Nations, the decision on leasing the ambassador’s residence and purchasing the curtains was made during the Obama administration, according to current and former officials. The article should not have focused on Ms. Haley, nor should a picture of her have been used. The article and headline have now been edited to reflect those concerns, and the picture has been removed.

This “unfair impression” as the Times labeled it should never have occurred since, in the latter part of the article, author Gardiner Harris explained how the residence was moved in 2016 and that while the curtains were installed last year, they were ordered by the Obama State Department.

Many readers never read the full article, based on their reaction on social media — including gun-control activist David Hogg, who wrote to Haley in a now-deleted tweet.

“Dear Nikki Haley, There are starving children in America every day and you have the audacity to misappropriate thousands of taxpayer dollars for your own lavish lifestyle. Resign immediately.”

The headline was changed to, “State Department Spent $52,701 on Curtains for Residence of U.N. Envoy,” after an online backlash over the deceptive headline.



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