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Friday, 17 April 2020

New York Times Reporter Trolled For Excusing Paper’s Bias Against Kavanaugh, Favoring Joe Biden

New York Times reporter Kate Kelly is taking a public flogging on social media for excusing her paper’s obvious bias in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden following his sexual assault allegation versus the paper’s willingness to vilify then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexual assault.
Last month, Tara Reade claimed that then-Senator Joe Biden forcefully penetrated her with his fingers while she served under him in 1993. She has since detailed her account in multiple interviews and filed a criminal complaint against the former vice president. Rich McHugh, the producer at NBC News who helped reporter Ronan Farrow break the Weinstein story that the network allegedly tanked, recently interviewed Reade in an article for Business Insider and deemed her allegation credible.
This past weekend, however, The New York Times largely dismissed Reade’s claims against Biden after waiting 19 days to report the story. Compare that to the paper’s treatment of Brett Kavanaugh based on an even flimsier sexual assault allegation from Christine Blasey Ford, and the bias is readily apparent.
According to reporter Kate Kelly, the Times had a reason for covering the Joe Biden and Brett Kavanaugh case differently and agreed with her executive editor Dean Baquet that the Kavanaugh story required more direct, immediate attention due to the popularity of his confirmation process.
“It appears you both have remained silent on the Biden sexual harassment story, even when your top editor contrasted it with NYT’s Kavanaugh coverage,” Twitter user Jim McCarthy asked Kelly, as reported by Fox News. “Why is that?”
“As our executive editor [Dean Baquet] pointed out in a recent interview with my colleague [Ben Smith], Kavanaugh ‘was a live, ongoing story that had become the biggest political story in the country. It was just a different news judgment moment,’” Kelly responded.
Here is Baquet’s full-statement on the discrepancy between Kavanaugh and Biden:
Kavanaugh was already in a public forum in a large way. Kavanaugh’s status as a Supreme Court justice was in question because of a very serious allegation. And when I say in a public way, I don’t 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.
Given that Joe Biden is running for President of the United States, a higher office than a Supreme Court nominee, the excuse that somehow Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual assault allegation required more urgency just does not wash. Kelly was roundly trolled for what was an obvious attempt to deflect from accusations of bias.
“The only reason the Biden story isn’t ‘the biggest political story in the country’ is because reporters are actively ignoring it and looking for opportunities to write it off,” tweeted Matt Whitlock.
And as our executive editor @deanbaquet pointed out in a recent interview with my colleague @benyt, Kavanaugh "was a live, ongoing story that had become the biggest political story in the country. It was just a different news judgment moment."
The only reason the Biden story isn’t “the biggest political story in the country” is because reporters are actively ignoring it and looking for opportunities to write it off.
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“Wow. The would-be Democratic nominee and former VP accused of sexual assault isn’t newsworthy to the NYT,” tweeted Jason Rantz.
“Yes, what I mean is your view on the story’s importance and the vastly different emphasis that NYT placed on the Kavanaugh coverage. Can you see how readers regard that as a double standard and that a presidential race is also a ‘live, ongoing, big political story?'” tweeted Jim McCarthy.
And as our executive editor @deanbaquet pointed out in a recent interview with my colleague @benyt, Kavanaugh "was a live, ongoing story that had become the biggest political story in the country. It was just a different news judgment moment."
Yes, what I mean is your view on the story’s importance and the vastly different emphasis that NYT placed on the Kavanaugh coverage. Can you see how readers regard that as a double standard and that a presidential race is also a “live, ongoing, big political story”?
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“You’re right. [Biden] running for president is not an important enough journalistic moment to report on a sexual assault allegation,” tweeted Gad Saad.

And as our executive editor @deanbaquet pointed out in a recent interview with my colleague @benyt, Kavanaugh "was a live, ongoing story that had become the biggest political story in the country. It was just a different news judgment moment."
You’re right. @JoeBiden running for president is not an important enough journalistic moment to report on a sexual assault allegation. [Also retweeted this reply.]
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