Bahr: New York Times article on Kavanaugh spreads misinformation


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Columnist Connor Bahr argues that The New York Times’ recent article released misinformation regarding a new sexual misconduct accusation made against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Bahr thinks the Times should be punished for this.

Connor Bahr

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. By now, most of you know who he is. Kavanaugh was first accused of sexual misconduct in late 2018 when Christine Ford testified against him before a judiciary committee, but he was eventually sworn into the Supreme Court when her accusations fell apart. Almost exactly a year later, The New York Times released an article accusing Kavanaugh of more sexual misconduct.

The only problem with this new accusation is that almost all of the “evidence” the Times claims to have can not be corroborated. The article apparently got its information from a book that was written by two Times reporters.

The book claims that a former classmate of Kavanaugh’s, Max Stier, went to the FBI when Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing was in progress to report another incident. However, Max Stier reportedly will not talk about the incident or the accusation. The only way the authors of the book know about this accusation is through Stier’s friends’ accounts of what happened.

On top of this, other witnesses have come forward and claimed to have been at the same party and say it never happened.

As soon as the article ran, many candidates at the forefront of the Democratic Party called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment, such as Beto O’ Rourke, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren. Julian Castro even called for an investigation into the Department of Justice and Kamala Harris called his election process a sham.

All of the uncorroborated evidence may look bad for the Times, but when it came out it was just an opinion piece that wasn’t supported too well. The real scandal of this story is what came next.

Soon after the article broke, it was revealed that the Times had left out crucial information — that the victim said she never remembered it happening. This information was supposedly part of the book but for some reason was left out of the article published by the Times.

This is blatant propagation of misinformation. It is clear to me that the authors of the article left out crucial information because if that information had been in the article, it would have been worthless. These authors cared more about plugging a book and smearing Kavanaugh than they did about reporting truthfully. There is no way that throughout the number of people who needed to read the article before release, there wasn’t a single one who noticed the missing piece.

I believe this event says a lot about the Times. I can not say for certain whether this malpractice was done simply to gain easy advertising for the book or if it was another attempt to bring down Kavanaugh, but either one is a misuse of the platform the Times provides for their writers, and the world has noticed. Even other left-leaning outlets like CNN and USA Today have written scathing articles about the blunder.

This blunder should not be allowed to go unpunished. What kind of world are we living in if we can’t expect news outlets to present a full, factual view on the story or to provide evidence for accusations of sexual misconduct against a Supreme Court justice?