Former Top NY Times Editor Claims 'No One' Challenged the Accuracy of Awful Kavanaugh Story

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As The New York Times goes into damage control mode following their erroneous Justice Kavanagh hit piece, former NYT editor Jill Abramson appeared on Fox’s Outnumbered Overtime on Wednesday in an attempt to excuse the paper for leaving key exculpatory evidence out of the initial article.

The latest shoddy reporting on the part of The Times has left their once-reputable publication reeling. Abramson did not help matters with the laughable assertion that the basic premise of the story has not been discredited:

JILL ABRAMSON: I think my move would have been the moves that The Times has made. I mean, no one has challenged the basic accuracy of the story that they published or of what's in the book. It's true that a material fact was left out and The Times ran an editor's note explaining that which is what you do when you leave something out. But, it was no conspiracy to, you know, leave out that fact. It was, you know, unfortunately cut from the piece as I understand it.

Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner pressed as to how one could exclude the leading evidence in a serious allegation against anyone, much less a Supreme Court Justice; “How can you challenge if the alleged victim and the one victim that they talked about -- who actually didn't witness anything. But he did talk to Senators and the FBI about what he thinks he saw, but people may have been too drunk to remember. The alleged victim didn't remember any assault..”

Abramson was no doubt experiencing difficulty in her crusade to defend The Times: “Well, it's friends of the victim who say she doesn't remember it. She's chosen not to talk to the press.”

Faulkner was unrelenting in her search for answers as she continued: “Why does this even end up in the New York Times?” To which Abramson responded, “Because it's -- it's important. This is the third example of, you know, sexual impropriety by Brett Kavanaugh.”

Abramson stood her shaky ground as she unequivocally stated towards the end of the interview; “No, there's no evidence that it was fiction.” As for the victim not being quoted in the piece nor recalling the incident ever happening she had this to say: “Doesn't make the story itself fiction, it just doesn't. It doesn't make the story inaccurate.”

Of course that standard is the exact opposite of how journalism is supposed to work. You have to prove your reporting is true, not demand the accused prove that it's "fiction."

Perhaps the most telling moment of the interview came when Faulkner asked Abramson what is to be done next. Abramson began:

What should happen next I think is that the investigation that never happened should happen. You know, a cloud hangs over the U.S. Supreme Court not only with Justice Kavanaugh but with Justice Thomas, who I've written about and I think that's unhealthy for our democracy to have these allegations hanging in the background. Someone should chase down these stories. In the case of Justice Thomas I did that with Jane Mayer.

No underlying bias, huh?

As Fox’s Greg Gutfeld put it; it is the same concept as writing a glowing review of the Titanic, while omitting the fact that it sank.

Transcript below:

Outnumbered Overtime With Harris Faulkner

9/18/19

1:03:41

HARRIS FAULKNER: Good to have you here today. No doubt, this has been in your conversation, everybody's talking about it. The President has weighed in, calling for the firing of some of those who worked on this at The New York Times. What would you do/ You were in charge for 11 years, both as Managing Editor-

JILL ABRAMSON: Right.

FAULKNER: And then Editor in Chief. Woman in charge. What would your move be?

ABRAMSON: I think my move would have been the moves that The Times has made. I mean, no one has challenged the basic accuracy of the story that they published or of what's in the book. It's true that a material fact was left out and The Times ran an editor's note explaining that which is what you do when you leave something out. But, it was no conspiracy to, you know, leave out that fact. It was, you know, unfortunately cut from the piece as I understand it.

FAULKNER: So, when you say that no one has challenged-

ABRAMSON: Yeah.

FAULKNER: How can you challenge if the alleged victim and the one victim that they talked about-

ABRAMSON: Because-

FAULKNER: Who actually didn't witness anything. But he did talk to Senators and the FBI about what he thinks he saw, but people may have been too drunk to remember. The alleged victim didn't remember any assault. It's hard to take on something that even the victim didn't say happened.

ABRAMSON: Well, it's friends of the victim who say she doesn't remember it. She's chosen not to talk to the press.

FAULKNER: Because they say she was drunk.

ABRAMSON: One assumes. Max Stier, who is the person who went to the FBI-

FAULKNER: Former Democratic operative for the Clintons.

ABRAMSON: Yeah, he works for a non-partisan political group now. I don't know that you could characterize him as a partisan. I think -- he was very -- if he was such a partisan why didn't he go public with this right during the confirmation hearing when he could have really dealt a blow to-

FAULKNER: And in fact, The New York Post even corroborated the fact that he went to the FBI. He talked with certain Democratic lawmakers.

ABRAMSON: He wrote a letter and they did nothing.

