Recall the New York Times‘ publication of an article slandering Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh with an unfounded accusation of sexual misbehavior toward a young woman decades ago at a college party. Recall further that the NYT later “corrected” its claim with an “Editor’s Note” buried in the original smear piece instead of placing its Note prominently.
There’s more to this story. The smear piece, excerpted from a forthcoming book as part of a marketing effort for that book, was written by the authors of the book. They excerpted their own book.
They omitted the key information themselves.
Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, the authors of the book and the authors of the excerpted smear, claim they had the substance of the Note in the draft of their article, and that “editors” cut it out.
This, of course, is, to put it politely, utter nonsense. It’s entirely plausible that editors cut the critical information (and what does that say about the underlying integrity of the NYT?), but Pogrebin and Kelly did not have to agree to the censoring. They chose to accept it; they chose to publish a blatant, dishonest smear.
But wait—mightn’t the editors have made the cut and gone to press without a faretheewell to Pogrebin and Kelly? Maybe. In that case, though, the two would have been all over the media hours after publication squawking to high Heaven about the cut and how the cut utterly changed the meaning of what they wrote. If they disapproved of the cut. But they weren’t, because they approved the cut. Whether they did the cut or the editors did it, Pogrebin and Kelly fully approved of the cut and the smear that resulted from the cut.
When asked about that bit of editing and the Note during an interview on MSNBC, Pogrebin offered this:
We discussed it. We felt like there was so much heat, there’s so much– everyone has been has been [sic] seizing on various aspects of this that we certainly didn’t want it to be an issue anymore and we certainly never intended to mislead in any way. We wanted to give as full of a story as possible.
As full a story as possible.
Right. I might know of some beachfront property for sale north of Santa Fe, too.