The New York Times is receiving renewed and reinvigorated criticism after a top editor admitted that the report on sexual harassment claims against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden was changed after his campaign complained.
Biden was accused by a former staff assistant of making unwanted sexual advances in 1993, but the New York Times waited for weeks to report it after she came forward.
Executive editor Dean Baquet made the admission in an interview with Ben Smith, also of the New York Times.
"I want to ask about some edits that were made after publication, the deletion of the second half of the sentence: 'The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.' Why did you do that?" Smith asked.
"Even though a lot of us, including me, had looked at it before the story went into the paper, I think that the campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct," said Baquet.
"And that's not what the sentence was intended to say," he claimed.
A double standard
In another section of the interview, Baquet defended the Times against claims from critics that it had a double standard when it came to sexual harassment claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
"Kavanaugh was already in a public forum in a large way. Kavanaugh's status as a Supreme Court justice was in question because of a very serious allegation. And when I say in a public way, I don't mean in the public way of Tara Reade's. If you ask the average person in America, they didn't know about the Tara Reade case," said Baquet.
"So I thought in that case," he continued, "if The New York Times was going to introduce this to readers, we needed to introduce it with some reporting and perspective. Kavanaugh was in a very different situation. It was a live, ongoing story that had become the biggest political story in the country. It was just a different news judgment moment."
Baquet's claims were widely ridiculed and mocked online. Byron York of the Washington Examiner called his responses, "weak and sometimes laughable."
Here's more about the New York Times article:
Krystal Ball: NYT CAUGHT covering up Joe Biden #MeToo allegation www.youtube.com