As Trump calls for resignations, NYT finger-pointing begins on deceptive Kavanaugh hit piece

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

—Sir Walter Scott

President Trump, an enthusiast for hitting back harder when attacked, is not about to let his arch-enemies at the New York Times off the hook for their disgraceful hit piece on Justice Kavanaugh and is now calling for the resignations of all involved in covering up the exculpatory evidence that was omitted from the Sunday op-ed piece.

The omission of the exculpatory evidence is inexcusable by any legitimate journalistic standard, and while the activist fanatics want to press onward, journalists know that the stink is going to permanently attach itself to someone.

The authors of the book and op-ed, NYT reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, took to MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell's show to point fingers at their editor, claiming that their submission to the editor included the exculpatory evidence. Chuck Ross of The Daily Caller News Foundation:

The co-authors of a new book about Brett Kavanaugh blamed New York Times editors Monday for removing a key passage from an essay they published over the weekend that laid out a new, but uncorroborated, sexual misconduct allegation against the Supreme Court justice.

In an interview with MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly addressed the controversy over a New York Times Review essay they published Saturday that previewed their book, "The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation." (snip)

"In your draft of the article, did it include those words that have since been added to the article?" O'Donnell asked the reporters.

"It did," they both replied.

"So somewhere in the editing process those words were trimmed?" the MSNBC host asked.

Pogrebin theorized that the passage was cut because it also identified the woman who they alleged had the encounter with Kavanaugh. The reporter said that editors likely cut the full passage as they cut the name of the alleged victim.

"I think it was sort of an editing, done in the haste, in the editing process, as you know, a closing section," she said.

Both reporters denied that they intended to mislead readers in the essay.

"There was zero intent to mislead anybody about the details of the incident," Kelly said.

"We certainly never intended to mislead in any way. We wanted to give as full a story as possible," added Pogrebin.

They also acknowledged that they took part in the discussions to add the correction to the Times story.

"I think we felt like there's so much heat, everyone has been kind of seizing on various aspects of this that we certainly didn't want this to be an issue anymore," Pogrebin said.

The editor of the piece, James Dao, has been fingered, and he published a "Q&A" with readers over the op-ed but somehow neglected to address the central point: the deception of cutting out the exculpatory information.

Yeah, that'll work.

Meanwhile, Dao's colleagues in the news department of the Times, no doubt worried about the stink engulfing them, let it be known that they would never have published such a faulty piece.  Julie Arciga of The Daily Beast:

The story unveiling the latest allegation of sexual misconduct by now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — which was published in The New York Times' Sunday Review section — was reportedly first pitched to the news section but was turned down. According to Vanity Fair, the two Times reporters — Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly — approached the newspaper's news section with a scoop they uncovered while writing their forthcoming book. They had identified a former Yale classmate who claimed he witnessed Kavanaugh's friends push his penis into a female student's hand.

Top editors felt the new detail did not warrant a story, and the reporters were told to pitch the item to the Review, which features analysis and opinion pieces. A Times spokesperson declined to comment on the matter to Vanity Fair, but noted it was "not unusual for Opinion or Sunday Review pieces to break news." Pogrebin and Kelly also declined to comment to the magazine.

Meanwhile, The Times' rival for national influence among progressives, the Washington Post, chortled:

The Post, in its own coverage of the ruckus, disclosed that it had passed on the story during the Kavanaugh confirmation fight. Here's its explanation: "The Washington Post last year confirmed that two intermediaries had relayed such a claim to lawmakers and the FBI. The Post did not publish a story in part because the intermediaries declined to identify the alleged witness and because the woman who was said to be involved declined to comment. The Times article, drawing from reporting for a forthcoming book, is based on interviews with 'two officials who have communicated with Mr. ­Stier.'"

Then there is that tweet promoting the story that the Times published and then deleted.  The Washington Examiner:

One of the New York Times reporters behind the bombshell story detailing a new sexual misconduct allegation about Justice Brett Kavanaugh also authored a deleted tweet that said thrusting a penis in a woman's face could be considered "harmless fun."

Promoting the report Saturday evening, the Times's opinion account tweeted, "Having a penis thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun. But when Brett Kavanaugh did it to her, Deborah Ramirez says, it confirmed that she didn't belong at Yale in the first place."

The Times then deleted the tweet after it received intense backlash on social media, saying it was "poorly phrased." That apologetic tweet was also deleted and replaced by another that read more forcefully, "We deleted a previous tweet regarding this article. It was offensive, and we apologize."

The author of the original tweet was culture reporter Robin Pogrebin, according to a "Times insider familiar with the matter" who spoke with Politico.

"It was really neglectful," the source said, referring to a lack of adequate vetting. "There were serious errors made along the way."

The Washington Examiner has reached out to both the Times and Pogrebin for comment, but did not immediately receive responses.

Robin Pogrebin on MSNBC (YouTube screen grab, cropped).

If you experience technical problems, please write to