CNN’s Stelter Calls Out New York Times for ‘Misleading’ Readers on Anonymous Miles Taylor Op-Ed
CNN’s Brian Stelter criticized the New York Times for misleading readers by describing former Department of Homeland Security official Miles Taylor as a “senior official in the Trump administration” in his 2018 anonymous op-ed.
On CNN’s Reliable Sources, Sunday, Stelter said, “This week we found out that the face behind ‘Anonymous,’ that famous New York Times op-ed, is the former Trump administration official Miles Taylor.”
“He became a CNN contributor in September, and at one point to Anderson Cooper he lied about being ‘Anonymous,’ said he was not the writer of that op-ed and the author of that book. He later came clean and talked about it with Chris Cuomo on the air a number of days ago,” Stelter noted, before asking, “Did the New York Times mislead the public by saying that he was a senior administration official?”
“That seems like a misleading use of the word senior to describe somebody who was working at DHS, the Homeland Security department, working for the secretary there,” he opined.
New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi responded, “Right, well there is no actual rule book that says what you should call people with specific titles. I think every organization reaches their own conclusions about that.”
“But this is the problem with these sorts of titles, is that when an average reader is reading that, they hear ‘senior White House official’ or ‘senior administration official,’ they picture someone familiar,” she declared. “Maybe they picture Mike Pence or they picture Hope Hicks or they picture someone who seems to have power and who they know about. They don’t picture some bureaucrat they’ve never heard of deep within an agency somewhere.”
Nuzzi argued, “So there is a kind of inherit trickery, I think, an inherit deceit when you use anonymous titles, as we all do sometimes, especially covering this White House when that is sometimes the only way to get a version of the truth.”
“I don’t think that the Times deceived readers on purpose, but I do think that that can sometimes be the unintended effect of using some of these vague titles, that they are really just meaningless in the end,” she concluded.
Stelter replied, “Right, I think people were misled by it.”
The New York Times described Taylor as “a senior official in the Trump administration” in his anonymous op-ed published in September 2018 under the title, “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration,” which criticized President Donald Trump’s alleged “amorality” and “erratic behavior.”
The op-ed prompted many to question who the author was, with theories at the time including genuine senior Trump administration officials like Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and others.
Watch above via CNN.
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