In hyping yet another nothingburger sexual assault accusation against Brett Kavanaugh Saturday, The New York Times sent an offensive tweet about the Supreme Court Justice’s “penis.” The tweet was quickly deleted, and an apology was eventually sent.
“Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun,” the tweet said. “But when Brett Kavanaugh did it to her, Deborah Ramirez says, it confirmed that she didn’t belong at Yale in the first place.”
We now know that the person who wrote and sent the tweet was none other than New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin, who co-authored the book containing the new accusations against Kavanaugh. This part of the book was used as the basis for a report on the Times’ opinion section to smear the Supreme Court Justice.
Pogrebin, appearing Tuesday on “The View,” admitted to crafting the tweet.
Monday evening, Politico had reported that “a Times insider familiar with the matter” told the outlet that Pogrebin wrote the tweet and that it should have been vetted prior to posting.
“It was really neglectful,” the insider told Politico of the whole incident. “There were serious errors made along the way.”
The Daily Wire’s Amanda Prestigiacomo reported Sunday evening that the Times apologized for Pogrebin’s offensive tweet through its public relations Twitter account.
“[A] tweet that went out from the [NYT Opinion] account yesterday was clearly inappropriate and offensive. We apologize for it and are reviewing the decision-making with those involved,” the Times tweeted.
The tweet is just one aspect of the bungled smear campaign against Kavanaugh. The story itself was billed as having corroborating evidence to prove Deborah Ramirez’s shady claims against Kavanaugh, but it didn’t deliver. As The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported, the Times’ news section and The Washington Post passed on the story for lack of evidence:
Ultimately, the gamble backfired. The excerpt, printed in the Times, left out key details, including that the woman at the center of the alleged incident doesn’t remember it happening and that the man who fed the story to the Times reporters — a longtime Democratic operative who faced off against Kavanaugh during the Clinton impeachment hearings — also fed the story to Congressional investigators during the Kavanaugh hearings, only to have it dismissed out of hand by the FBI and the Senate Judiciary Committee when they could find no evidence the incident ever happened.
Vanity Fair also mentions that other news organizations, including The Washington Post, were already aware of the allegation and had passed on printing it because the woman Max Stier named as Kavanaugh’s “victim” had no memory of the party or being the subject of Kavanaugh and his friends’ advances, and no one besides Stier could corroborate the story. On Monday, the Post admitted that they’d passed on the scoop “in part because the intermediaries declined to identify the alleged witness and because the woman who was said to be involved declined to comment.”
Further, the Times published the story in its opinion section because it knew most readers wouldn’t notice the difference and the story could then be used against Kavanaugh. The gambit worked, as multiple Democrat senators – including some running for president – called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment despite the lack of evidence provided in the piece.