After revealing more details from a credible allegation of sexual misconduct by controversial Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, The New York Times found themselves needing to apologize for their social media promotion of the breaking story. The Times was promoting The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation by New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly.
On Sunday, the editorial division of the newspaper—The New York Times Opinion—under their account @nytopinion posted a tweet characterizing sexual misconduct as "harmless fun." The article the tweet promoted was an excerpt from the book focused on Deborah Ramirez's experiences with Kavanaugh at Yale.
"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."
Their Twitter post was screengrabbed by many online who demanded an explanation for the tweet.
In response, The Times communications division tweeted:
"Also, a tweet that went out from the @NYTOpinion account yesterday was clearly inappropriate and offensive. We apologize for it and are reviewing the decision-making with those involved."
People however were not appeased by the apology.
The post should have gone through multiple people before being added by an official social media account. Who thought sexual misconduct seemed like harmless fun?
Others found more than just the Twitter post had issues.
The book excerpt NYT article was published in the Times’s opinion section titled “Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not.”
The dictionary let The Times know their definition of harmless was wrong even though many colleges and universities have a long history of treating on campus sexual misconduct and assault as "boys will be boys" situations that do not warrant "ruining" the young man's life. That attitude occasionally bleeds over into the courtrooms where defendants like Brock Turner garner a slap on the wrist for rape.
Survivors of assault were appalled by The Times take and their lackluster apology.
The Times reporters spoke to witnesses the FBI knew of but did not interview due to the scope of the investigation dictated to them by the GOP lead Senate Judiciary Committee. Those witnesses corroborated the sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh while at Yale as well as providing another corroborated incident.
The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation is available here.
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