New York Times Botches Kavanaugh Story, Issues Embarrassing 'Editor's Note' (2024)

Matt Margolis | 8:57 AM on September 16, 2019

New York Times Botches Kavanaugh Story, Issues Embarrassing 'Editor's Note' (1)

After the New York Times published their latest smear of Brett Kavanaugh, the left began foaming at the mouth, claiming that the article proved that Brett Kavanaugh lied during his confirmation hearing, that he is a proven rapist, etc., etc., etc. Those of us who actually read the article saw it for what it was: another unsubstantiated smear. Well, it looks like even the New York Times is admitting their article was fake news.

The article, “Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not,” was adapted from The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, the forthcoming book from Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly. Most of the article focused on Deborah Ramirez’s accusation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and attempted to make it sound corroborated, even though it has not been. But, the most significant part of the article was the revelation of a new accusation by Max Stier, a former classmate of Brett Kavanaugh. Stier claims he saw Kavanaugh “with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”

New York Times Publishes New Uncorroborated Allegation Against Brett Kavanaugh by Former Classmate

Soon after the story was published, Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist, who has an advance copy of the book, noted the article failed to mention a critical detail that, quite literally, undermined the entire accusation.”The book notes, quietly, that the woman Max Stier named as having been supposedly victimized by Kavanaugh and friends denies any memory of the alleged event,” she tweeted. John McCormack of National Reviewcalled the omission of this fact from the article “one of the worst cases of journalistic malpractice in recent memory.”


It wasn’t until late Sunday evening that theNew York Timesupdated the article to include this crucial piece of information. Here is the relevant paragraph, with the update in bold:

A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student. Mr. Stier, who runs a nonprofit organization in Washington, notified senators and the F.B.I. about this account, but the F.B.I. did not investigate and Mr. Stier has declined to discuss it publicly. We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier; the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say she does not recall the episode.

An Editors’ Note was also added at the bottom:

Editors’ Note:Sept. 15, 2019

An earlier version of this article, which was adapted from a forthcoming book, did not include one element of the book’s account regarding an assertion by a Yale classmate that friends of Brett Kavanaugh pushed his penis into the hand of a female student at a drunken dorm party. The book reports that the female student declined to be interviewed and friends say that she does not recall the incident. That information has been added to the article.

Despite the update, the damage has been done. Several 2020 Democrats jumped on the bogus allegations and called for Brett Kavanaugh’s impeachment. How many of them will backtrack now that the New York Times has conceded the accusation in the article was even weaker than Elizabeth Warren’s claim to be Native American?


The only real beneficiaries of this fake news scheme are Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, who are sure to have sold a lot of books because of the misleading article. The book itself was panned by the New York Times Book Review,but most of the people who bought the book during the media frenzy of the article likely won’t know about the rather important correction, and the rest won’t care. They just want to be told what they want to hear and tune out everything else.

Had the crucial details of the Max Stier accusation been included in the original article, it’s safe to say that the hype surrounding the article would have been much less. But the point was to sell some books and spark calls for Kavanaugh’s impeachment. The New York Times can’t make up for their egregious decision by posting an update after the damage has already been done. Perhaps President Trump is right, and Justice Kavanaugh should sue them for libel.

UPDATE: Donald Trump responds to the New York Times’ correction:

“The New York Times walks back report on Kavanaugh assault claim.” @foxandfriends The one who is actually being assaulted is Justice Kavanaugh – Assaulted by lies and Fake News! This is all about the LameStream Media working with their partner, the Dems.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2019



Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis

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New York Times Botches Kavanaugh Story, Issues Embarrassing 'Editor's Note' (2024)


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