Meghan McCain to NYT Reporters: ‘Hatchet Job’ Kavanaugh Story Is Why ‘People Mistrust the Media’

Justin Baragona

Following the New York Times’ significant update and correction to a story that contained a new sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly appeared Tuesday on The View to discuss the controversy around the handling of the report, which was excerpted from their new book.

Unsurprisingly, they faced the wrath of conservative co-host Meghan McCain, who took the opportunity to portray the story as a “hatchet job” that will only embolden the public’s distrust of the media.

Echoing outrage from Republicans and right-wing media, McCain kicked off the interview by putting on her media-critic hat to denounce the rollout of the Times’ initial story.

“I’m going to try and make this as clear as possible,” McCain said. “The New York Times ran an excerpt of your book over the weekend in the opinion section that included a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh but you guys left out a key detail of the alleged victim—who you name in the book but we’re not going to name on the show—quote, refused to discuss the incident and several of her friends do not recall it happening.”

“She doesn’t,” the reporters confirmed.

“I think this is sort of ground zero for why so many people mistrust the media, why the New York Times is nicknamed the ‘New York Slime’ by many people in conservative circles,” McCain continued. “The Times actually had to run an editor’s note following up. How did this vital fact get left out?”

Kelly, meanwhile, replied that there was “no desire to withhold important information from our readers,” pointing out that all of that information was included in their book. She went on to say the point of the essay was about Deborah Ramirez, one of Kavanaugh’s accusers, and her experiences at college in contrast to the future justice’s. 

The reporter further noted that the other allegation was included in the Times piece because it was “germane” to the conversation, adding that there was an “oversight” in the editing process that left out a “key detail” surrounding the new accusation. From there, McCain wondered why the authors included the woman’s name in the book if she didn’t want it out there.

“Her name is in the book because we think it’s relevant information and we think it’s accurate and we know that her name was provided to members of the Senate and the FBI by a witness named Max Stier, who is a good governance activist in Washington,” Kelly responded. “This name is in a letter.”

The rest of the panel took the reporters to task over the editing process of the Times story and why certain information was initially left out, prompting Pogrebin to declare that “we corrected it and they wrote an editor’s note and they restored it.”

“Didn’t you realize it because Molly Hemingway made the correction?” McCain retorted, referencing the conservative commentator who called out the Times over the weekend. “I just want to know blankly, you understand why so many people think this is a hatchet job?”

Pogrebin answered by defending their book, stating that they wrote it because “everybody can kind of demonize [Kavanaugh] and everyone can kind of demonize these victims and the reality is somewhere in between, considerably more complicated.” 

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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