CNN’s Oliver Darcy Calls Out NYT’s Opinion Section for Botched Kavanaugh Story: Latest in Series of ‘High-Profile Blunders’


New York Times

CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy called out the New York Times opinion section for its botched handling of a story on new allegations about Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh that included two deleted Tweets and an embarrassing clarification: “It was the latest in a series of high-profile blunders.”

In a media analysis, Darcy linked the Kavanaugh incident to a number of previous mistakes for the paper during the tenure of editor James Bennet who was chosen to lead its opinion section three years ago. Over the past weekend, the Times publicly disavowed and deleted an Opinion section tweet that characterized forced sexual harassment as “harmless fun.” It also had to correct a glaring omission by appending an editor’s note to an essay explaining that the a newly identified victim of a sexual assault by Kavanaugh during his time at Yale “does not recall the incident,” according to her friends.

“Bennet’s tenure has been marked with several mishaps that have generated controversy, drawn criticism, and spurred at least one lawsuit,” Darcy wrote. “While the Opinion section has unquestionably produced strong work in the years since Bennet took over, it has also been culpable for some of the biggest journalistic black eyes at the Times during that period.

Among these past “black eyes” for the Times, Darcy noted, were its false claims that the 2011 Tucson shooter of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was inspired by a political ad by Sarah Palin’s PAC —  which resulted in the Times being sued by Palin. Also, back in April of this year, the opinion section apologized after publishing an anti-Semitic cartoon. And then in past few weeks, the paper has been mocked for the actions of columnist Bret Stephens, who infamously tried to get a political science professor in trouble at his job for insulting Stephens as a “bedbug” and then subsequently wrote a long column that cited a World War II-era “bedbug” insult as indicative of Nazi hate.

Photo credit: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images.

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