NYT smears Nikki Haley over Obama's $53,000 UN curtains purchase
Lacking a catch of late, the New York Times decided to pull a Scott Pruitt on United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, accusing her of being Extravagance Woman, a regular Stateside Imelda, based on a $53,000 purchase of customized and mechanized curtains for her United Nations apartment. It's got more than a whiff of the jobs the paper did on former EPA director Scott Pruitt for his first-class airfare, former Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price for his chartered flights, interior secretary Ryan Zinke for his office doors, Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson for his office table, and Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin for his plane rides. Hey, what better way to pick off another Trump scalp?
The Times led with this breathless outrage to set the narrative:
The State Department spent $52,701 last year buying customized and mechanized curtains for the picture windows in Nikki R. Haley's official residence as ambassador to the United Nations, just as the department was undergoing deep budget cuts and had frozen hiring. The residence, in a new building on First Avenue, has spectacular views, and Ms. Haley is the first ambassador to live in it.
This time, they picked the wrong woman, because the "narrative" just doesn't work.
Turns out the fancy curtain order was the work of Samantha Power, President Obama's former U.N. ambassador, who, when she wasn't busy unmasking Americans to learn all about what was going on in the Trump campaign (or maybe handing her password out, given the quantity of such unmaskings under her name), was also busy getting the decorating in – status stuff, like self-opening curtains, the better to impress the Harvard and NGO crowds who undoubtedly would come by to visit. And it was President Obama who approved the purchase.
Here is what Fox News reported:
But the paper didn't mention until the sixth paragraph that Haley's spokesman said the Trump administration had no input in the purchase decision.
So after running a headline suggesting that Haley is corrupt and extravagant, it turns out she had nothing at all to do with the fancy curtains Obama approved for his cronies, confident that Hillary Clinton would be elected president in 2016. Based on the outcry from leftist NGOs and academic elites, it looks as though the Obama administration's plan was for a place that would become a clubhouse for their ilk and other hangers-on, with the coming new Clinton administration, and now Haley was occupying the space. That explains why Obama would have approved such an extravagant purchase so late in his administration, at a time of cutbacks – and why they are screaming about it. According to Fox, they hollered about it all over Twitter and then to the Times:
"How can you, on the one hand, tell diplomats that basic needs cannot be met and, on the other hand, spend more than $50,000 on a customized curtain system for the ambassador to the U.N.?" Brett Bruen, a White House official in the Obama administration, told the Times.
"When @nikkihaley's not busy rejecting the idea of universal human rights, she's busy spending $52,701 of US tax payer money on curtains for her residence. Milk the people, screw the world. Fine priorities you got there," Andrew Stroehlein, Human Rights Watch's European Media Director, wrote in a tweet.
Either some of their rice bowl is threatened or else it was the same dynamic seen in outgoing Mexican presidents, all socialists, who famously spent up a storm as they exited and then took the light bulbs as they went.
It's great that such a lie was shot down so instantly by Fox. But what's obnoxious about the whole report is that it was so out of character for Nikki Haley to ever be involved in extravagant purchases, something that surely would have come out during her time as governor. Haley has always been one of the cleanest whistles in the Trump administration, with impeccable integrity. To suggest she was one of the old boys spending up the public fisc on fancy office equipment is the height of absurdity and says a lot about the Times' refusal to apply newsroom skepticism to its reportage in matters of Trump. Oh, and it's a bit sexist, too, given that they were all on the big story of Sarah Palin's extravagant campaign clothes. Apparently, they'll believe anything if it smears conservatives.
Now it's a new black eye for the Times in its bid to Get Trump. It's also another justification for why the public does not trust the press.