New York Times editors removed a key fact that undermined the paper’s weekend article leveling a new sexual-misconduct accusation against US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — that the alleged victim doesn’t remember the incident, its two reporters said Tuesday.
Reporters Kate Kelly and Robin Pogrebin wrote an essay for the Times about their new book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh,’’ that included details of the accusation, leveled by another man who was at the drunken dorm party where the incident is alleged to have happened.
The alleged victim was a student at Yale University during Kavanaugh’s freshman year in the 1980s when, according to politically connected Democrat Max Stier, he exposed himself and fellow attendees shoved him forward, his penis landing in the woman’s hand during the raucous party, according to the article.
But as the reporters note in their book, the woman told friends she doesn’t remember the alleged incident.
The two writers told MSNBC on Monday night and ABC’s “The View” on Tuesday that they had the important detail in their article — but it was deleted by editors.
“Obviously, there had been an error of judgment,’’ Kelly told MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell of the Times’ editors who worked the story.
Pogrebin added, “I think what happened actually was that we had her name [in], and the Times doesn’t usually include the name of the victim, and so I think, in this case, the editors felt like it was probably better to remove. And in removing her name, they removed the other reference to the fact that she didn’t remember.”
Asked by “View” co-host Meghan McCain why “you guys left out a key detail,” Kelly, too, placed the blame on their editors.
“During the editing process, there was an oversight and this key detail, about the fact that the woman herself has told friends she doesn’t remember it, and has not wanted to talk about it, got cut,” Kelly said. “It was an oversight and the Times adjusted it and we’re very sorry that it happened.”
Politico identified a top Times editor who it said was responsible for removing the essential fact from the copy: Deputy Editorial Page Editor James Dao.
Dao declined a request for comment from the site.
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