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April 14, 2020

The New York Times Lies About Why It Pushed the Christine "Blowsey" Ford Story But Covered Up the Tara Reade Allegation

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I've been looking at The Timesís coverage of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. I want to focus particularly on the Julie Swetnick allegations. She was the one who was represented by Michael Avenatti and who suggested that Kavanaugh had been involved in frat house rapes, and then appeared to walk back elements of her allegations. The Times wrote that story the same day she made the allegation, noting that "none of Ms. Swetnick's claims could be independently corroborated."

Why was Kavanaugh treated differently?


Kavanaugh was already in a public forum in a large way.

Wait, I'm sorry-- Are you claiming that the presumptive challenger to be President of the United States is not "already in a public forum in a large way"?

Are you fucking kidding me with this?!?!

Kavanaugh's status as a Supreme Court justice was in question because of a very serious allegation.

Not nearly as serious as Tara Reade's, because Tara Reade alleges forcible penetrative rape.

I don't even know what Christine "Blowsey" Ford's specific allegation was -- was it that he was trying to get her bathing suit off?

Sorry, rape rather has that beat, no?

At this point, he explains that he didn't have to report on Tara Reade because the public didn't know who Tara Reade is, and omits to mention that the public didn't know who Tara Reade is because the New York Times and all other media publications (including neoliberal biased outlet FoxNews) embargoed the story to protect Biden.

That's what he says: It wasn't "in a public way" like Blowsey Ford's story was because we reported on that one and covered this one up.

And then that's the reason why we didn't report Tara Reade.

And when I say in a public way, I donít mean in the public way of Tara Reade's. If you ask the average person in America, they didn't know about the Tara Reade case. So I thought in that case, if The New York Times was going to introduce this to readers, we needed to introduce it with some reporting and perspective. Kavanaugh was in a very different situation. It was a live, ongoing story that had become the biggest political story in the country. It was just a different news judgment moment.

I say again to underline it: The New York Times' Dean Bacquet decides for the rest of the country what "the biggest political story in the country" is. He cannot then use that as a bootstrap justification as to why he didn't report on Tara Reade's allegation.

Now he gets to the part where Bacquet admits that Blowsey Ford never told anyone about her own bullshit claim but that Tara Reade did -- but that's no big deal!


Christine Blasey Ford seemed to remember it clearly and told the story very, very clearly. But reporters didnít speak to anyone who recalled her telling them contemporaneously. Do you think that her allegation on its face is more credible than Tara Reade's?

I don't mean to imply that the notion that the person told someone contemporaneously is the ultimate test. It's not. There are a lot of tests. How did the person appear as they tell the story? What could the person's motivation be? Was the person clearly in the place of the alleged assault?

I never once heard the New York Times probe Blowsey Ford's, or Julie Swetnick's, motivation.

Well actually, I did: The New York Times "reported" that Blowsey Ford's only motivation was the Integrity of Judicial System.

Having gone through Harvey Weinstein and all of them, you make these judgments. It's very subjective. It has to be. You just gotta add up all the pieces and talk to as many people as possible and then do a gut check. There's no magic formula.

Actually, there is. The formula is, "Does this hurt Democrats too much?"


But do you think looking back that The Times hewed to its standards both on Kavanaugh and on Biden, even though the treatment in the moment was so different?

I do. The standard, to be really simple, is that we try to give the reader the best information we can come up with at the time.

You had Tara Reade's interview for three weeks and you did not give the public that information, despite that being "the best information available at the time."

Instead, you waited for Biden's only challenger, Bernie Sanders, to drop out of the primary, and then buried your report on EASTER SUNDAY.

And we try to give the reader the information they need to make their own judgments. Unless we can make the judgment. And Kavanaugh was a running, hot story.

It was "hot" and "running" because you made it hot and running.

This story was cold and stationary because you froze it out.

You cannot use your own decisions to justify your own decisions.

He's saying, "The New York Times defers to the decisionmaking of the New York Times on these issues."

I don't think itís that the ethical standards were different. I think the news judgments had to be made from a different perspective in a running hot story.

Do you think that, in your heart, you're reluctant to promote a story that would hurt Joe Biden and get Donald Trump re-elected?

I can't make that calculation. I won't. I won't let my head or my heart go there. I think once you start making those kinds of calculations, you are not a journalist anymore. You're some sort of political actor.

LOL. I think you finally nailed it, Asshole.

Here, Banquet admits that he deleted a part of the report that mentioned the various women who have complained of Biden hugging, stroking, nuzzling, and sniffing them, after the Biden campaign complained about it.

And then -- they also refused to note the deletion.


I want to ask about some edits that were made after publication, the deletion of the second half of the sentence: "The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable." Why did you do that?

Even though a lot of us, including me, had looked at it before the story went into the paper, I think that the campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct. And that's not what the sentence was intended to say.

He had in fact been accused of sexual misconduct --unwanted touching is in fact a type of sexual misconduct.

Or at least it was, until the New York Times decided to change all the rules.

And why not explain that?

We didn't think it was a factual mistake. I thought it was an awkward phrasing issue that could be read different ways and that it wasnít something factual we were correcting. So I didn't think that was necessary.

You stealth-deleted key facts, and then you refused to admit you deleted those facts because, you say, reporting true facts was not a factual mistake.

Of course it wasn't a factual mistake. The factual mistake was in deleting the facts.

At the Biden campaign's insistence.

Thereí' one other line that jumped out at me, which is: "Filing a false police report may be punishable by a fine and imprisonment." I've just never seen that line in other stories about police reports. And I wondered if that was intended to convey The Times's skepticism about her claim.

Of course it was meant to do just that.

I could read it as the opposite. That we were saying that filing a police report is not a frivolous matter. That's how I interpreted it.

Then why not say that?

The New York Times previously gave its spin as to why Christine "Blowsey" Ford did not report her made-up hallucinated charge -- you claimed that the failure to report did not detract from the credibility of the claim.

But now you have someone who has filed a police report, and rather than saying "This may tend to increase credibility in her claim, as she has now made herself liable for criminal penalties," you just vaguely indicate she might be lying and may in fact be a criminal.


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posted by Ace at 12:31 PM

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