Accuracy in Media

CNN’s reporting on a New York Times article alleging that United States Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh committed sexual assault during his college days  focused on Democratic presidential candidates calling for an investigation of the charges and in many cases impeachment, but neglected to mention an update the Times made to the article that casts doubt about the validity of the charges.

This is what the Times said in updating the story: “Editors’ Note: An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party. The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.”

A second report during the same five-o-clock hour mentioned that the female student declined to be interviewed and didn’t recall the incident but failed to mention that this was an update to the original story leaving viewers with the impression that the assault charges were valid.

The original Times article is based on a forthcoming book “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” by two Times reporters, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, who covered the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings for the paper and spent ten months investigating the sexual assault charges against him.


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