Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler was, it seems, working on an effort to malign Critical Race Theory critic Chris Rufo, but when he reached out to another journalist asking whether Rufo had copied her work and whether Rufo had made up a confidential source, things took a bizarre turn, leaving Kessler publicly embarrassed.
“Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler seems to be working on another hit piece against Rufo, claiming that he hijacked the work of someone else and took credit for exposing the CRT training going on in Seattle public schools,” right-leaning Twitter watchdog, Twitchy, reported on Friday. “That person was Karlyn Borysenko, whose tweet Rufo included in a query to the city — so Kessler claims Rufo is ‘falsely claiming he had an anonymous tipster helping him.’”
In an email to Borysenko, Kessler asks whether Borysenko is aware that Rufo has “hijacked” her work and whether she is comfortable with Rufo turning the Seattle matter into “some kind of anti-White attack, which I don’t think was your original intention.”
After introducing himself, Kessler gets into the meat of his investigation. “In various interviews, Rufo has claimed that he became aware of CRT because he got a tip from an anonymous Seattle employee about the CRT program there. But through a public records request, I have discovered that his query to the city (sent on June 17) instead cited a tweet that you made on June 16th.”
“In other words,” Kessler continued, “he was piggybacking off of your research and has been falsely claiming that he had an anonymous tipster helping him. And now it seems he’s hijacked the whole thing into some kind of anti-White attack, which I don’t think was your original intention.”
He then seems to ask Borysenko to blast Rufo, concluding, “I was wondering about your reaction to this.”
“I still have to contact him and do some more reporting,” Kessler finishes, asking Borysenko to keep the matter quiet. “[S]o please don’t tweet or mention this until after I publish.
Instead of emailing back, Borysenko flouted Kessler’s request, copied his email, and posted it to Twitter with her response, destroying Kessler’s theory and confirming that Rufo’s whistleblower was a real person:
“Hi @GlennKesslerWP,” Borysenko wrote. “@realchrisrufo and I were talking to the same anonymous tipster. This person came to both of us with the same information. So, yes, that person absolutely exists. And no, I don’t believe Rufo hijacked anything. I’m grateful for his work. Hope this helps!”
Kessler then emailed Borysenko again, complaining about the Tweet and claiming that he “never suggested this person did not exist.”
Again, Borysenko posted Kessler’s communication.
Hi @GlennKesslerWP: Sorry you’re disappointed, but I’m disappointed that the @washingtonpost is doing yet another hit piece on him. It’s ridiculous. Regardless, the whistleblower is real and was talking to both of us. Rufo is ALWAYS on strong ground.”
Regardless, the whistleblower is real and was talking to both of us. Rufo is ALWAYS on strong ground. pic.twitter.com/ZbW3cNx5h2
— Karlyn Borysenko, Knitting Witch of the West 🧶 (@DrKarlynB) August 5, 2021
Twitter commentators appeared to suggest the second response was a knockout blow.
Rufo later thanked Borysenko, telling her that he appreciated her work and that “teamwork makes the dream work.”
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