FAULKNER: And why?

ABRAMSON: And it shows that this was a sham investigation. It was an investigation meant to result in Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation.

FAULKNER: Well then why did it end up in your paper? Your former paper, The New York Times? Why does this even end up in the New York Times?

ABRAMSON: Why does this end up in The New York Times?

FAULKNER: Yeah. If there are certain pieces-

ABRAMSON: Because it's-it's important. This is the third example of, you know, sexual impropriety by Brett Kavanaugh.

FAULKNER: Allegations

ABRAMSON: And it confirms the story of Deborah Ramirez. It's important.

FAULKNER: Wow, you really think that without the evidence from the victim's own mouth.

ABRAMSON: If someone else saw it, yeah.

FAULKNER: Without her talking about it, ok. You're talking about a list of things. I want to give you a list of things.

ABRAMSON: Ok.

FAULKNER: These were journalists who worked on this. So I realize that this came out of an op-ed-

ABRAMSON: These were colleagues of mine. Robin Pogrebin is a fantastic reporter.

FAULKNER: Right, they're journalists. These are not just some op-ed writers who had a feeling about something. So back on August 6th, the newspaper changed a headline about the President amid a lberal backlash. On August 15th, the leaked reporting revealed plans to shift coverage from Mueller Report to Trump's alleged racism. And just over this weekend, The Times apologized for what many saw as an offensive tweet about the new Kavanaugh allegations. Missteps, mistakes and what do you say?

ABRAMSON: Well, I think that, you know, let's start with the recent tweet about this story which was completely out of bounds and inappropriate.

FAULKNER: Why?

ABRAMSON: Because to call what happened, you know, and I don't really want to repeat what-

FAULKNER: You don't even want to use the words that were in the tweet, we could start with that.

ABRAMSON: Well, no, I don't mind using the words in the tweet, but I didn't want to describe the incident itself. But they, you know, were describing if anyone has-thinks that's the idea of fun- blah, blah, blah, blah. And, you know, who-

FAULKNER: It was disgusting.

ABRAMSON: It's disgusting who would think it was fun.

FAULKNER: This is the same woman who took part in this writing team.

ABRAMSON: Who posted the tweet.

FAULKNER; Yeah. And she talks about it.

ABRAMSON: Yeah, well, Twitter is a separate conversation. I'm not on Twitter and, you know, I think a problem for perhaps these reporters and others is you don't- you're not as careful with the words that you use.

FAULKNER: So if they're not careful in one place with their words are you trusting them to be more careful in the paper? Loko, under your watch, would you have printed this paper knowing-full well knowing- that this information had been left out? Important information that the victim didn't remember?

ABRAMSON: If I knew it was left out-

FAULKNER: Well the Editor knew.

ABRAMSON: I would have asked for it to be put in. And I think it's important to make the distinction that the story didn't run on the news pages which I ran.

FAULKNER: Right, I get that.

ABRAMSON: It was handled by the opinions section.

FAULKNER: But these women are journalists who worked with you.

ABRAMSON: Right.

FAULKNER: So, what are you rules different that you can write fiction in one place but you write facts in another?

ABRAMSON: No, there's no evidence that it was fiction. It's not-

FAULKNER: Omission of the fact that the victim, the alleged victim, didn't remember-

ABRAMSON: Doesn't make the story itself fiction, it just doesn't. It doesn't make the story inaccurate.

FAULKNER: So, what should happen next?

ABRAMSON: What should happen next I think is that the investigation that never happened should happen. You know, a cloud hangs over the U.S. Supreme Court not only with Justice Kavanaugh but with Justice Thomas, who I've written about and I think that's unhealthy for our democracy to have these allegations hanging in the background. Someone should chase down these stories. In the case of Justice Thomas, I did that with Jane Mayer.

FAULKNER: And when they are chasing down these stories would you make any changes at The New York Times in terms of that baseline standard for what makes it into the paper and what gets cut.

ABRAMSON: I would certainly, you know, do due diligence on exactly how that material got cut. But I have supreme faith and confidence in the top editors of The New York Times both on the news side and the opinions side.

FAULKNER: Robin Pogrebin, who is one of the authors, says, "I think it was the case that the Editors' felt like maybe it was probably better to remove it." She's saying that it was the Editors'. So we don't have to guess who took it out.

ABRAMSON: Well, she's saying she thinks it was.

FAULKNER: She goes on. Jill Abramson, thank you very much, appreciate your time.

ABRAMSON: Thank you so much for hearing me out.

FAULKNER: Well, big story.

Fox News Channel Harris Faulkner Jill Abramson Brett Kavanaugh
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